Why you don't need a closing technique

By Ernest Falkner III

Zillion Dollar Thinking


There are several reasons why you don't need a closing technique:

No. 1: People do not want to be “closed” or sold.

No. 2: People do not like to be pressured into anything.

No. 3: People are already suspicious and hesitant in a selling situation, especially when the salesperson is on commission.

No. 4: Buyers can read. They can see for themselves the numerous volumes on the bookstore shelves written on closing the deal — it smells of trickery and encourages mistrust.

No. 5 (and beyond): They already have the "I want to think about it" card ready to play.

So, what’s the solution? Agreement.

One of the best ways to mitigate mistrust is to ask for agreements. There are maxims in selling that should never be broken. One of them is the act of and the art of asking the right questions at the right time. One of the best and most fitting questions is the one to measure buy-in (which is a whole other subject):

“Does this seem fair? Does this seem reasonable?”

The answer is usually a yes or no. Very direct, very simple and an excellent temperature gauge. This is a timely question that allows both parties to evaluate where they are in connection, communication and understanding.

The major point is that if the response is no, you (as the seller) no longer have the license to proceed. And, if you persist, it is more likely that you will receive the "I want to think about it" card, or worse.

Having a standardized track or model is one of the best possible ways to gain a very early agreement about your entire marketing process. For example, if you can demonstrate to the buyer through your model and system this is the way you work with all clients and prospects, and can ask for their agreement to your process before there is any mention of a product or service, you will save yourself and your buyer considerable time and effort in the cycle.

If the buyer is already predisposed to reject your premise or even the interview (just being polite to the referrer), you will know in short order.

As for the closing process, it should be a no-brainer. If each step of your presentation is met with a progressive agreement right up to the obligating moment, there should be nothing left but assumed consent.

At the very least, both parties should be able to agree and commit to a specific next step and a timetable to complete the transaction. In all, the closing situation should be very natural and not pressured. It should be the culmination of successive agreements that have already set the table.