There are two kinds of salespeople in this world, Closers, and Posers. It’s one thing to dance the dance in the sales arena, but closing is jujitsu.
Sales is the persuasive process of getting your buyer’s mindset in the right place.
Closing is getting the buyer past the last mile.
When we are 100% certain that we have landed on the right solution for our prospect, we earn the right to flip the switch to full-on persistence.
Persistence is doing everything we can to close the deal today.
Pressure is pitching the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result. Pressure, therefore, is insanity.
When you are ready to close the deal, there are only three things you need to do, over and over again until you tip them over. Agree, Rebuttal, Close. This is known as a Closing ARC.
Why People Act That Way
The majority of the planet is living in survival mode, at one level or another. Those who have broken into the first layer of thriving mode, what Abraham Maslow calls Belonging, are desperately doing everything they can to not fall back into survival mode.
Salespeople are an affront to these defense mechanisms and create a certain conundrum between asking you for your money, in return for those things that make life more pleasant. Salespeople have to navigate smoke screens, roadblocks, polite denial, overanalysis, and ghosting all from people who desperately want and need what they are selling.
So, while sales is a lovely dance, when it comes time to pull the trigger, be prepared to wrestle. And that’s why you need to have hundreds of rebuttals and closes in your reservoir.
If your salespeople don’t come equipped to handle the litany of misdirection and genuine concern that is thrown at them, they will be the only ones closed.
In sales, a sale is ALWAYS made. Closers close. Posers get closed.
The thing is, Closers know what’s coming. Posers are operating on a hope strategy. Closers know that the word ‘no’, in all of its many forms, is the beginning of the negotiation. How a salesperson reacts is what separates Closers from Posers.
The CLOSER acronym below puts Closers one step closer to the close. So here’s what a Closer knows:
Most of the words that seem like objections coming out of a prospect’s mouth aren’t really deal-breakers. They are just complaints. And complaints should be treated as such until further validated as an actual concern or objection.
Salespeople have a natural tendency to take a complaint as an affront to be fixed before a sale can be made. When treated as a complaint, they can drastically reduce the chances of the complaint becoming a deal-breaker by following the appropriate Closing ARC.
Tell me it ain’t so. Customers wouldn’t lie to me, would they?
I’m sorry to say, but it’s very true, and every single one of us has lied as a customer. We’ve justified it in a litany of ways, from protecting feelings, to protecting ourselves, sometimes FROM ourselves. Sometimes maliciously, but more often with the best of intentions at heart.
And we only have ourselves as an industry to blame. Salespeople too often take liberties on the claims they make, the promises they can’t hope to keep, and the skullduggery they get up to in an attempt to close the deal. As usual, it’s the minority that spoils it for the majority of good-intentioned sales folks looking to get the right solutions for the people they serve.
Closers get that people feel they have to lie. That’s why when they know they have the right solution for their clients, they are relentless. Their secret weapon? They have a seemingly endless supply of Closing ARCs at their disposal so they never seem to approach from the same angle.
Yes. Sometimes there are actual things standing in the actual way of a sale being closed today.
In these instances, it is incumbent to overcome these objections to the sincere satisfaction of the buyer before a deal can close.
Objections fall into 6 general buckets. When we understand the root cause of an objection, we can find a satisfactory resolution. If we keep missing the mark, we will struggle to make the close.
I need to talk to my wife. The price is too high. I need to measure. I’ll think about it. I’ll get back to you.
Stalls, stalls, stalls.
A Closer sees a stall for what it’s worth. Fear or Friction.
The customer is not stalling because of anything they say. They are stalling because its a daunting purchase and they are thinking of all the times they messed up in the past (perceived and real), or there is something just not quite right about the sale yet.
Most often the friction comes from a value gap that has yet to be filled. So what do Closers do? They smoke out the real objection with an appropriate Closing ARC, and go back in for the sale one more time after resolving the real objection. Then one more time. And one more time after that. And then one last time before they go….and then one more time for good measure, then one for good luck. And maybe just one more time.
It’s not a good time. My mother is sick. I need to pray on it.
There’s no end to the excuses. One time, when I was selling cars, Father Murphy told me he’d be back with a deposit at 4:00 that afternoon. Forgot his checkbook back at the church. It’s been 13 years this year. I still haven’t seen Father Murphy back to pick up his new Dodge Grand Caravan.
If you can’t trust a man of the cloth, who can you trust?
Closers cut through the excuses, drive Father Murphy back to his church, and walk him to his office to make sure he doesn’t inadvertently get lost along the way.
Rejection sends goosebumps down the area where the spine would be on the spineless. Closers LOVE rejection. At least they have something REAL to work with.
As a Closer, there is nothing I detest more in people than fake politeness and indecision. Arguably, I have a robust collection of mental health issues, but who doesn’t nowadays?
I do love a good no, however. All I hear in my mind is KNOW, not NO. They just don’t know something that they need to know before they can say YES! I just need to figure out what that is.
Closers close. Posers fold.
Who do you want on the team?