Whenever I coach someone on sales the question inevitably comes up: When is the best time to ask for the close?
Any sales training program will tell you that closing the sale is the most important part of the consultative selling process. Many sales courses extensively cover the importance of closing lines. A good sales coaching program goes further, it tells you exactly when to close. You may know all of the closing lines available in a consultative selling process but without knowing when to use them you could make a bad mistake.
First a little background on this… Why is it important for a sales course to tell you when to ask for a close? The first concern from a sales coaching perspective is asking for the close too early in a sales presentation may be seen as pushy. If you are seen as pushy then the advantage you gain from a consultative selling point is lost. Your expert status suddenly means nothing. An even worse situation is not asking for the close at all. I believe all sales courses cover this well. According to studies, up to 80% of sales are consistently lost due to not asking for the close in any manner.
The benefit of sales coaching is discovering and learning exactly when to ask for the close. When done correctly in the frame of the consultative selling model, your prospects will perceive you as friendly, confident, knowledgeable. This is exactly how you want to be perceived to maximize referrals from the prospects associates, friends and family.
Back to the answer, a good sales coaching program will teach you the correct time to ask for the close is once you have convinced your client of the value of your product or service. Specifically the value to your particular individual prospect. When you have established enough value through consultative selling your prospect will be willing to purchase whatever it is youre selling. This will make your sales job much easier.
Now another great sales coaching tip, the easiest way to determine when your prospect is ready to be closed, is to use a test close. Many sales training courses do not emphasize how important this little step is. A test close is a way of checking in with the client to determine when enough value has been established. This is of the utmost concern in the consultative selling model.
To use a test close is a simple and straight forward step. The questions are easy and direct. Many sales coaching programs dont make it clear on how to use this powerful technique. The questions you might decide to ask are:
Do you see any value in this product?
Does our service resonate with you?
Does it feel like this may be a good fit for you?
To add even more power to the test close make sure to use the secrets of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Your prospect will definitely thank you with more sales.
Checking in with a test close is a great way to determine where your client sees himself in the sales process. If you have not established enough value, you will know because your client will tell you he is not convinced yet. At this point you need to go back and discover exactly what it is that your client wants solved.
The fact is the majority of sales are lost because of a sales professionals lack of asking for the close. Whether asking for the close too early or not at all, the result is the same. No sale. Knowing when to ask for the close definitely helps increase your sales.