by Brian Sullivan
If your selling process ends with a close, you're doing it all wrong.
"What!?! That makes no sense," I can hear you saying. "Closing is the ultimate success."
All true. But you can close more (how does 80% sound?), see fewer clients and, best of all, make even fewer presentations. In the process, you'll feel more essential to your clients, more motivated, and more in control.
How? By moving the closing closer to the beginning of the Selling Process. And, no, this isn't some variation of Always Be Closing. It's more inspired and impactful than that.
Basically, you're placing more importance on qualifying your prospects at the beginning than spending a lot of time learning old tricks to close the sale at the end. The result is fewer but better prospects, and more successful sales.
It starts with what we call "The Up-Front Contract." Basically, you're establishing an agreement right from the start that you have something — or nothing — to discuss. You seek concrete answers to direct questions like:
•What are some of the things you'd like to accomplish?
•I asked you earlier to list five major problems you're having. Can you share them?
•What motivated you to call me in?
•What are you hoping I could do for you?
In the process, you'll hear a lot more about your prospect (and talk less!), accurately gauge their pain, be confident about their budget and make certain you're talking to the person who can make the decision. And because you get prospects to buy in at every step of the process, you're essentially closing all along the way.
What you won't do is waste precious time pitching clients who don't have the need, the money or the authority to pull the trigger. (Basically, you'll be saying No before they do.)
So by following the Sandler process you'll move from the traditional Qualify, Present, Close model to aQualify (really qualify), Close, Present model. In the second model, you control the process, know early on that you'll be successful (or not), and hear more of your favorite word, "Yes."
In the long run, you'll also have more satisfied clients because every step of the way they've established that you are the answer they've been seeking.
Obviously, there's a lot more to know about transforming the way you sell, not just the way you close. If you want more check out our free report on the biggest sales mistakes.