7.8 Key Takeaways & Terms

Key Takeaways

  • Closing should be easy if you have followed Steps 1-5 well. Missing objections or not using active listening to understand your customer’s needs are the most common reason salespeople fail to close. Fear of rejection also plays a role in salespeople being hesitant to close.
  • Closing ties to features and benefits–remember to know your benefits and sell on benefits versus features.
  • Closing techniques included summary close, direct close, alternative close, t-account or balance sheet close, and success story close.
  • Closing is not an event but an ongoing part of the selling process that starts with prospecting and qualifying.
  • Closing is all about helping the customer solve the single largest challenge he faces.
  • Salespeople should always ask for the sale and make it easy for the customer to go from the conversation or sales presentation to the sale.
  • The prospect provides verbal and nonverbal cues that make it easier to know when to close.
  • There are several different types of closes. Each can effectively be used alone or in combination with other closes.
  • Complex sales have a longer selling cycle, have many people involved in the decision making, and require a modified selling process.
  • Many times closing includes negotiating, the act of discussing an issue between two or more parties with competing interests with the aim of coming to an agreement.
  • A successful negotiation is one that focuses on open, honest communication and yields a win-win resolution.
  • Negotiations require building trust, gaining commitment, and managing opposition.
  • Every negotiation includes three elements—information, power, and time.
  • Negotiating starts long before the formal exchange; it begins with your first communication with the prospect and includes every contact you have had with her. Those communications establish the value of your product or service.
  • While price is a common negotiating point, it is rarely the deal breaker that most salespeople perceive it is.
  • Every negotiation includes three parts—prenegotiation, negotiation, and post-negotiation.
  • Avoid getting emotionally involved in a negotiation as it makes it easier to walk away, if need be.
  • Before you begin your job search, do your research and know what you are worth in the marketplace.
  • Salary is only one element of total compensation. Use all elements of compensation to creatively negotiate to get what you want.
  • Avoid discussing compensation as long as possible; don’t bring it up unless the interviewer brings it up. Your goal on every interview is to establish your value so that your offer reflects what you are worth.
  • Before you begin negotiating a job offer, be sure you understand all the elements of the offer.
  • Carefully evaluate an internship or job offer based on what is important to you including the offer as well as other aspects of the job and company.
  • Identify one or two elements of a job offer that you want to negotiate. Determine your prenegotiation goals for each and approach your prospective employer to discuss each element. Focus on what is important to the company as you negotiate each point.
  • The final offer that you accept should be documented in an offer letter. Whether you are being offered an internship (paid or unpaid) or a full-time job, the company should provide an offer letter within a few days of your acceptance of the offer.
  • Follow-up is what builds a relationship after the sale. You should never assume the sale is closed.
  • Follow-up should take place regularly so your customer knows he can count on hearing from you.
  • A personal thank-you note or letter is appropriate after the close of the sale. The letter can also include some operational information such as contact information and receipts.
  • Follow up to be sure everything is delivered as promised. Do your follow-up inside the company and touch base with the customer to be sure everything is to her satisfaction.
  • Add value to your customer’s business with industry information, white papers, blogs, and newsletters. These bring value to your customer and keep your name in front of him.
  • Feedback is an important part of follow-up.
  • Customers can become your best-selling tool with testimonials and referrals.
  • Heroic recovery can be a way to delight your customer (only if a service failure occurs infrequently and it is handled in a satisfactory manner).
  • Customer loyalty pays. It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing customer.
  • NPS is determined based on a brand’s percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors.
  • Even though you receive a job offer, there are still a lot of things you can do to follow up after your interview and before you start your new job.
  • The corporate world is different from the classroom with a different environment and expectations. Your performance is no longer just about you; it’s about how you help the company achieve its goals.
  • It takes time to adapt to a new job.

Key Terms

Alternative-choice close: a type of close that gives the prospect a choice between two options rather than a choice between buying and not buying

“Always Be Closing” (ABC): this means that a salesperson should never miss the opportunity to close a sale, no matter where it occurs in the selling process

“Always Be Opening” (ABO): a strategy that is considered to be the best as it focuses on always helping your customer identify and solve their problems, just like you do when you are opening the selling process

Assumptive close: a type of close that includes a question that when the prospect replies, it means that they are committing to the sale

Benefit summary close: type of close that summarizes the benefits of the product or service as you have discussed them throughout the process and is a natural extension of the selling process

Closing – bringing the sale to fruition or getting the sale

Combination close: using more than one of the closing approaches together to gain agreement on the sale

Compensation: money and benefits received in exchange for providing services to a company including elements such as salary, commission, bonus, benefits, and any other elements in payment for providing services – is the total amount of money and benefits that you are paid for a particular position

Complex sale: a term that usually refers to high-value purchases (usually $100,000 and higher). Products and services such as enterprise systems, health care providers, commercial real estate, manufacturing equipment, logistics services, and other major business-to-business (B2B) purchases are considered complex sales.

Compliment (or vanity) close: type of close that relates the purchase to the person and appeal to his or her sense of identity by paying a compliment and helps you relate the purchase to the person and appeal to his or her sense of identity

Counteroffer: elements of a job offer above the pre-negotiation goals

Customer feedback loop is a formal process for gathering, synthesizing, and acting on customer feedback. Customer feedback loops are most effective when front-line employees have the power to respond to customer feedback to turn “critics into fans.”

Deadlock: a point in the negotiation at which discussions stop due to disagreement on an issue or a stop in the discussion

Detractors: scores of 0 to 6 in the NPS

Direct request close: type of close that asks the prospect for the order

Follow-up entails everything that takes place after the sale is closed from getting signatures on all contracts and paperwork to scheduling delivery. It also includes your ongoing relationship with your customer.

Heroic recovery: performing a “heroic” action to save the customer’s business after experiencing a setback

Negotiating: the act of discussing an issue between two or more parties with competing interests with the aim of coming to an agreement

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a closed customer feedback loop that is based on the theory that a loyal customer is one that will recommend the brand to their friends.

Offer letter: a formal letter from the company (on company letterhead) that outlines the terms of the offer for employment that outlines the terms of the offer.

Passives: score of 7 or 8 in the NPS

Pre-negotiation goals: the minimum in compensation that you will accept in a job offer, usually focusing on one or two elements that are important to the company

Promoters: score of 9 or 10 in the NPS

Salary: a regular payment from an employer in exchange for services – a fixed amount of money that is paid regularly in exchange for services provided, is only one element of compensation

Trial close: an important sales tool as it allows you to “test” whether you have answered objections, have understood your customer’s needs, and whether they are ready to move onto a full close

Chapter 12 Key Takeaways” from The Power of Selling by Dr. Michelle Clement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Chapter 13 Key Takeaways” from The Power of Selling by Dr. Michelle Clement is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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