Thursday, April 01, 2004

The Selling Cycle - Part X Close the $ale

Successful negotiations lead to closing the sale. Many sales representatives do everything right up to the most important thing: Asking for the business. The best efforts in the world will not matter until the customer says Yes.

Remember the value of trial closing questions. During the demo you were looking for 7 yeses. While you did the write up you looked for buying signs. “Where do you want the registration to be sent?” Or “ Whose name should appear on the title?” helped you move the customer to Yes.

Now, as you present the sales figures you are again listening for the magic word, Yes, from the customer.

Questions that Close

When would you like to take delivery of your new RV

If the answer is next week, ask for a deposit and proceed with the purchase order.

Does this payment fit within your budget?

If the customer says yes, ask for the deposit and proceed with the paperwork.

If the customer says the monthly payment is acceptable but the initial investment is higher than anticipated, there is a concern about the down payment. Ask:

How close to that can you comfortably afford?

Wait for an answer. Do not speak. Wait. No one wants to part with money. Lenders want customers to be in an equity position. Down payment is commitment, so ask for it.

Isolating Customer Concerns

When you try to close a sale, often the customer has hidden concerns. Something is preventing them from giving you the OK. Ask an “other than” question to isolate the concern to get to the heart of the matter:

Other than the down payment, is there any reason why we cannot proceed with the purchase order? -or- Setting aside the issue of down payment, these are the terms that meet your budget aren’t they?”

You may need to rephrase the customer’s concern into a positive requirement.

What I heard you say is that you need the monthly payment to fall in the middle of the month. Is that correct?-or-Since you travel a lot, perhaps automatic loan payment would be a convenience. What day would you like the payment to occur?

The big secret of closing is to identify the customer’s concern(s) and show the customer in an honest, ethical manner that the best choice for them is to own the vehicle that satisfies their needs, wants, hopes, desires and budget.

Other Options that Close

The Ben Franklin close lists the pros and cons of any choice. Either/or questions also work well to close the sale. When you give your customers a choice between something and something they usually take something. Avoid the choice between something and nothing, which often yields nothing. Today’s customers like options. Give them the opportunity to choose with an either/or close.

Turning the Customer to Close

Do not take negative responses personally. The deal is not about you. It is all about what the customer wants. If your attempts to secure the sale do not succeed, turn the customer to the sales manager before you burn the deal.

Mr. & Mrs._____, I am ______, the sales manager. I wish to thank you for sharing your time with us this ______(afternoon/evening). You have been so generous with your time. I have to presume you both like the vehicle don’t you?

If the customer gives any affirmative response, the sales manager continues.

I would hate to see you pass on this opportunity. If I could change one thing about this deal in order to make this an easier decision for you what would it be?

The sales manager listens, reviews the request to see if it makes sense and can be done, and responds.

Believing that if you cannot close the deal no one can costs money and time. Do not let your ego get in the way of making the deal. Customers belong to the store and the store needs to make every effort to secure the sale.

Now you Know your ABC’s

Use affirmative phrases throughout the sales process to guide the customer to the close.

Every word you say must have purpose. Your words must paint a picture of ownership.

Use the Power to Ask to help you reach the final destination. Your customers are waiting for you to ask. If you know the ABC’s of Selling you will Always Be Closing.

RV Executive Today, April 2004