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Sales and Marketing Tips: Close the Deal

Here’s one of my many sales and marketing tips – close the deal!  I mean, you spent a lot of valuable resources in order to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel – now that they are in front of you, ready to buy, close the deal!

Why am I picking on something so obvious?!  Let me tell you a little story…my wife wanted a new sofa for the family room since our current one just celebrated its 10th anniversary with us and it’s time has come to move on to the Great Sofa Resting Place in the Sky.  (A moment of silence, please.)

So my wife spend several nights online, looking at the various retailers websites in order to get a feel for what they offered and how they priced things… (Hint: she did a lot of research online and the ease of use made all the difference in the world for our purchase!  So make your site easy to use and pack it with information so visitors can get what they want, when they want it.  DO NOT use the “…we’ll leave this off the site so they will call us…” strategy because THEY WON’T CALL.)

Anyway, we walked into the store and immediately tripped over the 2 on duty sales people that didn’t have a customer and we quickly learned that “Mary” (not the person’s real name) would be “helping us”.

Over the next hour, we found the sofa we wanted and picked out the fabric.  Now it was time for “Mary” to figure out the price so we could make a final decision.

And “Mary” wrote up about 10-15 pages of forms necessary to capture the information and, if we agreed to the details, place the order.  At the end of it all, she said “Let me go make you copies of this so you can go home, talk about it, and decide.  If you do want to buy the sofa, call me.”

[callout_left]Now, that’s the first “Assumptive Non-Close” I have ever experienced…[/callout_left]

I about fell out of the chair – believe me, my wife and I weren’t giving any signals beyond “…we’re buying this sofa unless your price is way outta line…”  So we looked at the quote, saw the price was well within our range and told “Mary” that we didn’t need to go home and discuss it, we wanted to buy the sofa.

“Mary” seemed heartbroken.  And then she said “Well, I will need one-third down as a deposit and you can cancel the order within 72 hours.”

So I said “Mary, we want to pay for it all now.  And the only way we cancel the order and want a full refund is if you can’t make the delivery date.  And our delivery date is ‘…anytime in the next 60 days.'”

Again, shock and awe.

Anyway, here’s the deal.  When the customer tells you they are looking to buy and they accept the terms of your offer, close the deal.  “Mary” came darned close to having me pull back, walk out and go to the competition – because it seemed like she didn’t want my money.

Next week, listen in on some of the sales calls.  See if your team is leaving money on the table – or if they are reading the buyer’s signals correctly and closing the deal when they can.

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