My job is selling technology. Actually I'm more of a translator. I sell technology to other businesses and that's where things get weird. There is a bewildering array of tech out there and unfortunately many companies think technology sells itself and the value that the technology delivers should be obvious. Wrong. That's where I come in. I said I was a translator. My job is to translate techno babble into value that customers understand. This blog share my adventures with high tech sales. Selling high tech is fun so come join me on my sales journey!

Friday 25 January 2013

Outlaw sales closing.

I'm really starting to detest closing. The ABC of Sales - ABC (Always Be Closing) should really mean (Always Bullshit the Customer).

Is there any evidence that closing works in complex sales? There's plenty of evidence it doesn't work.

OK completely abolishing and making closing illegal isn't realistic since closes are basically questions.   It's just that closing needs to be used in moderation and with the correct timing. In my quest to make sales more romantic, lets look at some closes from the world of dating.

"Would you like to come back to mine for a coffee?"
"Will you marry me?"

Let's look at these closes in a little more detail:

1/ These are questions derived to move things to the next stage.
2/ They both have implications and deeper meanings.
3/ They are closed questions.

In dating we are used to using these closes when the timing is right yet in sales we somehow lose sight of where the relationship is and whether the timing is right for a close.  Most closes are about getting the order.  We need more subtle closes, more like "fancy a coffee?". This has some subtelty to it - is isn't as blunt as saying "Do you fancy sex?".  Asking for the order at the wrong time is pretty blunt and can turn your buyer-off just like asking for sex when the mood is wrong may will more than likely damage your chances or get you blown-out.

Let's experiment with some alternatives.  How about some open questions rather than closed "yes/no" closes. "What do you think of this?",  "How do you see this moving to the next stage?".

If you are too reluctant to drop closed questions, how about "Are we OK to move to a trial?", "Is there anything else that needs to happen before you can get internal approval?"

Let's kill off the old school closing!

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