Alec Baldwin in the 1992 movie “Glengarry Glen Ross” from New Line Cinema.
If you have any experience in sales, you’ve likely heard the classic line from the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing.” But what does it mean to always be closing?
Closing is not an action but a strategy. As times change, so must a salesperson’s strategy for closing sales.
Most salespeople can tell you that there has been a dramatic change in home buyers over the past 10 to 15 years. With information so readily available, buyers are well informed about homes before they visit them. Recent studies show that buyers come into the sales process already 60% through the decision-making process.
However, most sales professionals still sell the same way they always have – highlighting benefits and features of their products without deliberately closing each portion of the sales process. Some build up to closing as an event at the end of the sales process. The most effective sales professionals, however, move to the contract stage as a mere formality of the verbal agreement between themselves and the buyer.
Sales tactics need to evolve for today’s “Amazon Prime” world. Buyers already know the features of the homes they visit, and they expect a swift and certain process.
Here are some tips on how find a more relevant method to close in the current market.
- Adapt the mindset that closing is not a single event but instead an ongoing strategy. For example, as you walk buyers through a model home, you close the buyers on their needs being met by each room or feature in the home. To sell is to close the buyer on each step of the process.
- Rip the Band-Aid off early. Close the prospect on something in the first few minutes of interacting. When you make an early close, the buyer is essentially giving you permission to continue to the next step in the sales process. One of the hardest early closes you can make is getting “just looking” buyers to let you walk them through the model home. Most salespeople lose this first close. The prospect is either closing you on why they should walk it alone or you are closing them on your value as the expert. Win this close and win it early.
- Educate and close, educate and close. Since buyers come into the sales process already 60% through the decision-making process, the remaining 40% relies on the salesperson to educate them and close on all aspects of the product and process. Bring in experts such as the construction manager, financial person, etc., to provide information and to make it easy to close the buyer.
- You can get a contract during the first interaction with today’s “Amazon Prime” buyers. Salespeople typically stop the sale themselves by assuming they covered enough for one visit, and start to talk about follow-up items. Instead, use the transition phrase, “Next” to explain what the buyer can expect each step of the way and to keep the sales clock ticking. This helps eliminate the standstill that often forces a follow-up call or appointment.
Be open and willing to try a different approach to closing. Informed buyers will appreciate your efficient selling backed by your genuine product expertise.
Chad Sanschagrin, CEO of Cannonball Moments, is an international trainer, executive coach and speaker, and he’s mastered the science of psychology in the art of selling.
This article was adapted from the July/August 2018 issue of Sales + Marketing Ideas. Download the Sales + Marketing Ideas app on iTunes or Google Play.