How to earn the right to close

In my last blog I told you about Rachel, and how to recover from a really BAD presentation.  Luckily, you can avoid that, too!  What if there were a foolproof way to AVOID bad presentations in the first place, thereby ALWAYS giving you the right to close, thereby increasing your conversion rate and your wallet?!?  What would THAT be worth to you?

OK, nothing's foolproof, but I do have some suggestions!

First, begin with the end in mind.  Stephen Covey said it best in 7 Habits, you should always launch your ventures knowing where you ultimately want to land.  Imagine working hard for a vacation, packing up the family cruiser with tons of luggage, toys, kids, grandma, and the cat- then heading down the road.  About an hour into it, your spouse lovingly looks at you and innocently asks, "so, where we goin'?"   Ridiculous, right?  Who would go through all that trouble without a plan?

  Well (sheepish pause), we've all done that with a sale, haven't we?  We've all just launched into greeting a customer hoping our charm and wit would make up the path.  Well, sorry Sparky, it doesn't!
You want to close more often, you better have a PLAN!

Now, you may be thinking- Stephen, how can I have a plan?  I don't even know what my customer will throw at me?

The answer is: Categories.  Take a lesson from those spin doctors in Washington.  Now I don't care which political party you affiliate with- they ALL implement this simple technique, and the White House press secretaries are historically MASTERS at it.  They are trained to bucket all questions into 10, maybe 20 categories, and Answer the questions in light of that.  Remember the 2008 elections, when Sarah Palin could turn ANY question into a discussion on pipelines in Alaska? When Obama could turn ANY conversation into one about change?

You can plan right now for how you categorically handle the most relevant questions and objections you receive.  You have almost unlimited time to work out the best pitches and responses to those things, which better position you to ask for the business.  Shame on the salesperson who receives the same or similar objections, only to get all "deer in the headlights" when it happens again!

So, the end you want is to ask for business, you also have an opportunity to pre-write your closes on each category.  This way, you are always prepared with an answer and subsequent close for every one of your categories!

Here's what this looks like:
Customer: "so, how expensive is this area?"

You: go to category: "cost of living"

(Ideally, you ask a follow up question, but that's a topic for another blog- pretend you did here!)

You: "the great news is that we've incorporated many revolutionary features that come in every home we build.  These will save you up to 40% in cost of living to a home built just 1-2 decades earlier!"

You, setup for close: "so, knowing that- how does that compare to what you were searching for?"

Customer: "that's pretty good."

You, close: "great!  Sounds like this is what you need.  Lets go pick a homesite!"

Now, oversimplified conversation, but you get the point.

Bust out your pen and paper, iPad, or computer- start writing YOUR categorical responses and closings, and discover how beginning with the end helps you close more transactions!


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