We do not know who first coined this phrase, but it’s spot on. Everyone has to ginger up their communication skills by practising and using good closing and trial closing technique. This is true not only when you are actually trying to reach an objective such as getting the order, it is also useful when trying to measure the progress you are making in any form of communication—on the telephone, in a sales call or at any meeting.
ABC—Always be closing*
* Salesman: ‘Which of the colours fits best with your kitchen decoration the grey or the light blue?’ (This is called an alternative close.)
* Manager: ‘If you had those resources would you take responsibility for achieving that objective?’ (Trial close)
* Mother: ‘If you had your own clothing allowance would you keep your room tidy’ (Associated project close)
* Teenager: ‘But everyone’s getting them, so if you don’t buy me them now there will be none left.’ (Impending event close)This technique could equally be called ‘Don’t duck the issue’ . Sometimes we fail to ask a closing question because we are scared of a negative response, or because we know that the customer is going to say no because they are simply not in a position yet to say yes. Maybe we are bored or the time is running short and we realise that we will have to come back for another go. Whatever it is, don’t make the mistake of failing to check where you have got to in the eyes of the customer. After all, if a customer says that they are not convinced that they need a particular feature of your product you can always ask why or use the stock ‘What would I have to do to convince you of this point’ to make further progress.
The other technique that makes for focused selling is allied to ABC; it is STEP.