Opening a sales conversation effectively is important. Preparing how you will engage, turn the focus to them and earn the right to get into a good convereation helps ensure you oare successful. Yet with all the time spent on opening conversations, I notice very little, if any, time is spent on how to close the conversation!
Closing the conversation may mean asking for the buy! Yet in today’s complex sale, the close of the conversation may really mean getting a commitment to what is next.
We call the end of the conversation the Consolidation versus the close. Consolidate means to ‘bring together pieces into a whole.’ Think about ANY conversation you have, isn’t that what you need to do at the end of every conversation?
to advance your sales cycle, build stronger value and save you TIME in follow-up efforts, Consolidate your conversations with these specific actions:
- Summarize what you covered in the conversations -what problems, opportunities, wants or needs were revealed?
- Check for readiness. Are they ready to end the conversation? Pay attention to body language, words and sounds, and responses to your trial close questions.
- Confirm value for what you are asking them to do.
- Ask for a decision or commitment to something.
- Identify next specifics, with specifics. What are you going to do? What are they going to do? By when?
- CLOSE – this is your final comment. The ‘Thank you’ or ‘Thanks’ is so overdone, it doesn’t even register that you’ve said it. Be specific in personalizing the last comment. Make it about THEM, the value they are going to receive, something you appreciate specifically about them or the conversation.
- “Sharon, I appreciate that you were able to take the time to explore your __________. I look forward to our next conversation.”
- “Mike, thank you for the confidence that we can help you _________. i will do everything I can to ensure this is successful.”
I’m often told (just this week two different sellers mentioned this) that they run out of time and the end of their conversations become rushed and this miss pieces of consolidating. A solution? PLAN in your agenda for the 5-7 minutes needed to consolidate. Set the expectation that you will need to identify what comes next at the end of the conversation.
Think about how much quicker your sales will advance and how much less follow-up or chasing you will need to do if you consolidate EVERY conversation in this way.