How to Stop Selling When You Receive a Closing Signal from Your Customer

The customer will eventually give an indication that he or she is ready to bring the meeting to a close. The signs might be verbal: ‘Well, if you would like to let me have a copy of those figures for Monday morning …’ or ‘Yes, I like what you’re offering, but I need to consult my colleagues’. The signs might be non-verbal -nodding; leaning forward, hands on thighs; standing up. A good book on body language and how it can help a salesperson is Body Language by Allan Pease, published by Sheldon Press and obtainable from most good bookshops.

When you receive these closing signals, STOP SELLING. More than one sale has been lost by the salesperson over-emphasizing agreed benefits or, worse still, introducing benefits not mentioned before, which only confuse the customer. It is not easy to stop yourself from telling the customer all the benefits of your product or service, but once the closing signals have been given, you must stop selling.

Summarize what has been agreed between you. If a new meeting is to be arranged, try to arrange it then and there – get your diary out and suggest dates and times. If a senior executive asks you to make an appointment with his or her secretary, make it with the secretary and do not try to force the executive to make the appointment. If you are to provide further information, establish exactly when and where it is to be delivered. If your customer is to let you have further information, try to get a definite commitment on what it is and the anticipated timing. If the person to whom you are speaking is not the decision maker, try to make sure that your product or service gets presented to the decision maker. Try to get a name, and offer to write or meet to demonstrate the product – anything to take the matter a step further.

If you are able to clinch the sale at that meeting, make sure that all costs, delivery dates and so on are agreed, and get a signature if possible. Immediately after the meeting write and confirm the terms of the agreement, set out very clearly what you are supplying, what the costs are and what the terms of payment are. If you think it more than likely that this meeting will be the one where you finally make the sale, you can have all this paperwork ready with you, but do not produce it too early in the proceedings.

At the close of the meeting, each party should be clear about what is to happen next on both sides. This applies to a service rendered in someone’s home just as much as it does to a product sold to a large company. Shake hands to conclude the meeting.

As you leave, remember to say goodbye to support staff or other members of the household, and thank them for anything they have done for you.

Finally, when you get back to your own place of work, do everything that you have promised to do, and do it promptly.

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About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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