Why do many sales courses/programmes always put the close at the end of the process?
Stephen Covey’s Habit 2 of ‘Habits of Highly Effective People’ says ‘begin with the end in mind’. Effectively, the power of visualisation in action. See what outcome(s) you want and shape your action(s) to achieve this. This ensures you should always remain on task.
Why is sales any different? Surely you start a sales relationship with the end in mind – securing a new client relationship or deepening an existing one. Yet why do we always focus our attention on closing at the end of the process? We ask for the business at the end? After a long sales process – fingers crossed they’ll say yes.
Why don’t we start with the close instead? Why don’t we ask our clients a simple question at the outset of our relationship with them?
Why don’t we ask them ‘I’d love to work with you, what do I need to deliver to you to be able to do business with you?’
We all know what our desired end position is as a sales professional – however it requires our client to make a decision in our favour – so surely we need to understand what is important to them in commencing this journey. This isn’t just about price and product, but also about emotion and experience.
Thereafter, our actions are laser focused on delivering to this brief.
If we deliver successfully against this brief and demonstrate this to our client – they have already inferred, by answering the question, they will do business with us. They’ll already said to us ‘do this – and we’ll become your client’. You’re already closed them, subject to delivering to their brief.
What this also allows the client to do at the beginning is to identify for you the reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do business with them.
Developing a sales relationship with a client is time and effort consuming by both parties – surely it is better to know at the outset whether a successful conclusion is likely?
Flip your sales process around next time and start with the close!