The 3 C’s of Closing: Close the Deal and Finish Strong!
Where did the time go? It seems like it was September just last week, but all of a sudden we’re well into December. Yes, December is here it isn’t stopping for anyone. It’s going to charge on forward to the 31st in no time. And that means a time of reckoning for sales reps who still need to close the deal. If your current sales closing techniques aren’t working, and you have opportunities that have been sitting in your pipeline for far too long, maybe it’s time to look at some new techniques for closing the sale. In that case, we have something just for you. We call it, the 3 C’s of closing a sale, and the 3 C’s are communication, contact and commitment.
The 3 C’s of closing a sale aren’t a formulaic approach to sales, however. Rather, the 3 C’s are like a holistic sales process that will help you use best practices in selling and become a more well-rounded and effective sales rep, now as this year ends and moving forward as the new year begins. So let’s take a closer look at what we mean by communication, contact and commitment as the 3 C’s.
The first “C” of closing is “Communication”
Communication, something imperative for the success of any relationship, whether professional or personal! This first C is incredibly important, because without clear communication between parties, there can never be a shared understanding of what is going on in the sale. Having an effective communication process is key in speaking with your prospect and getting them to the next stages of their buying process. And communication should always be emphasized in your sales closing techniques.
At all times throughout the selling process, not just when you’re trying to close the deal, you as the salesperson need to make sure that your communication is effective, clear and understandable. And don’t assume the other person knows more than they do. It’s human nature to not ask for clarification. Quite often, your prospect might be too embarrassed to ask clarifying questions. So your communication efforts become even more important.
To help improve your communications with your prospect, repeat yourself in your emails, write organized lists of next steps and accomplishments, map everything out as obviously as you can, and then do what you say you’ll do. Beyond what you put in writing, be confident in how you speak as well. If you’re confident in the process, then your prospect will be too.
But communication isn’t just verbal; it includes nonverbal communication as well, and your nonverbal communication also influences your prospect’s level of confidence in you. Ways to improve your communications nonverbally include:
- Maintaining eye contact in face to face meetings
- Remaining seated throughout your negotiations
- Being aware of your tone of voice as you speak
The second “C” of closing is “Contact”
Contact is the next C of the closing process. By contact, we mean being available to your prospect to answer questions, clarify actions, and overcome obstacles. Maintaining contact with your prospect is an easy way to grow your prospect’s trust in you and confidence in the sale, and it should always be part of your sales closing techniques.
To close the deal, and by that we mean any deal, you need to make sure that you’re available when your prospect needs you. A prospect that can’t get in touch with a salesperson is likely to walk away, either because they’ve lost their trust in you or they think you’re too busy to help them—or a combination of both.
What if you’ve been reaching out, but you’re not hearing back? If your prospect doesn’t contact you first, then what can you do to help them along and ease their anxiety throughout the sales process? You can send them updates as to what you’ve been doing and what you’ve accomplished in their plan (see the first “C” above about spelling it all out). You can call them on the phone and ask if there is anything you could do to help them out and clarify any questions they might have. You can meet with them in person to discuss any obstacles you or they are facing. If they’ve been facing obstacles, work with them on changes that you or they can make to find a solution.
Contact like this matters because many times, all it takes for a prospect to find confidence in you is for you sit down and meet with them in person. Email has it’s place, and phone calls can be good at times, but more often than not, a face-to-face conversation helps to establish a strong foundation. It’s easier to have trust in someone when you’ve seen their face, rather than just hearing their voice over the phone. And this is really important when you’re trying to close the deal!
The third “C” of closing is “Commitment”
The last piece to closing a sale is commitment, both from you and your prospect. Commitment must become part of your techniques for closing the sale. You need to be committed to helping your prospect with anything and everything they need. This means you must be more than a salesperson: Be their resource. Answer their questions about the industry and competitive market. Discuss with them trends in their area. At the same time, be sure you’re maintaining effecting communication (the first “C” in closing) and ensuring that you are able to be contacted (the second “C” in closing). These other C’s will demonstrate your commitment to your prospect.
Your commitment alone won’t guarantee you’ll close the deal, however. Your prospect needs to be committed to the sale too before making any kind of final decision. In an ideal world, if you’ve done your job effectively, your prospect will confidently approve the sale and move forward.
In the real world, however, sometimes your prospect will still be unsure. In those cases, what can you do to help them? First, you can obtain a series of smaller commitments from your client. These smaller commitments help build trust between you and your prospect, and the smaller “yeses” can lead to a bigger “yes” later. Secondly, sit down with them and really try to get at their needs. You could think that you’re selling effectively, but until you know for certain the needs of your client, you might as well be selling to the sky.
Gaining commitment from your prospect isn’t always easy, and it will require some time before an adequate bond can be built. Because of this, it’s recommended that you begin building this bond early in the relationship (so you’re not scrambling in December to close the deal!). You need to be invested in your prospect from the very start and help them along the way. You might be in sales, but you also need to be in the market of building relationships with your prospects.
You have less than month left in Q4, which means that it’s time to put your nose to the grindstone and close those deals you’ve been working on for the last few months. No more procrastinating, no more excuses—it’s time to finalize the paperwork and get it all in writing. As you go through December with your eyes on the year’s end, remember the 3 C’s of closing and you’ll have a better chance at finishing the year strong. And as 2016 gets underway, you’ll be ahead of the game when you make the 3 C’s of closing part of your techniques for closing the sale from day one!
Business success relies on a foundation of effective communication.
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