A well-planned presentation followed by its implementation is expected to result in a natural positive close. However, this need not happen all the time. That is why the salesman is to play the role of a construction consultant to the tilting prospect to decide. Certain techniques or methods have been developed which enrich the armory of a salesman in getting a desired success in the battle field. It is worth emphasizing here that no technique or method of close can be used with a success under all circumstances. The variables like nature of product, nature of customer and the circumstances under which the sale is going to materialize. Again, the success of a particular method depends on the skill and acumen of a salesman. As circumstances differ, approach differs and hence, the salesman is to keep handy the alternative techniques or methods of successful close. These are not less than a dozen in a number.
Methods for achieving a successful sales Close
1. Assumptive Close:
Here, the salesman assumes that the prospect will buy. There are who have earned the trust of their customer to such an extent that the salesman orders for the customer or the prospect. It works out in case of regular customer where there exists long-standing relation. Here, the salesman taken for granted that whatever he has proposed is accepted by the prospect. He puts test questions to confirm his reaction. The salesman’s words may be ‘This is what I am going to sent you.’ “This is what I believe you need this week”. “Should I sent the pack at house or office”? If the prospect, keeps quite, it means that he is agreeing to his words. Let us take another case. “Do you want this product on Tuesday or Thursday?” The intentions here are to trick the customer. By choosing one of the two options presented, the customer is essentially choosing to buy.
2. Alternative Choice Close:
This technique is of great help in a situation where the prospect is flooded with too many varieties of a product and he is confused over the selection. This usually happens while selecting dress-materials, saris, readymade garments, watches. Under this circumstance, the prospect is to be given a narrowed choice or alternative choice. This method works on the postulations namely 1. that the prospect has the strong desire to buy one of the alternative choices 2. that the prospect will buy and 3. that the product has the freedom to prefer. By studying the keen interest and inclination, the varieties can be reduced thus, enabling him to select within the restricted choice alternatives.
3. Complimentary Close:
It is a hormone tendency to receive compliments. Prospect wants you to recognize their special points. Some handsome or beautiful people appearing in shops are proud of their appearance. A person who has taken life insurance policy is proud of his caring for him family.
Therefore, the salesman should compliment for their plus points – major or minor provided it is honest. Complimentary close is effective when the prospect is a self-style expert and who has ego or who is in bad mood. He can get the attention of such people and response by complimenting them. Even a prospect with low ego, low self esteem or one who is finding it difficult to come to the conclusion will respond favorably to a compliment.
4. Continuous Yes Close:
“Continuous yes close”, is like a summary close. However, the salesman develops a series of benefit questions that the prospect is expected to answer instead he summarizing the product benefits to the prospect. The salesman asks such questions relating to product benefits, that answer is invariably ‘yes’. If a prospect has said ‘yes’ to better quality, fast delivery – reasonable price and favorable credit facilities, he is more likely to say ‘yes’ when the salesman asks him to buy because the prospect is in a positive frame of mind and he has a positive stance towards the product. However, some prospects are cute and relish the idea of saying ‘yes’ but in the end “no’. It happens when the prospect looks at ‘yes’ close as a trick or as an insult to their stand than as an aid in making a purchase decision.
5. Summary of Benefit Close:
It is very important to remember that the main features, advantages and benefits of interest to the prospect are to be used in sales-presentation. The salesman is to summaries these benefits of the product in a positive way so that the product agrees easily to what a salesman is trying to say. This method is favored by industrial product manufacturers such as Xerox-induced copiers typewriters, fabricated parts installations and equipments. This method warrants first determining key product benefits to prospects interest; second summarizing and third, making a proposal. This summary of benefits technique is useful in selling simple, straightforward close.
6. Minor Points Close:
Some prospects find it difficult to make big decisions at a stretch. However, it is easier for a prospect to concede several minor points; the salesman can make the prospect to come to the final major decision. This technique is similar to that of an alternative choice close. It reduces the haze in big decisions. If a person is finding it difficult to make up his mind to buy a two wheeler as price is very high the salesman is to take him to its minor points such as delivery dates, optimal features, color, model, size, weight, payment terms and the like. It is a second close attempt so that once the minor points are cleared the finals decision might be taken.
7. ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ Close:
This method is popularly known as “T account” or “Balance Sheet” close. Some go to the extent of calling it as “Benazamin Franklin” close. Decision-making is arriving at a cut off point. It is a cost benefit analysis or the debits, study of relative merits and the demerits, credits and details pros and cons or the assets and the liabilities. If the pros, credit, merits assets, outweigh the cons, debits, demerits, and the liabilities, that is a good course of action. Under this technique, the salesman reviews the listed features, advantages, benefits on one side and the negative points on the other in the sales presentations. He wants to show how the plus points outweigh the minus points and there is no risk in buying or making a decision to buy now. If the prospect wants to make such analysis, it is the best, as he is self-connected.
8. Standing Room only Close:
It is popularly known as ‘SRO’ technique. It works on appeal to fear and opportunity. In case of hesitant prospect, the salesman emphasizes the sense of opportunity and fear. He is given a wavering that if, current opportunity is lost, it is last for ever. It is the appeal to motive of gain and fear where the customer prefers to take precaution than cure. If a salesman wants to help his prospect or a customer, he many sound the warnings of new-budget proposal striker transport bottle necks, inventory shortages, inflation, whether changes which are like to affect the prospects interest. It is natural that a prospect acts now to safeguard his interest, thereby gain, and get out of the possible danger. For a right product. For the right product, person and situation, this is an excellent close. Both retail and industrial salesmen use this technique to get their prospect exited and finally ready to buy or agree to buy.
9. Carrot and Stick Close:
Whenever a prospect is offered special inducement hastens his pace of buying.
It works on carrot and stick policy, a basic principle of human motivation. These inducements can be price concession, installment payment, door delivery, free installation, free servicing, and replacement during guarantee or guarantee period, gift novelties and so on. What is important to note is that such concession should be extended over very short span of time. Thus, a salesman of a reputed company making household appliances may come out with proposal in case of a washing machine as: “A washing machine purchased upto 15 December… will entitle the buyer a grinder mixer or a ceiling fan and an electrical toaster free.” Such inducements work. This technique is to be based on tact and caution.
10. Probability Close:
There are some prospects who want to be away with present strangle saying “I want think it over”. Or ‘ I will consult my better-half and children” Or “I will seek permission from boss” and the like. As a salesman, one need not be discouraged. One should appreciate prospect point of note and ask for probability of doing the business with him. Their chances fall norms in three ranges of probably — 50 to 80 percent 85 percent and above but less than 100 percent and less than 50 percent. The first two give better chances. The last one is lost case. Probably close permits the prospect to form on their real objections and once that the real objection is known, the salesman can convert that objection into order, with his persuasive tactics. Thus allows true, hidden objections to move upto surface.
11. Barrier Erection Close:
The “continuous yes” method works quite effectively in case of prospects that are over talkative and friendly. However, the salesman faces good many times, the customers who; introverts, silent, uncommitted and unresponsive, yet mentally alert and thoughtful. In case such prospects, this method clicks. Here, the salesman asks restrictive questions and praises sagacity, sound judgment, sharp memory, vision and foresight. He uses little flattery for ability to ask really very intelligent questions. He creates psychological barriers in the mind a customer so much so that the prospect says, “yes” to his proposal. His remark may be: “Such personality of your caliber indeed not stresses much”. He also admits that he has taken more time to convince the prospect by putting, “My dear sir, I dispose of such cases within 15 minutes I have taken 45 minutes to convince you, because you are very critical minded”. Such inhibitions work in favor of a salesman.
12. Try Out Close:
It is popularly called as “Puppy dog close”. In case of those products, which are not known to the customer, the salesman tries to click the deal by asking the prospect to accept the product on a trial basis. If he finds them matching, beneficial, he may order on larger scale inside course of time. Here, the prospect finds it sensible to give a trial, as there is little risk. It is an opportunity for the salesman to penetrate on a small-scale that opens the door for future big orders, Many times, such a chose can be a last resort. What is more important is to get the order because, some thing is better than nothing is.
13. Direct Approach Close:
Majority of the prospect expect that the salesman should request for an order. Any way, prospects known that, salesman is on the receiving end. In fact, there is nothing wrong if the salesman asks for a direct order from the prospect. When the salesman comes to know that the prospect is very frank and has reached a decision point, then he can approach for order directly, by asking indirect questions like: “How many units shall I pack for you, Sir”, However, the salesman should be very continuous while putting such questions.
14. Show Proof Close:
In spite of best presentation by the salesman, the prospect wants some valid proof that his friends and relatives or others in the business have already purchased. He is a ‘cautious’ buyer and does not want to run any risk. Hence, the prospect insists on others’ purchases, which can be proved by showing the invoice book indicating the names and addresses and other details of purchases to him, in his area and other areas also. He should show the last dealings that have been entered into. This helps the suspicious prospect to place the order as his doubts are clear and that salesman is right in his claims.