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Why I Hate Closing Techniques

Why I Hate Closing Techniques

"I will never, ever train people on closing techniques if they sell to the corporate marketplace."

Jill Konrath

“My salespeople need to get better at closing,” the Vice President of Sales said to me shortly after I arrived in his office.

If I’ve heard that line once, I’ve heard it a hundred times. Despite being on an important sales call, I couldn’t help but cringe. You see, I will never, ever train people on closing techniques if they sell to the corporate marketplace.

Why not? When you analyze what happens when you teach sellers how to be great closers, you’ll understand my perspective.

So right now, I want you to imagine yourself as a decision maker in a large organization. Perhaps you’re a manager or even an executive.

You agree to meet with a seller who’s been trying to set up a meeting with you for several months. When she mentioned the business results her firm was achieving with your competitor, you decided it was time to learn more.

But you’re still a bit leery. You’re absolutely swamped with a workload that’s so big you can’t seem to get out from under it.

After a 10-minute discussion with her, you start to notice that nearly every other sentence ends with a question: “Don’t you agree?” or “I’m sure you’ve experienced that?” or “Is that true here?”

(Because she’s been trained to “always be closing,” she starts using the “Constant Close Technique” right away. This method is designed to get your head bobbing up and down. The more “yeses” you say, the easier it’ll be for her to get your business.)

After sharing a bit more about her offering, she begins to implement the “Little-Decision Close” by asking:

• Do you usually start out with weekly or monthly orders?
• Can you get this through purchasing fairly easily?
• Do you agree that this methodology would be helpful?

(By getting you to agree to small things first, she’s warming you up for the big close.)