How to Close a Sale & Provide Ongoing Service

Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

What's the most reliable way to close a sale with minimum drama? Work the sales process properly throughout the deal. In this lesson, we'll examine what steps you should be taking to make a sale, and what to do afterwards.

Work The Process

In baseball, a home run doesn't count unless the batter touches all of the bases as he heads for home. In sales, unless you have followed a few key steps along the way, the close may not go as planned. First we'll look at those steps, then we'll talk about what to do at the close and how to keep the customer happy afterwards.

Here are the key elements as you move towards the close:

  • Earn the right to ask for the sale - Closing a sale means earning the right to do so along the way. Being on time for appointments, answering questions promptly, delivering on all of your promises - these steps matter. Lay the groundwork properly so there's less drama at the end.
  • Identify the decision maker - Before you ask for the sale, you need to know who the decision maker is and what they need your product to offer. The person you're talking to might not be the person signing the sales order. Meet them if possible, but always keep them in mind.
  • Make sure you've identified their pain points - Businesses buy products that solve problems. what is your customer's pain point and how does your product help?
  • Create a sense of urgency - Attaching a deadline of some kind can help move the client towards a right-now decision. A limited-time offer will give them an incentive and make them feel like they're getting more value. Be careful not to pressure the client, though.
  • Handle objections as they come up - Try to anticipate what objections the customer may have so you can be prepared with an answer.
  • Always ask for next steps - At the end of every meeting or call, identify the next steps and get them on the calendar. If you have handled all of the objections and built more perceived value than your item's cost, the next step may be the close.

The End Is In Sight

You've rounded third and are heading for home plate. How are you going to score? There are many books full of traditional closing techniques for different situations, but many of these may feel manipulative in today's world. If you've knocked down all of the objections along the way and have built sufficient value in the customer's eyes, you can end things with two questions:

  • Have we answered all of your questions about our product? - This will smoke out any lingering questions and help you move forward.
  • Is there any reason we can't move forward with this order? - You'll either get the close (a win) or more information about what you need to do to secure the deal (also a win).

Building A Partnership

Congratulations on your order! Even if you have an implementation team that takes over from here, you should stay in touch with the client with follow-up calls or visits to make sure the product or service meets their needs. Why? As people say, it's easier to keep a client than to find a new one. By maintaining a relationship, you also increase the chance for potential up-sells down the road or referrals to the client's network. If you want to make sales a career, don't be the salesperson that disappears after the sale.

Whether or not you have an implementation team, make sure your glove's outstretched for client communication. You're their personal point of contact for the company, and if they do let you know about an issue, don't just forward their concerns to the support team -- take a role in making sure they feel like the company cares about them.

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