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March 27, 2007

Debunking Three Common Closing Myths

I often hear from agents who want to hone their skills that they feel they need to get better at closing. Truth is most successful agents are naturally good at selling and take for granted their instincts are most often right about closing.

Last century, the selling style in vogue was a rather manipulative, numbers game style.

"Closing" scripts or techniques were thought necessary to move a prospect to action. But do you like to be treated this way by a salesperson, or would you rather feel the salesperson was more interested in you and your needs than their desire to close the sale? These days, the salesperson that respects the client's needs and makes it easiest for them to make a decision comes out the winner!
Let's take a look at how things have changed through three common closing myths.

1. If they don't say yes now, your job is to find out why to solve the problem and CLOSE.

Bringing out the big guns and pressuring a close may be the worst thing you can do. This is, instead, a great opportunity to regroup and ask more questions. If you had thought everything was in line for them to make a decision and they aren't ready, you have obviously missed something. Effective listening is the most important skill in sales, yet salespeople too often try to talk their way to a sale, rather than listen to their way to it. In a situation like this, you may be dealing with the 14% of the population (based on Target Training International's DISC style analysis studies) that will NEVER be comfortable making fast decisions. When a "C" style says, they want to think about it, if you don't give them the space to do that they probably will NEVER do business with you.

2. If you know the right "script", you will be able to close anyone.

Relying again on the information about the four basic styles of communication tells us you will be more successful when you adapt your style to the style of your prospect. While scripts are useful to give you some pre-thought about handling objections, they must fit your way of communicating, or you'll come across as pushy or manipulative, rather than authentic. The moment that happens, you lose the trust of the prospect, and it is unlikely they will buy from you. Your authenticity, your being present and your genuine caring about the best interest of the client are more effective tools in your toolkit than scripts. Think about some of the most successful salespeople you know, and I bet they are true to their style, rather than relying on "closing techniques."

3. Asking for the order is being pushy or manipulative.

But in both of these cases, don't hesitate to ask for the order.
  • Summarize the facts and ask them if they are ready.
  • Paint an emotional picture of the satisfaction they will get when they can move forward to what's next.
  • Go over the financial picture and make sure things fit and get them excited if you have found a house that is below their maximum or you feel you can sell their home for more than they had expected.
  • Ask them what it will take for them to make a decision and then honor their needs.
The best negotiators always look for the win-win solution. It is easy for the other party to say yes to you if you have done a good job at listening to their needs, discovering their fears, building trust through your authenticity, and matching your services/products to their wants. You don't need manipulation or fancy objection handling techniques; you simply need to ask!

(Joeann Fossland, Certified e-PRO Trainer, GRI, PMN, is a Master Certified Coach and Founder of the Web Women Giving Circle. Joeann is the Creator of The Real Estate GameTM. You can reach her at http://www.joeann.com )

 

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