Always Be Closing? The ABC of Sales
You've probably heard the phrase in sales "Always Be Closing".
Whether you're a coach, consultant, accountant, agency owners or any other business. When you're building your company, generating qualified leads and closing new sales is crucial.
But the reality is that closing is not some special event... It does not happen at one point in time, instead, it’s an ongoing part of your sales process.
From your prospects perspective, there is not a single moment where they are closed. Instead they're regularly asking in their mind, do I want to do business with this person or company? A series of these small yes's will eventually lead to a big yes.
These small yes's begin in the lead generation or online marketing process, and they consistently occur throughout your sales process.
So should you always be closing? Yes and no... You should not always be trying to close the sale in the first meeting (unless your prospect is genuinely ready to move forward there and then).
Closing in a first meeting is great and yes sometimes it will happen (you'll know when it feels right), but if you push people too early to make a decision it can come across as high-pressure or pushy - causing you to break trust and lose the sale.
But you should always be closing for the next step in your sales process and forging a relationship built on trust trust over time to maintain that forward momentum.
With that being said, there will be a point when you need to close a sale and while it's not the grandiose event that many people think it is, you must still master the art of the ask. Asking for what you want is actually quite uncomfortable when you're getting started out in sales. It's easier to be passive and let the prospect choose the next step or just 'send over a proposal' and hope for the best.
You and your prospect might feel really confident at the end of that conversation that you'll do business together, but it's so common for sales opportunities to fizzle out simply because people didn't ask for the sale when the opportunity was there, instead, life got in the way for your prospect and they just didn't take action.
The problem is, that given the option, most prospects will choose to do nothing unless you can move them to take action. Not because they don't believe that you can help them, but because people naturally are hesitant to step outside of their comfort zones and when things get busy they put aside things they know they need to do.
Your job is to continuously plan and coordinate the next step in your sales process whether that's to gain a micro-commitment or if it’s time to wrap up the deal ask for what you want, directly, confidently and assumptively.
After all, at this point, it should be clear you can solve their challenge. When you've earned the trust of your prospect over several touch-points, sales is more about reassuring than persuading, it's a natural and subtle transition from prospect to client.
On a final note, even when you close the sale, you have only just begun a business relationship - so never drop the ball on that level of service you provide throughout the sales process.
Perhaps a better phrase than "Always Be Closing", as cliche as it sounds, is "Always Be Caring".
When you genuinely have service at heart, when you genuinely care about your prospect making the right decision to do business with you, then each gentle nudge in your sales process is an act of caring. When you adopt this mindset you will close more deals, faster, and become a sales force to be reckoned with.