Jo Why Lee

London - United Kingdom

    The Power of Unresolved Issues When Closing a Sale

    May 29, 2014

    Closing is a time when unresolved issues are all pushed to the surface.

    There’s a tendency sometimes when we’re in the middle of a complex sale to put off or bury questions and concerns in order to focus on the main points of agreement. On the whole this can be a good strategy. One of the aspects of positive selling is to focus on what you agree on, rather than get bogged down in disagreements about smaller issues. That said, though, before you close the deal, you’re going to have to resolve pretty much all the issues that have come up in the course of the sale. Because if you don’t, there are two places they’re going to reappear: the closing and during contract-signing.

    If they surface at either of these two points, it’s quite possible that they’ll assume an importance quite out of proportion to their real significance. It’s possible that they can sink the sale altogether, even if you and the client are in basic agreement on the big questions.

    How should you approach these issues?

    1 Firstly don’t get hung up on small questions. Get agreement first on the big issues. Sometimes the smaller questions will simply go away when you do this.

    2 After each meeting with the client, send a follow-up e-mail summarizing what you’ve discussed, what you agreed on, wheat were points of disagreement, and what issues were left unresolved or un-discussed. This will do away with the problem of smaller questions getting forgotten until the closing.

    3 In between sales calls, review the unresolved questions and come up with solutions.

    Elements of a Good Close

    A bad close is easy enough to identify: It’s when both you and client walk away from the meeting hoping that you never have to talk to one another again. So what are the main parts of a good sales close?

    1 Both you and the client feel good about the deal. You can both clearly see the upside of it, and you understand and are excited by the opportunities it offers.

    2 There are no significant unresolved issues.

    3 Both of you clearly understand the terms of the deal. This is going to come up again at the contract stage, when you and your legal team will carefully review the terms of the sale, so it’s essential that you and the client don’t have any surprises. If there’s any ambiguity in our mind, it’s good to resolve it before completing the close.

    4 The deal has set up a future, ongoing relationship. Each individual sale is a brick in the larger edifice of a strong relationship with your client. A one-time sale is just that: good for one time only, and of limited benefit. A successful close should set the stage for a long, productive relationship between you and the client.

    If you are not happy with your sales closing technique or any other part of your sales process for that matter, don’t be afraid of considering sales training. While some people are natural born sales people the vast majority learn sales skills and techniques through experience and through training. There are a plethora of resources available online as well as a number of reputable companies that offer everything from one day short courses to much more intensive training programmes.

    Read Jo's other blog entries >

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