“Closing” a Sale

  • Closing” a Sale: What’s In A Word       By Gene Griessman 

A salesman recently told me that he doesn’t like the expression “closing” a sale. Said it sounds like manipulation. Said a close is something you do to someone. Said he does consultative selling.  Said he doesn’t close a sale. He begins a relationship.

I did direct selling in order to earn money for college. My sales manager used the word “close” without hesitation to describe what he expected me to do. He even had a close that had been written by a superstar that I could memorize, which I did.

Using that “close” I made quite a bit of money selling a product (high-end cookware) that customers loved.

I still use questions to guide the conversation to a decision-making moment, which I have no problem calling a “close.”  Here’s one of those questions: “If we can agree on a fee and a date, could you make a decision now?”

Is this whole discussion about the word “close” just much ado about semantics? Let’s see.

My salesman friend is right about one thing. A close is something you do to the other person. You guide that person to a decision. You persuade that person to act. You bring the selling part of the transaction to an end. What you’re seeking is closure. So I don’t have a problem with the word.

But I do agree that a “close” can also be the start of something…a pleasant and mutually beneficial relationship.

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You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.

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