“Closing the sale” does not always mean closing for the sale. Sometimes it’s best, even necessary, to close for “other kinds of buying action”. What “other kinds”?
In the ideal case, you will be closing for the order— that is, you will be asking the prospect to buy.
But if you are selling a higher-priced or perhaps more complicated product or service, the “selling cycle” may extend over several meetings.
In that case, it would be unrealistic to expect the prospect to sign the order too early. Still, an essential sales technique when closing is for you to ask and get back some kind of agreement from the prospect at each stage before you go on to invest more time and effort.
For example, on your first call, you might simply be introducing yourself and your product, and collecting information about the prospect’s operation. You might then plan to process that information and then make a second call to present your proposed solution.
But you don’t want to let one call automatically follow another.
At the end of each meeting, it is essential to “close” the prospect for agreement to meet again.
Thus at the end of each call, you need to close for some kind of buying action (if not the full sale).
You might even “close” for the prospect to agree to come to your office for a demonstration, or may close for the prospect agreeing to block off a full, uninterrupted hour for your next meeting.
If she is not willing to make this commitment, then it is probably not worth your while proceeding in investing more of your time. Thus, if your closing for that commitment yields no, then that gives you the freedom to probe, ask why not, then deal with whatever objections you hear.
What kinds of buying action might you ask for?
When you ask the Prospect to take “buying action,” just what kind of actions can you reasonably ask for? Most of the time, the action will be the obvious one of buying your product or service.
But in some cases, that may be too large a step to ask for initially, so you may instead ask the Prospect to take or authorize some intermediate step that must be completed before you can actually conclude the sale.
You might ask the Prospect to attend a demonstration of your product in action, or you might ask for a commitment that if you are able to prove your case through a financial proposal, they will buy.
Granted, that is just an oral commitment, not a signed contract, but by asking for that agreement you alert them that there are consequences, and hence that they should think it through now, not just passively agree to –well, let’s face it — to wasting your time!