LONG OR SHORT DIVISION?... let's look at the process of Closing the Sale. Most Salespeople shy away from closing 5 to 7 times with a particular prospect. ("Oh I could never do that! That might scare them away and then I will have nothing"). A good rule of thumb when closing is to take the approach to "close one more time than you are comfortable with". Typically this will not "scare them away", especially if they are motivated to buy. There are two techniques that most Salespeople use to Close the Sale. I liken them to the study of mathematics. It breaks down into either Long Division or Short Division. Have a look…
1. Long Division – this approach is where you never ask for the business. I call this… "Dividing by Zero"! You don't use any Trial Closes and you certainly don't use any Direct Closes. It is a form of risk avoidance. Essentially what you do is avoid rejection. You just stay in touch, keep giving them information, and hope they will eventually say YES. "We have decided to buy your product." OR "We're going to keep looking, we are not in any rush, you know."
2. Short Division… this approach is where you ask lots of questions ("Tell me more about your needs"), you sprinkle in some Trial Closes throughout your conversation ("Is this more what you're looking for? What price would you offer for this?"), and you are not afraid to use Direct Closes 5 – 7 times during the sales cycle ("This is the one isn't it? Are you ready to go ahead? Shall we get the paperwork started?").
One thing about the study of mathematics is that it is very logical. When things are logical, the results they produce are very predictable. If you use Long Division then the results will take longer…sometimes they will not happen at all.Don't "Divide by Zero". If you use Short Division the results will occur much more quickly. They don't always happen here either but at least you will know where you stand much sooner. This isn't just an exercise in "speeding up the process"… it is really an exercise in doing things the right way. Remember this, the longer you spend working with a sales prospect, the less chance that the sale will occur. Things happen over time… many of which you have absolutely no control. Motivation changes, buying power changes, the market changes. The one thing you do have control over is your strategy for Closing. It's a simple process to shorten the cycle… ask more often and you will get more sales. Stop thinking that you will chase them away because you asked them to buy. That is your job. If you don't do it… someone else will. NO Excuses.