. We often cover topics such as selling and objection handling in this newsletter.  Both are very valuable to the sales process, but let's face it, without a close you are just wasting your time and breath.  

Every sale starts with a pitch (an explanation of what your product or service can provide for a customer.)  This of course is comprised of features and benefits, but this is only a set up for the final question, "Would you like to buy this or not?"
 

Typically after you ask for money you will hear objections.  If you handle the objections well then you will have another opportunity to pose the question again.
 

How you pose this question can make or break a sale.  The following are tips to help you build a more effective closing question:  

Don't's:
 

--  Don't ask, "So what do you think?"  Open ended questions may be good for objection handling, but a closing question needs to be a decisive yes or no (there is a way to get around this, we will explain in the Do's.)   

--  Don't appear nervous.  If you seem nervous in a close your customer will fear that you are ripping them off.  If you are nervous about asking for money maybe you should re-evaluate your product/services's value or price-point.
 

--  Don't agree or un-sell.  If a prospect gives an objection, handle it.  You can understand their concerns, but don't agree with the customer on perceived deficiencies.
 

--  Don't offer a way out.  Don't say, "Why don't you go home and think about it."  A money back guarantee is a good idea here.  Let them pay you first, then they can refund if they truly regret the sale.  

--  Don't argue.  Again if you get an objection don't get angry and argue.  Use your objection handling training.
  -- 

Don't talk
.  After you pose your closing question - shut up.  Sit in silence until the customer says something.  The more they talk the better they will feel about the sale.
 

Do's:
 

There are many types of closes.  Three in particular when used together make a very powerful combination.
 

--  Do use a "puppy dog" close.  Give your customer a free sample.  This way they will have already experienced your features and benefits in a visceral manner.  They also will feel slightly indebted to you.  

 --  Do use an "assumptive" close.  Assume that your customer loves your product/service and is going to buy.  This confidence will alleviate their concerns about being ripped off and negate any self-deficiencies that you may be harboring.  

--  Do use a "which" close.  Have two options for your customer to choose from.  This way you don't have to ask a yes or no question.
 

--  Do try to get the customer to admit that they like your product/service.  Once they say it out loud the will feel more pressure to purchase.  

The following is an example of the culmination of these closes:
 

Say you hand someone a free sample of frozen yogurt.  They say they like it.  Follow up with the question, "Which size would you like; small, medium, or large?"
 

You might be surprised at how many people will just choose one without any fight at all.
 

Now consider the alternative.  You describe the flavor and the benefits of the yogurt, and then follow up with, "So, what do you think?"  

Which do you think will get better results? 
 

For help with handling objections please refer to our
SalesDogs Training School Kit. For help with sales refer to Blair Singer's book SalesDogs.  For help with closing techniques please contact your local SalesPartner.
 
(An excerpt from "Little Voice" Mastery by Blair Singer, adapted from Lynn Grabberhorn and her book "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting.")  "Have you ever been excited about a great idea you've had, and when you shared it with someone else, he or she looked at you, unfazed, and said, "Yeah, so?" You were enthusiastic and the other person was apathetic.  

On an emotional scale, they're light years apart.  In fact, you'd find "apathy" somewhere close to "dead" on that scale, just below fear, sadness, anger, or frustration.  And probably right up top, you'd find "enthusiasm."
 

So, your job in this technique is to identify where you or someone else falls on the emotional scale, and to help that emotion to rise up the scale accordingly.
 

For example, I might say to myself, "I'd rather be enthusiastic right now."
 

And then I'd ask myself, "Well, where am I on the emotional scale?"
 

"Well," my little voice might say, "I just don't care."
 

"No, it's not that I don't care.  I'm just afraid."
 

"Is it really fear?"
 

"No, it's not fear.  It's frustration.  That's what it is.  I'm frustrated."
 

"So what's the frustration?"
 

"Well, I can't seem to get the resources I need to get all of these projects completed on time..."
 

Once I've identified the emotion I'm really feeling, then I can ask myself, "How do I want to feel right now?  Do I want to feel enthusiastic?  Do I want to feel depressed?
 

Ask yourself how you want to feel and then allow yourself to feel it.  If you can't make yourself feel it, recall a time in the past when you did feel it, or at least a time that put a smile on your face.
 

One moment I like to recall is when I watched my son kick his first goal into the net in a soccer game.  I smile every time I think of him jumping up and down with that big, Cheshire cat-grin plastered on his face.
 

Before I know it, I'm back to where I want to be emotionally."
 

For the rest of "Little Voice" Mastery Technique # 16:  How to CHOOSE How You Want To Feel as well as 20 additional life changing techniques, please refer to Singer's book, "Little Voice" Mastery.
 
 The following is titled "How to Be Totally, 100 % Present" (an excerpt from Blair Singer's book, "Little Voice" Mastery.  Techniques courtesy of Jayne Johnson.  

"This little voice management technique is very powerful.  It takes two people, or you could do this in a mirror with yourself.
 

Sit knee-to-knee (you don't have to touch each other) and look at each other, eyeball-to-eyeball, without talking.  

I know it seems weird, but the purpose of this is to get you present and centered when you're feeling scattered, overwhelmed, or frenzied, or if you simply need to be totally focused when approaching a challenge.  

The rules, as you face each other, are no talking and no flinching for at least three minutes.
 
 

If you can do it for longer than that, great.  The little voice in your brain will start going crazy.
 

"This is nuts," it will say.  "What does this person think of me?  I don't want to do this.  I've got other things to do."
  That's okay.  Just let your little voice run on.  Do your best to stay in the present.  

If you can do this, you'll find magical things happen.  All of a sudden your brain will become very quiet.  You'll be able to listen to yourself.   You can connect with the other person.  That doesn't mean you have to be in love with that other person - you don't need to find him or her attractive, or even like that person.  You just have to remain present.  

After a while of practicing this, your ability to connect, listen, and stay in the moment will be incredible.   

The next time your spouse talks to you, you will really hear it.
 

The next time your sales prospect tells you something, you'll feel connected, instead of listening to your little voice on overdrive as it scrambles for answers.
 

You will find people attracted to you because somehow they feel connected, understood, and acknowledged
."
 

For the rest of this technique, one of 21 techniques for reprogramming your mind for an amazing life, please refer to technique # 10 in Singer's book, "Little Voice" Mastery.