They laughed when I asked what their secrets to closing sales were. I was confused initially as almost all said they could give me their favorite closes but their recommendation to salespeople who need to close better is not to focus on closing at all. They recommended that furniture & mattress salespeople who need to close more sales focus on their greeting, needs analysis, selection, and presentation skills. As you read the specific closes that the best retail salespeople use please heed their advice and improve all the other steps that lead up to a successful sale.
Direct Close- When it came time to close my friend Henry Habeeb used to ask, “Can I write that up for you?” I could never ask that question but Henry was comfortable with it. Henry was and is a great retail furniture and mattress salesperson.
Alternate of Choice- I use alternate of choices from my greeting through my needs analysis as well as my closing. The alternate of choice is probably the easiest close to use. It simply involves a choice between two alternates. The choice in most furniture and mattress stores is, “Mrs. Jones would you like to pick it up or have it delivered?” or “Mrs. Jones would you like to charge it or finance it?”
Assumptive Close- Top salespeople after they have completed their selling process simply start filling out the paperwork. Unless the customer stops them the sale is consummated.
Minor Point Close- Closing on a minor point is one of the favorite closing techniques of the top retail salespeople. They actually ask a closing question on a minor point which indicates they have bought the entire solution.
Combination Closes- The best closes combine several closes into one. If you are closing on a bedroom set, asking the customer, “Mrs. Jones, would you like one nightstand or two?” combines the alternate of choice close with the minor point close. It also assumes the bedroom set. It does not matter what we call it. What matters is that it works!
Starbuck’s Close- It’s really a reverse of the reduction to the ridiculous close. Thanks Lori! If a customer has a Starbuck’s coffee in her hand this can be used as a close or to simply change her perspective. It involves asking a few questions. Most salespeople will casually volunteer their favorite flavor and then ask, “What flavor are you drinking today?” Hopefully when the customer is asked how often they drink a Starbuck’s coffee they will say everyday. If they drink one three times a week you can still use this close. Using $4 as the average drink this can be adjusted to the customer. 3 x $4 = $12 – how much they spend per week. $12 x 52 = $624 – how much they spend in a year. $624 x 10 = $6240 – how much they spend in ten years. The salesperson has just created the money for up to a $6240 mattress set if the customer is willing to forego their Starbuck’s coffee. If nothing else it puts the new mattress set in perspective compared to an everyday item that customers do not even consider a luxury. Coffee hurts your health and an ultra premium sleep set can actually help your health, vitality, mood, and productivity!
Action Step- Please find my article on my website at http://peteprimeau.com and post your comments or questions. I answer them all. There have been entire books written on closing sales. Please post your favorite closes. For more ideas or to share successes please call me at 419-560-3169.
Wishing You Success,