Closing: Problems and Solutions

The fact that there are countless problems that you can encounter in closing the sale makes it all but impossible to outline each one; and also unnecessary to do so if you understand the fundamentals.

The ultimate solution is to orient your efforts to the underlying principles of all sales and closing activities. Learn the principles and your closing techniques will take care of themselves.

But as many salespeople want to see examples of various closing techniques and methods in use, here are a few of the more common closing problems and solutions to them.


Problem: Customer is resistive to closing the deal today.
Solution: It’s commonly one of these three types of customer:

  1. I don’t know = (uncertainty?)
  2. Stalls = (fear?)
  3. Money = (too little or too much?)

The common denominator of these types is that each one is a vague generality. Do whatever you need to do to get it down to specifics. Discover the real problem. Commonly what they say it is, isn’t it. They’re telling you what they think you want to hear, so you won’t keep selling them. Go back and clarify their purposes and simplify the process of giving them what they want.

Problem: You’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get in contact with someone who is avoiding you, not returning calls, not responding.
Solution: You’re now positioned in their minds as a problem, not a solution. You’ve skipped a step in the sales process. Go back, simplify what you’re doing and clarify their purposes. Align your selling procedure with their purposes and you’ll start looking like a solution instead of a problem.

Problem: The client has made a decision to buy. But the minute he has to pay for it, something kicks in that tells him not to do it.
Solution: Reorient them to their original purpose, clarify what they were once trying to achieve, want to achieve today or in the future, simplify the way they can get it.

Problem: Indecision
Solution:  People who don’t understand can’t decide. Find out what they don’t understand and clarify it.

Problem: Uncertainty (one of the worst enemies)
Solution: Provide 3rd party satisfied customers; video audio, written testimonials. Look for a skipped step in the sales process.

Problem: Salesperson is too pushy.
Solution: Bullying the customer) is never a good method as it always creates resistance. The answer is found in the correct definition of the word control.

In selling, the word is commonly used as a verb, as in, “to control the sales process . . . . ” When you are in control, it means that you are able to direct a situation, person or sales activity successfully.

When you are out of control and must resort to forcing the customer, you have made your job harder than it should be, as they become even less manageable.

Effective, comfortable control does not create resistance. Instead, it allows you to help the customer avoid the pain of buying and enjoy the pleasure of owning.

Problem: People let you do a presentation, but never get the go-ahead on the sale.
Solution: You’re talking to people who can only say “No.” Get in front of the decision-maker. Find the hardest person in the organization to get in front of. They are the ones who can say “yes.” And they are the easiest to close.

Problem: Salespeople are making presentations, but never seal the deal.
Solution:  Most salespeople never ask for the close. Don’t be afraid to ask for the order. Too many shy away from attempting the close for fear of rejection. Instead, they let the customer walk away and wait for them to make up their mind or think it over.  But the salesperson never asked for the sale. At least the sales rep could have said, “What would it take to wrap this up today? Or “Why can’t we finish this today so we can get started on the (product/service)?

Problem: Countless attempts to close a client on a $5,000 donation have failed.
Solution: Maybe your solution is not big enough. Maybe you’re asking for too little. Likely the prospect feels that $5K wouldn’t do anything thing to help because it’s too little. Instead, as for 20X that amount. Then you’ll be take seriously and you’ll get the donation.

Problem: They seemed very interested and ready to listen in the beginning. Now you’ve gone through your whole presentation and they seem bored and ready to leave.
Solution: You bypassed the point when you should have done a trial close by asking, “Have you seen enough to make a decision yet? If so, close the deal right then. Don’t get married to every slide in your presentation just because you were up all night putting it together.

Problem: They seem to need and want what you’re offering but are unwilling to move ahead.
Solution: You haven’t found the real problem yet. There is one, but you haven’t established yourself as someone they can really trust with their secret problem. Go back and establish a real contact with that individual (not just the job title). Trust is something you can’t sell and you can’t buy. It is either freely given or it doesn’t exist.

Problem: The client has had bad experiences with your company or product.
Solution: Once they trust you and like you, they may try your product or company again only because they believe in you. Sell yourself first, the company second.

Problem: No matter what you say, they only counter with, “That won’t work.” or “I tried that already.”
Solution: You’re running into failed attempts at solving the problem in the past. They are still fixed on their failures and can’t see any solution. Stop selling. Start listening. Ask them what they were initially trying to accomplish and what they have tried before. If they are still sure that nothing will ever work, stop resisting them.

Instead, tell them, “You’re right. If what you’re telling me is true, there really is no hope of ever getting what you say you want. But if you still want (to expand, lower cost or whatever), a new approach has to be attempted. You can’t just keep doing the same things over again and expect different results.” Next, present your solution again, but in a new moment in time. This time to much more receptive ears.

Closing the sale is different than selling. It has it’s own techniques and methods and you must know them. There are literally countless numbers of methods you can use to solve closing problems. To outline each one is an impossibility.

But, the principles of closing are few and apply to all people in all situations. The fundamentals always deal with people.  The one single common denominator in all sales is this: you’re in the people business.

Understand people and you’ll understand all selling.

Understand the principles of selling and the methods will take care of themselves.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2012-2030, all rights reserved


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