Prerequisites to Close

Before you attempt to close, you must earn the right to close.  Prior to asking for the order, there are essential conditions that must exist.  Any attempt to conclude the sales process without meeting these essential conditions will not only result in a lost sale but could be misconstrued as high-pressure selling tactics.

1.  The Customer Must Want or Need Your Product or Service

Your obligation in professional selling is to provide solutions to meet the customer’s requirements.  If a need for your product or service does not genuinely exist, or if it is clear to you what you have to offer will not satisfy the prospects problems with solutions that are in their best interest, then move on to other prospects.
Secondly in regards to wanting what you have to offer, prior to asking for the order you must have kindled a strong buying desire.  Awakening the buying desire is the function of the presentation.  Also the function of the presentation is to bring clarity and understanding about the benefits of your products and services.  If you prematurely attempt to close before arousing sufficient buying desire or before your prospects gain complete understanding of the benefits, you will destroy your chance for the sale.

2.  Your Customer Must Be Able to Use Your Product or Service
Your customer should be able to take advantage of your offering for its intended use.  This means never oversell or undersell. Selling a small, low-volume copy machine to a medium-sized business is underselling their needs.  Likewise, placing a high-speed copier capable of producing 20,000 copies per month to a two-person start-up venture is grossly overselling the small business.

3.  The Customer Must Be Able to Afford Your Product or Service
Your customer should not only have sufficient funds to buy, but be able to own without being strapped.  If individuals and companies are sold products that result in financial burden, they are not truly enjoyed.

Whenever my wife and I enjoy dinner out, she invariably seeks the waiter’s recommendation.  It is not that she lacks confidence in her ability to select a meal, only that she seeks reassurance.

In most cases your customer seeks your recommendation prior to the buying decision.  Like my wife, it is not that the buyer lacks total self-confidence with his decision, only that he seeks reassurance.  As a salesperson, you operate as an assistant buyer and many times will be asked, "In your opinion what do you recommend?"  And you answer, "This particular model would be the best one for you."  The customer then places the order based on you advice.

Remember… be sensitive and only offer perfect solutions that satisfy the customers wants, needs, and budget.

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