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  • BY LYNN WHITBECK

How to Be Great At Closing Sales Without Being Perceived as Too Salesy or Pushy

How to be great at closing sales without being perceived as too salesy or pushy is anchored in your worthy intent. Worthy intent means you genuinely desire to help, serve, and create lasting impact for your clients. It is coming from a place of aligned purpose. Your prospect has a need, problem, gap, or desire you can solve.

 

Far too often I see business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople falling into a perception trap or, worse, projecting their self-limiting beliefs into their client relationships. This perception trap keeps you from taking confident action to close your sale. These pitfalls are especially prevalent when salespeople are uncomfortable with sales and asking for the sale.


In Legally Blonde 2, Congresswoman Victoria Rudd falls into a perception trap of believing that support of “Bruiser's Bill” would negatively impact her political standing and relationships with influential lobbyists. She projects her own political view rather than discovering what matters to her allies.


In contrast, the protagonist Elle Woods approaches the same situation and potential alliances with worthy intent. She has genuine passion and determination in the cause. Elle builds relationships with various senators and representatives and she identifies common ground and personal interests to gain their support.


Ultimately, it’s your mindset and posture to solve and serve which enables you to close more sales with ease. Just like Elle in Legally Blonde 2, closing a sale is grounded in establishing shared values and interests. Then you guide your prospects to a decision. It’s your prospect who chooses to move forward. 

 

Here’s the thing: it’s your prospect's perception that equals truth, not your own. You have to get out of your own way.

 

Ask yourself: do I deliver a valuable product or service to my clients? Do I help and serve them? Do I create lasting impact? If the answers are YES, then you have an obligation to guide them to a decision, an obligation to close the sale to create the transformation your clients are seeking.


Definition of Too Salesy or Pushy

If you have ever seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, you have a perfect example of hard closes. The movie is considered a sales classic. Over the years, I had multiple people tell me I had to see it. Eventually, when I came across the DVD in a bargain bin, I picked it up and took it home—though the bargain bin should have been my first tell. 


The salesmen in the movie, desperate to make a close, cut corners and take gross ethical liberties at every turn. As I watched, I came close to throwing something through the TV— the storyline filled me with utter disgust.


Glengarry Glen Ross exemplifies why sales people get a bad rap. The movie exposes the ruthless ugliness of hard closing sharks. It reveals in horrible detail how being too salesy and pushy ignores the clients’ needs.

 

Difference Between Hard and Soft Closes

There are two types of closes – hard and soft. Full disclosure – I believe hard closes place a heavy emphasis on psychological tricks to force the sale. Hard closes ignore what happens immediately before and after the sale. Instead they pressure the buyer into saying “yes.”


Dishonest hard closing methods employ psychological tricks designed to give that final nudge. For example, in Now or Never Closes, a sleazy sales shark makes an offer that includes a special benefit that prompts immediate purchase. 


“This is the last one at this price!”


"We’ve got a 20% discount just for buyers who sign today.”


“If you commit to purchase now, you will be fast tracked to the front of the delivery schedule.”


This hard-close technique works for pushy sales sharks even today because it creates a sense of urgency. It’s all about right now, not the long-term client relationship.


The problem with hard closes is that they place a heavy emphasis on tactics designed to “force” a buyer into making a purchase. They also ignore what happens immediately before and after you ask for a commitment. While such tactics may work with individual buyers, they plant the bitter seed of being manipulated.


B2B buyers can’t be tricked or pressured into saying “yes” since dollar amounts are high, the risk of making a mistake is great, and there are often multiple decision-makers. When the time is right for a decision, it’s always best to maintain your worthy intent and close the sale by aligning priorities.


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To Be Great At Closing Sales Without Being Perceived as Too Salesy or Pushy

Soft Closes & Aligning Priorities

Let’s pause to take a cleansing breath. Closing is about helping your prospect solve the challenges they face, so they canSoft closes demonstrate the advantages of your product or service for your clients. They answer the core questions: would benefit them by - so they can.


Soft closes use low-impact questions to secure commitment. Low impact questions state the benefits without making demands. Here’s an example: 


“You’ve told me that creating efficiencies and streamlining your sales lead process is a top priority. How would our program of delivering highly qualified leads help you achieve your goal?”


This example aligns and summarizes the prospects business needs. They give the answer as to why your service is a fit.  It sets you up to ask your next closing question, such as, “would you like to start this month or next month?”


The key is to link your features and benefits to their input, and to focus on what they see as the paramount importance.

When you assume from the beginning that your prospect will buy, it enables you to pay attention to their situation and perspective. Bringing this level of positivity to the process is powerful and self-fulfilling. You make it easier for your client to say yes, because they recognize what they are getting.


Soft closes demonstrate the advantages of your product or service for your clients. They answer the core questions of your client. Hard closes do not.


Three Non-Manipulative Ways to Ask for the Sale

There are three non-manipulative ways to ask for the sale.Direct, Assumptive, and Choice. The Direct is a simple straightforward approach, and the most effective method to ask for the sale. A direct example is: 


“Would you like to move forward with this?” or “When can we can get started?”


The assumptive closing technique uses the power of suggestion by assuming your client has already made the decision to buy. Some examples are: 


“Can we start on the 15th?” and “Shall we set you up with automated invoicing?”


The third method is using a choice to close the sale. Offering a choice makes your client’s decision easier by giving them the option between “which”; rather than yes/no: 


“Would you prefer to start next week on the 15th? Or the following week on the 22nd?”


“Do you want the 3-month or 6-month installment plan?”


Each of these methods reinforce the relationship you have built to become a trusted partner.


You can also combine these three closing methods in any combination.  An example of combining choice and direct is: 


“You’ve told me that improving morale in your production team is a top priority. Would a 3-month trial prove our results or would 6 months be a better proof of concept?”


“Then, can we wrap this up?”


No matter which soft closing techniques you choose, make sure that you are clear and specific when you ask your prospect to close. If you don’t specifically ask to close the deal, you may never get a commitment to move forward. 


While it may seem easy to avoid asking because you don’t want to hear a “no” from the client, you will never get a yes.  Hearing “no” just means you have more concerns to address or the timing may not be right. 


Be bold and ask for the sale.


Closing Questions

Closing encompasses any and all incremental agreements you secure throughout your sales process. Keeping track of the all information you collect during the client journey will help you ask the right questions and close more deals.


When you focus on delivering value to your clients that “benefits them by, so they can,” you have earned the right to ask for the sale. This is following your worth intent.


While each industry, product, and service will have unique closing questions, you can move the sale forward with simple questions. Examples:


“Will delivery next Friday work, or would the Thursday be better?”


“Should we begin implementation planning the week of the 15th?”


The closing questions which follow are intended to only act as a guide. Make adjustments to fit your personality, organization, and product or service, and always adapt to your prospect’s situation and desired benefits.


“What are the steps we need to take to implement the program?”


“Based on what we discussed, our solution will deliver the results you are seeking, while increasing your capacity. Would you like monthly or bi-monthly billing?”


“We are really looking forward to partnering with you. Should we schedule the kickoff meeting next week or the following?”


“When would you like to start the trial program?”


“I so enjoy working with you and your team, and the way you are quickly expanding your market share. That’s why I would like to suggest our onsite service plan.”


“Can I write up the order as we have discussed?”


“Would you prefer having the order packed in 20 lb or 35 lb boxes?”


While these closing questions may not fit your business model, they provide a model you can follow. Go ahead and create queries that match your product or service while fitting your personal style.


Closing More Sales with Worthy Intent

The types of closes illustrated above are honest and ethical, and secure commitment without making demands. Strong sales and closing results begin with a burning belief in your service and your ability to make a significant positive impact for your client’s business. 


Approaching the sales process with worthy intent gives you the confidence your prospects will want to move forward with your solution because you provide a service that genuinely matches their needs.


Instead of ever being too sales or pushy, use worthy intent as your guide and strength to close your sales with integrity. Closing is about helping your prospect solve the challenges they face. And, when you are at their side to help them, you are honoring your integrity and authenticity. You will create the win-win of succeeding together. 


Focusing on worthy intent means you believe in yourself, your product or service, and your organization. You are in a unique position to be of real service to your client. You have the solutions for the challenges they are facing. It’s time to help them out and close the sale.


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Lynn Whitbeck | Founder & CEO Petite2Queen

Meet the author:

Lynn Whitbeck is the Queen of Sales. Business owners and entrepreneurs hire Lynn to ignite winning sales, because most are chasing down leads, lack client retention, conversion, and profit. So, Lynn helps eliminate the lengthy chaotic sales cycle to ignite your sales and unleash lasting profits. Bottomline, don't make this harder than it has to be, sales should be a win-win.

 

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