Sales Success Obstacle #6: Inability to Close a Sale

We are continuing to count the seven biggest obstacles that hold sales professionals back. Last time we looked at the failure to improve consistently. Today we are discussing the sixth obstacle in sales:

The inability to close a sale.

Why Do People Buy?

In my early days of selling, this was a huge problem for me! And since then, I have discovered that the ability to close a sale is a problem for many other people. If you are like how I was back then, then this scenario may sound familiar: You can have a great conversation, ask some good questions, and uncover some clear needs that can be met. But when the time comes to close the sale, something happens, and you walk away empty-handed.

Since those early days, I’ve learned that people buy based on emotion, and they justify with logic. In other words, every buying decision is an emotional decision. To a salesman, a good selling conversation will guide you into the prospect’s points of pain and passion. If you never uncover pain or passion, you will probably never close the sale.

3 Keys to Closing the Sale

There are three keys to a successful close.

  1. The first is emotions. Through your conversation, look for moments of emotion. Don’t be afraid to linger there. When you hit a spot that matters to your prospect, stay there and ask more questions. Draw out the emotion. It could be a feature they love, a fear they have of missing out or some other kind of emotion. But when you see it, use it.
  2. The second is buying signals. Be watching for both verbal and visual buying signals. The prospect may give you a signal they are ready to purchase right then and there…if that’s the case, go in for the close. Don’t keep going down your script or waste time with other discussions. If you don’t strike when the iron is hot, your prospect may start having second thoughts. Part of closing is knowing when the time is right and when to ask the right questions, which leads to the third key.
  3. The third is strong closing questions. When you’ve detected that the prospect is ready to buy, have some good closing questions in your back pocket ready to ask. Questions like, “Did you want to make the down payment today with a check or credit card?” Or “Did you want to pay in full today or have a monthly installment plan?” Give them a Call to Action that allows them to take action immediately.

There is an art to this, but with practice and evaluation, you can improve your ability to close the sale. You might consider engaging a coach to help you with your questions and scripts, as well as to help you increase in your self-awareness and other awareness. As a sales coach and sales trainer serving the Houston area, I am here to help you overcome this obstacle. Contact us if you want to have a no-obligation strategy session to take your sales to the next level.

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Glenn Smith is a sought-after Executive Coach with over two decades of experience. Recognized for his strategic insights and leadership training, Glenn has been a guiding force for more than a hundred successful small to mid-sized businesses. Merging data-driven strategies with profound insights into human behavior, he aids business owners and executives in realizing their fullest potential. A respected thought leader, Glenn has contributed to numerous business publications and is a popular keynote speaker. Outside his professional realm, Glenn cherishes family time and outdoor activities. He is a pilot with over 30 years of flight experience. He is also a professionally trained gunsmith and a firearms instructor. His dedication to fostering leadership and driving transformative change marks him as a premier figure in executive coaching.


sales success obstacle inability to close a sale

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