26 Feb 2012

Old School ABC’s of Closing. New Again!

A B C of Sales
“Always Be Closing”
The Old School is New Again

“What do I need to do to get you into this beauty right here?”
“Did you bring your checkbook today?”
“Let’s light this candle!”
“The house you think about today, someone already thought about yesterday and will be deciding to take it today. Let’s write it up!”
“Take a chance! You only live once! This is a once in a lifetime deal!”

I dare say that we’ve heard all the greatest closing lines in the history of sales. Every time I walk onto a car lot, into an insurance salesman, a time-share pitch or any other store front where you know you’re about to get assaulted with closing lines, I cringe. Once you drop a cheesy line like any of the ones above, you may have lost a client. They’ve been there; heard that, and suddenly you don’t stand out as the salesman they want to find that has their best interests at heart. How can you “always be closing” without the customer thinking you’re always trying to close them? How can we subtly bring our customers to the best decision?

Closing questions do not have to be about closing on the entire deal! You should be asking subtle closing questions from the beginning; getting them so say “yes” along to way to gain what I like to call a “Yes Momentum”. In order to gain your “Yes Momentum”, you need to have already asked your amazing open ended questions that allowed them to paint a picture of the home that they are looking for. With those mental notes and handwritten notes that you have so dutifully taken in mind, when you go to view the handful of homes that fit their criteria, you’ll be able to start asking them small and subtle closing questions to gain your “Yes Momentum”.

For instance, if you know they are looking for an open plan, large secondary bedrooms, an island kitchen with a breakfast bar because they entertain frequently, a large master bathroom with separate vanities and a flat backyard, I will assume you’ve already used the MLS to only take them to homes that fit these criteria. If you didn’t, back it up and catch up on my earlier blogs.

The closing questions that you need to ask are called “Trial Closes”. They help you test the water and get several small yesses until you’ve got enough momentum to ask the big question. Here are a few examples of what you can ask, given what we know about our buyers from above.

“This seems like the openness you were wanting, don’t you think?”
“Does this feel open and airy to you?”
“Check out these secondary rooms. Very spacious don’t you think?”
“I think you’re kids furniture will fit here, don’t you?”
“This kitchen has the island, breakfast bar and great entertaining space that you need, right?”
“Isn’t this kitchen made for entertaining?”
“Doesn’t this master give you the space you’ve been needing?”
“Oh these separate vanities will finally give your rightful space, don’t you think?”
“Oh gosh! I can just imagine the trampoline and the swing set here, can’t you?”

These are just a few examples of how ordinary conversation can subtly turn into a continuous close by gaining a “Yes Momentum”. If you’ve been getting enough positive feedback, you’ll feel confident to ask the big close question and to your buyer, it won’t seem out of place or awkward. One of the toughest things for realtors is to ask the final close question. Don’t take them around all day and look at 15 different houses until they buy or die. Take them to a few, ask great trial closes, get the “Yes Momentum” and then summarize and go in for the kill!

For example, in this scenario, it might go like this:

Summarize: “Mary, it seems like this home has all the things in it that you were looking for. It’s got a beautiful open great room that you loved, a perfect entertaining kitchen, it has the space for your kids’ furniture and all their toys like you said you really needed, a place for you to relax with enough space in the master bedroom and bathroom to spread out, plus an amazing flat backyard that accommodates all your backyard needs.”

Close: “Since this seems like it has what you’ve been telling me are the most important things to you, why don’t we get the paperwork started?”

They’ll either say, “Yes.” Or they may have an obstacle to get over before making a decision. In that case, you simply take a step back and ask, “What do you think is preventing you from making a decision now?” Allow them the time to open up to you about what their thoughts and concerns are so that you can help them over that obstacle. When they feel better about it, ask again. Closing is easy when you’ve paved the way with trust, great questioning skills, trial closes and making sure that your clients know their best interests are your primary goal.

So, you should Always Be Closing, but in a way that’s subtle and allows the client to feel like you’ve listened to their needs and know exactly what they want in a new home. Gain the “Yes Momentum” and you’ll never be afraid to ask the BIG closing question again!

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