But then, you don’t hear from them for a few days.
. . . and a few more days . . .
You never hear back.
You have absolutely no idea why. You can’t help but wonder, “what else could I have done?!” You run through all of the efforts you put into each and every part of what you thought was going to be a definite sale, but you still cannot discover what went wrong.
You recap in depth. You uncover that yes, you communicated your value by showing them your portfolio and examples of your work. And yep, you shared past client reviews and held various meetings (online and in-person). And, you emailed back and forth, and jumped on the phone, to continue moving things along.
Well, you totally get an A for doing all these things to guide the person interested in your products/services through the sales process and familiarizing them with your business, building a connection, and establishing trust.
BUT, you missed the point in your communication where you were supposed to actually close.
I’m going to hit you with some serious truth right now: Sharing in a positive goodbye is NOT closing a sale.
What you’re doing is you’re leaving the conversation far too open-ended and leaving the ball in the other person’s court. You’re hoping they throw it back, but you’re just crossing your fingers that you’ve done enough.
A close is exactly what it sounds like. It’s not leaving anything up in the air and making sure that a “maybe” customer doesn’t walk away.
So now you’re probably wondering how you do that, right?
Here’s the answer—you prompt your prospective client to make a decision. And you do that by following the steps below . . .
1 // Confront ALL the Issues (Again)
When you feel like you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve answered all the questions, confronted all the concerns, and presented solutions for each and every one of those worries, you again ask if there’s ANYTHING else that’s holding back your wanna-be customer from moving forward with you.
I know—at times this approach can feel sooo awkward, but this practice is what confronts the real roadblocks preventing someone from saying, “Yes!” This is the difference between someone who isn’t your client becoming someone who is.
So put on your big business-owner pants and ask one more time to make absolutely certain that you’ve covered everything to put your buyer in complete comfort and confidence that YOU are their only choice.
2 // Ask Where Your Potential Client Is in the Decision-Making Process
If you’ve resolved all potential roadblocks, communicated all the essential and desirable details about your business and offering, and your potential client still isn’t pulling the trigger, then it’s time to ask about where he/she is in the decision-making process.
I personally do this with those I’m trying to move into a contract with by summarizing our experience together—recapping all that we’ve covered and talked about. Then, I flat out ask where they are in making a decision.
This method opens up the conversation to an even deeper level, encouraging the person in front of you to provide more insight into what’s going on in their mind. Being this honest and direct gets you closer to an actual decision (which is the ultimate goal here).
3 // Have All the Closing Elements Ready and Explained
You’ve got to close this now. You can’t leave room for this person to find other options out there. There are other creatives who are just as hungry as you are and provide great products and services as well.
It’s essential that you make the closing process as easy and stress-free as possible.
A great way to do that is to have all the documents and finalization steps ready to go. If that means you need a payment submitted and a signed contract, then make sure that you have a customized agreement and the methods of payment readily available. If closing means scheduling an in-person meeting, include two to three dates and times that you are available THIS week. If that means you need a questionnaire filled out, send it in your closing email.
The point is to make it as easy as possible for the person you are communicating with to truly commit.
4 // Make It Timely
As you’re following these closing steps, it’s so important to actually get a completion date, meeting scheduled, or contract signed.
“To move forward with me, I require a 50% retainer and a signed contract. Should we go ahead and set this up right now so you’re good to go?”
The language I used above helps move possible clients along. It’s not being tricky or sneaky. It’s simply guiding the conversation towards what you hope is going to happen. This also demonstrates professionalism because you are taking initiative and being clear and concise.
If they come back and say they need to organize their finances or require more time to think about it, then it’s your job before they leave the conversation, walk out of the meeting, or exit your store to have a confirmed date and time you’ll hear from them, as well as the best way to get back in contact with them.
By doing this, you’re setting a sense of urgency for this closing transaction’s completion and holding them to a deadline.
What you’ve been doing to try and close with your ideal clients and customers isn’t enough. If you’re tired of leaving things up to chance, you’ve got to be more intentional and direct in your language while providing all the information and key documents needed for the person on the other end to make a decision. By following the four steps above, you’re making sure that you have covered all your bases and set you and your business up for a successeful sale!