3 Effective ways to Close the Sale !!
I have seen recruiters and other sales people make brilliant presentations or conduct excellent client visits only to falter at the last step; the close.
Closed questions are used to gain commitment from the client whether it's a sale, an appointment, a referral or whatever else you wish to walk away with.
The most obvious close is:” Will you buy?” and variations of this: “Are you happy for me to recruit for this position?” or “Will you list this position with me exclusively?”
They are closed questions because they require a “yes” or “no” answer and are used to close the deal.
This is where you ask the client to commit. Some avoid asking because they fear rejection or being too pushy. Others simply lack the skills to ask in the most appropriate manner that is going to bring home the bacon.
There are infinite types of closes and you must hone your skills to master the techniques so you can quickly and easily identify which one will get you & the client the best results.
There is the “assumptive close” where you speak as though, you're going to get the order. The conversation may go something like this:
Recruiter: You mentioned last time we spoke that you'll be replacing your Executive Assistant when she goes on maternity leave?
Client: Yes, we definitely need someone in that role.
R: As Mary is due mid July and may finish 6 weeks prior at the beginning of June, I believe it's time to recruit now, so the she can cross train the temp for a minimum of four weeks before she goes. How about I advertise for you now and secure the best possible person so the MD has the least possible disruption?
See how the recruiter just “assumes” she is going to get the job? The question has been shifted from “will I be the one to recruit?” to “when shall I recruit for you?”
Another effective close is what Zig Ziglar calls the “puppy dog close”. It comes from when pet shops used to say:”take the puppy home over the weekend and see how it gets on with the kids. There is no obligation to keep it.” Invariably a sale would be made.
In recruitment, we do this when a client is uncertain of a candidate. We offer the candidate to work as a temp, which is a similar “try before you buy” option. Provided the candidate is good, this option will usually end up being a permanent placement, because the client invests time and effort in the temp. The temp will automatically end up looking stronger than other candidates applying as they have inside knowledge of the job and company.
There's the “time sensitive close” which we see all the time in retail: “For 48 hours only, everything in store is 20% off”.
I've used this close towards the end of the month to push monthly billings up, so it might sound like this:
R: “Hi Miss Client, I know you mentioned that you want to hire Louise next month. To tell you the truth, as an office we're chasing a monthly target that will set us up nicely for the annual award, so as an one-off offer; if you hire Louise this month the fee will be 14.5% instead of 15%. You still get the same guarantee and service whilst getting a discount. The only difference is that you have to hire her before the end of this month to get the fee reduction”.
This strategy worked well when I ran the most profitable branch out of 30 branches nationally for five consecutive years. It's an easy way of bumping up your sales figures and the client wins too!
Then there's the 'two for one offer close”. When you have a client that cannot decide between two quality candidates, you simply say: “Seriously how lucky are we in this skill short market to find not one, but two perfect fits for you? Sometimes you just have to grab a gift with both hands. Let's be creative and see how you can hire both. Because when you want to expand your team in 6 months, you may not get such a perfect match. I'll even make it easier for you. If you hire them both, I'll charge you the 18% fee, we agreed on for one position this month and the next fee will not be due till next month. How does that sound?
Whichever closing technique you use, always come from a service point of view for the client. See how the above examples save the clients time, money and effort? If you come from a point of service every time and you spell out what the benefits are to your clients; closing not only becomes easy and fun, but the clients will thank you for being such a professional.