Read all the way to the end to see a special tutorial video by Joshua Giuliani on this topic.
My sales journey began when I was 14 and 9 months old – the legal age to work here in Australia. I started working at Aussie Disposals, a camping retail store, selling sleeping bags, tents and other products I absolutely never used in my personal life for almost 7 years. After that, I managed to lock down a job at Fairfax Media – one of Australia’s premium media publishers – selling advertising for The Age newspaper and other nationally recognised publications.
Although I had zero interest in camping gear or news publications, it became apparent to me that selling had very little to do with the subject matter and was more dependent on HOW one conducted themselves throughout the sales process. Psychology, tone, strategy, being strong at times, submissive at other times and many more elements all played a part in the success or failure of a sales conversation.
Even with this newfound intrigue in sales, I was barely able to sell by the time I decided to leave Fairfax Media and start my own digital marketing business, Tondo Digital, in late 2016. I found sales to be confronting, scary and uncomfortable at times. The only difference in late 2016 was that the person paying the wage was me.
Being an average salesperson was not good enough anymore. I hit critical mass, I was frustrated by a lack of conversion and my survival instincts kicked in. I spent THOUSANDS of dollars on sales coaches. I did free work for sales gurus in return for their help. I went to countless sales seminars and spent a ridiculous amount of time practising various techniques in the field.
The techniques were ok – they helped. But, they weren’t the rock-solid solution I was searching for and were often confusing or difficult to follow. Then it hit me. I looked at each of the separate techniques and found that pieces of them fit nicely into a Frankenstein style sales method of my own creation. A step-by-step solution that took all the best parts out of the systems and techniques that I had been taught.
I tried the new system and it worked. Again and again.
I had cracked it. FINALLY, I had an easy to follow and replicable system for business to business sales that converted better than any one of the techniques I had been taught.
This system I created, tested and used to turn Tondo into a 6-figure business is covered extensively in my online course, Sales to Success in Seven Steps, but the most questions I get from keen salespeople are constantly regarding one step in particular: The Close.
That is the step I want to cover in this post. This post is the guide for the perfect close, how to prime it, the steps and what language to use.
Perfect Close Overview
- Establish average lead/sale price
- Structure closing sentence
- “Would that be fair?”
Establish average lead/sales price
The first and most important information to establish before you jump into a close is how much the person stands to earn by working with you. Are you a marketing agency helping your clients get more leads? Are you a coach helping your clients run the business more efficiently? Are you selling advertising to clients to increase online exposure like I did all those years ago at Fairfax?
Go deeper. Turn that information into a dollar figure. If you are talking about getting them more leads, how much is a lead worth to them? If they want to be more efficient, how much do they stand to save? How much value does exposure bring to the business?
Go even deeper. Do clients bring referral work to the business? Are there hidden benefits of reducing costs? Make that dollar amount as big as possible.
Knowing the dollar figure is the difference between success and failure when closing in a sales conversation. No one can tell the future, but the estimates should be a legitimate representative of the shortcomings of the business in question and your ability to assist. In other words, be honest about how much they stand to make or save if they work with you. The goal is to increase the gap between your costs and how much they stand to make – the potential value of your services.
Structure closing sentence
Now that you know the dollar figure that represents your value to the business, you can move into the closing sentence. This sentence is simple but extremely effective:
“If we were able to achieve x and I was to charge y, [step 3]”
The above is the closing sentence, excluding step 3, which we will go into shortly.
This sentence is deliberately placed after you have established the potential value of your services. With that figure fresh in the mind of the person you are speaking with, you compare that potential value to the cost of your services. Obviously, your services will cost less than the potential value, so the sentence helps frame that point and make it absolutely clear.
The more you increased the gap between your potential value and your cost in the first step, the more effective this sentence will be.
“Would that be fair?”
This part of the sentence is the killer blow. The icing on the cake. The “too good to refuse” moment in this closing strategy.
My unique Sales to Success in Seven Steps system involves generating micro-commitments from the person you are speaking with throughout, and this is just another one of those moments. Adding “would that be fair?” to the end of your closing sentence reduces the perceived pressure on both sides of the table.
As a seller, you are no longer asking for a decision, you are simply asking if the deal sounds fair… which of course it does. Same goes for the buyer – they are simply being asked to comment on the validity of the offer and, as the potential value of the services far outweighs the cost, of course, the answer is “yes”.
Let’s put it all together
“If we were able to achieve x and I was to charge y, would that be fair?”
As long as all steps have been followed from my system prior to the close and the gap between the potential value and cost of the services has been established well, I find that the person you are speaking with will essentially talk themselves into the sale after you ask this question.
Consider these two examples:
“My services cost $5,000.”
“If we were able to achieve the goal of 10 clients at $2,500 per month, totalling $25,000 per month, and I charged $5,000 per month, would that be fair?”
Remember to stay quiet and let the person speak after you ask the question. Trust in the system, it works! Ask it with confidence, then let them speak and the rest will fall into place. Good luck!
This model is step #7 in my 7-step sales conversation system that I call Sales to Success. If you want to learn more about the system, download the full step-by-step guide here.