The Penalty Close

posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011

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The Penalty Close has been used by virtually every salesperson at one time or another. The penalty close consists of letting your customer know that if they do not purchase a given product or service at this time, there will be some type of penalty for waiting. Below are some examples of what a penalty close might look like:
  • This is the last blue one we have in stock.
  • This is a one of a kind, custom-made piece.
  • With prices escalating, I can’t guarantee this item will not have increased in price next week or month.
  • The sale ends at the close of business today.
  • Someone else has called inquiring about this very product.
In order for this close to be effective, the penalty must be accurate and true. The last thing you want is for your prospect to find out that there wasn’t a penalty and that you just used that to get them to buy today. That will destroy the trust you worked hard to establish and not only will you lose this sale, obviously you will lose any future sales as well.

The last "close" I want to touch on is simply to close and wait. This strategy is simplified down to, "He who speaks first loses." Once you have delivered your complete presentation, including your close, it is time to stop talking and wait. Wait until your prospect responds in some way to your close. It may require you to be very patient, as you may need to wait one second or five minutes. If you speak first, you run the risk of buying back the product you have just sold.

The time you are waiting for your prospect to talk may seem like forever but wait it out. If your customer responds in a positive manner, then everyone wins. You have made the sale and the customer has the product that they need or want. The only thing you can do if the wait between the end of your close and a response becomes too long, is to start to write up the order. At this point, I can almost assure you that this will elicit some sort of response.

Just remember that no matter what closing technique you choose to use, you’ve earned the right to ask for the sale and deliver a close. All of the techniques we’ve discussed can be effective in the right situation, but it is up to you the close the deal!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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