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How can I close the deal?

01 Mar 12
Daniel Smith
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One of my participants recently asked me:

One of the challenges I’m having is in the area of closing in business… how does (present) a context that is comfortable and not overly aggressive (but that still gets the deal done)?

And it is a challenge for many people. What do you think?

You might try putting yourself in their shoes. Deeply connect with everything you can about them – their mannerisms, their attitudes, their style of thinking, even their posture as they are distorting your proposal. Then step back and ask yourself, “If I was , what would have to happen in order for me to ?”

There are likely to be emotional and rational issues to consider; Reasons to act and reasons not to act. This could help you better frame your proposal, respond to their concerns and position yourself regarding the key issues.

You could then consider: How can you offer precisely the solution that they need? If the ‘problem’ isn’t acute, you might find it useful to emphasize the pleasure lost or pain experienced as a result of them not taking action now. We tend to underestimate long term, compounding effects and overestimate short term costs. You may be able to help them remember and recognize the whole situation in it’s proper context.

There are always “magic” phrases that you can add to amplify the impact of the above, though they aren’t much use if you don’t get the above issues sorted out clearly!

If the issues run deeper, you might take on understanding this situation as an opportunity to get really curious. Recently, I was coaching an expat who was finding that he had a group of leads who never seemed to buy. They “liked” him and appreciated what he was offering, but would neither buy nor reject their offering. And this went on for years! While he might have just written off these leads after a period of time, instead he recognized that they represented a valuable data set for research, who could offer useful insights if he went even further in trying to understand rather than just lamenting the past failure.

Sometimes it takes a bit of focus to really understand what is going on. Yet, sometimes the best fruit is on the highest branches, isn’t it?