Closing the sale and getting paid

Closing: The very word strikes fear into the mightiest of professional tax slayers.

The problem is that it doesn’t have to. If done properly, as part of your overall needs-based selling strategy, closing isn’t so much a distinct step of a sales process as it is a natural conclusion to the entire meeting.

I have met far too many tax resolution closers (unlicensed sales staff) that simply believe that the key to closing a sale is to pound the prospect into submission. While this technique does sell a couple hundred million dollars worth of client services each within the tax resolution industry, it is also the type of practice that garners unwanted attention from people such as the Federal Trade Commission and your state attorney general. Just ask Roni Deutch and Patrick Cox (of TaxMasters) if it was worth it.

The reality is that any client gained by coercion will forever resent you for it. Sales tactics like this are where BBB complaints, FTC investigations, lawsuits, and increased legislative regulation of our entire industry all stem from.

So what do you do instead?

Like I said, if you’ve done proper need analysis, layed out a solution with strong benefits to the prospect, the sale basically closes itself. Instead of needing to use a “tactic” or a “line” to close the sale, it simply becomes a very easy question: “Does everything we’ve discussed about the benefits of doing XYZ make sense? Well, great, let’s go ahead and get started on putting this IRS problem behind you.”

That’s it. That’s my entire “closing technique” (although I hate that phrase). It’s called “assuming the sale”. If your prospect doesn’t fully understand your solution, then they will ask questions. If they do fully understand your solution, then you can assume that they’ll do business with you.

I should state something that may seem obvious, but that many people actually miss: You should always be asking for the order. Always ask for your prospect’s business. If you don’t ask for their business, guess what? You’re going to starve. If you don’t ask, you won’t get the sale, and even worse, your prospect’s problem won’t get solved. And wouldn’t that be a travesty? Knowing somebody has a problem that you can help solve, but you don’t offer to?

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The consultative, question-based process for closing the sale works like this. Ask your prospect:

“Do you see how bringing us on board would ___(solve their need)____?”
“Are you interested in ____(insert primary benefit)___?”
“When would you like to get started on ____(solving their problem)____?”

That’s it. That closing. Nothing fancy. No manipulative techniques. Nothing squirrely. Just restate the need, the problem, the solution, and offer them that solution. “Let’s get started on Monday.” “Let’s go over the paperwork to get started.” Those are the things you need to say. It really is that simple.

Again, if you’ve done a competent needs analysis, thoroughly understand the problem, and have formulated and articulated a solution to that problem, then you don’t need to use aggressive or manipulative closing techniques: Just assume the sale and take the order.

If you can absorb and apply everything in this weeks series on sales, then you’re going to be several steps ahead of 95% of everybody else in this industry. Combine the problem/solution/benefit model with effective lead generation strategies and proper marketing follow up with your prospects, then you’ve got yourself a business.