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pricing, but they can't duplicate you. Next time you're asked the question, "Why should I buy from you?"
look the customer square in the eyes and say, "Because I'm your salesperson." Don't depend on a
product solution or a price solution to differentiate yourself. Your greatest asset is yourself.
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1. Wilson, Larry. Changing the Game: The New Way to Sell. Page 81, 1987. Simon & Schuster Inc..

2. Decker, Bert. You've Got to Be Believed to Be Heard: Reach The First Brain to Communicate in
Business and In Life. Page 84, 1992. St. Martin's Press.
3. Brooks, William T. Niche Selling: How to Find Your Customer in a Crowded Market.. Page 28, 1992.
Business One Irwin.

Congratulations, you have now completed Step #6
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Chapter 9: Confirming the Sale: Closing
People buy from people. Better yet, people love to buy. The buying experience can be very rewarding
and can satisfy many of the motives to buy: ego, prestige, status, greed, joy of spending money, peace
of mind, and so on. The ideal sales process is a mutual journey of honesty, trust, and respect as you
and your customer work in harmony through the Sequential Model. When the journey is mutual,
confirming the sale is not a matter of if, but when.

Traditionally, this step is referred to as "closing the sale." However, the word "closing" has negative
connotations that conjure up images of unscrupulous sales representatives using manipulative, guerrilla
tactics designed to coerce unsuspecting customers into buying. Traditional closing techniques typically
violate the sales relationship. Customers today are tired and irritated by these offensive, manipulative,
unethical arm-twisting tactics.
Make buying easy for your customer by confirming the sale using a nonmanipulative, straightforward
approach and presenting a practical, value-added solution. Confirming is the pinnacle of selling
achievement. It is when the customer awards a gold medal to the salesperson who delivered a win-win,
value-added performance. However, confirming does not happen in isolation from the total sales
process. You need to be engineering commitment throughout the entire sales call because anything
you do or say, at any step, will either erode or enhance the sale. Chronologically, the confirmation
comes as Step #7 of the Sequential Model, but be cognizant that your success at this point is based
on a series of buy-ins or confirmations throughout the journey. Confirmation simply means to create a
shared sense of enthusiasm to do business then exercise the power of asking. The ideal situation is a
sales entrepreneur who can confidently ask for the business and at the same time be diligent in building
a relationship by asking smart questions. Don't underestimate the power of asking.

"Man who wait for roast duck to fly into mouth, wait very, very long time."
Chinese Proverb
Why is it that so many salespeople become paralyzed with fear at the thought of closing? Even when
they have successfully navigated through the previous six steps they still fail to ask for a buying
decision. The reasons are as diverse as customers themselves. The most common one is fear. Fear of
rejection, fear of sounding silly, fear of failure, fear of upsetting the customer, the feeling of not being
good enough or worthy enough to ask. All valid reasons, but unfortunately this becomes a negative habit
pattern that seriously compromises our success at confirming. In the interest of harmony and not
offending a potential customer, we unknowingly sacrifice our own agendas by failing to ask.
Psychologists agree that the fear of asking is learned through negative conditioning experienced as
early as childhood. Our parents, teachers, siblings, and even friends have all contributed to nurturing
this debilitating virus. No one is born with it. Your fears are all learned and reinforced through repetition
by those around you, even yourself. As one lady said when finally asked out by a fellow she admired,
"The trouble with you men is that you often reject yourselves before you give us women a chance to."
She was elated when he finally asked her out, and without hesitation accepted his invitation. The same
analogy applies to salespeople. We often reject or doubt our own proposals or presentations long before
we give the customer a chance to. However, because it is a learned condition, it can be unlearned as
well, and sometimes very quickly. I suggest there is a direct relationship between low corporate
self-esteem and negative self-talk, and your confidence to ask for business. Confirming demands an
attitude of confidence, expecting the customer to say yes. Anything less puts you in entrepreneurial
quicksand. Just as the Chinese proverb suggests, don't expect rewards such as roast duck or a
confirmed sale unless you ASK.
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Five Magic Words
Okay then, how do I confirm the sale? The Sequential Model offers a refreshingly simple approach to
confirming. In fact, the apparent simplicity of it usually invites suspicion. "That's it, it's that simple?" Let
me give you the five most powerful words you'll ever say when working through your Sequential Model.
Look your customer square in the eyes, and with all the confidence you can muster say these five
magic words .....

"May I have your business?"

”and don't say another thing until the customer has responded.

That's it! Five words. So simple that I dedicated an entire page to them. These words reflect clarity,
sincerity, innocence, and professionalism. Go ahead, put the book down and say them aloud. Say them
again. These five words are applicable to all four behavioral styles. Any one of the four styles will
appreciate the intent and clarity of your question.

As you can clearly see, your Sequential Model need not rely on clever closing gimmicks to trick people
into buying something they don't want. The beauty of this approach is that you know what you are
saying, and the customer knows what you are asking. Forget about memorizing 50 different power
closes”keep it simple.
What often sabotages this clean, refreshing approach is the confusion generated by the numerous
books available on closing skills. Many of them, by title alone, suggest the need to build an inventory of
closing techniques. Some books even suggest "The more closes you know, the better you're prepared
to face the moment of truth." Nonsense. Consider this passage taken from Dartnell's publication, Close
It Right, Right Now!:

Contrary to the popular belief that closing is an "end-game," or a final manipulation that sparks
agreement, closing is a constant and continuing activity. I warm to the salesperson who shows interest
in me. That helps me decide in his or her favor. I am attracted by a sales presentation that gives me
clear information. That helps me favor that product. I appreciate learning about how the product fits my
needs and benefits me. That helps me exclude other products I may have considered.

In the absence of all those good things, I am not likely to buy, no matter how clever the salesperson is
in trying to button up the sale. In fact, I am driven from closing when I perceive too much cleverness in
the procedure. [1]

I have seen numerous books outlining countless closing techniques, all advocating the need to have a
ready supply of closes to apply when needed, and all suggesting that an inventory of closes is directly
related to your success. One such publication goes so far as to offer: "Twenty-Nine Special Closings
That Rock Holdouts and Crack Hardcases." [2] Another publication, The Sales Closing Book, offers
"more than 270 powerful sales closes that can skyrocket your sales and income." The ultimate prize for
trickery goes to a publication that offers this gem: "35 Tactics for Psychological Manipulation: The
Master Closer's Mind Game List." [3] Some typical closes include:
The Whispering Close The Blitz The Airplane Close
The Half-Nelson Lost Sale Close Extra Incentive Close
Ego/Profit Close P.O.W. Story Conditional Close
Puppy Dog Demo The Silent Close Callback Close
The Columbo Close Return Serve Close The Negative Close
Door Knob Close The Grind Emotional Close
Mutt and Jeff Last Resort Close Assumption Close

Imagine the mental gymnastics required to sort through all those memorized "closes" to decide which
one to use. Unbelievable! I think the only thing that will skyrocket will be your level of stress and anxiety.
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Once again, the entrepreneurial sales call should be a dialogue, a conversation between two human
beings. Forget about memorized closings, putting cute names on closing techniques, or rehearsed
scripts. These memorized closes are often manipulative, guerrilla approaches that compensate for not
being good.

Customers like to be asked and they respect the salesperson who asks for their business in an honest,
confident, nonmanipulative manner. However, research suggests that in approximately 70% of sales
calls, there is never a direct request for the business. It may seem like an unbelievable statistic given
that confirming is the final effort of a gold-medal performance (second place is the first loser), but it's
true. Many salespeople attempt to confirm the sale but end up skirting the issue with a weak,
unconvincing request to do business. A common attempt at confirming sounds like this:

S: Is there anything else I can show you or answer for you today?

C: No, thank you. You've answered all my questions and I have all the information I need.

S: Okay then. Well, let me leave you with our most recent brochure and a copy of my presentation. Mr.
Smith, let me ask you, are you available next week?

C: Yes, I expect to be around.

S: Great. Why don't I give you a call early next week and we can discuss my proposal further and see
how you feel about it. Is that okay?

C: Sure, that's fine.

S: Great. Thanks for your time.

A classic unsuccessful close. The salesperson has avoided asking a direct question to buy and is
leaving with nothing more than hope and a sense of accomplishment. Of course, in the meantime, the
salesperson is totally vulnerable to the prey of the competition. As coincidence would have it, the
competition shows up the very next day offering the customer the same solution, but the difference is
that she exercised the power of asking. She wins the gold, the salesperson wins nothing more than
experience. I implore you to safeguard yourself against the competition and reevaluate your confirming
tactics. No customer, at least that I'm aware of, will ever reward you for just showing up and making a
good sales pitch. Ask yourself: Is my confirmation a direct invitation to purchase? Is it clean, honest,
direct, and nonmanipulative? Test it out on fellow sales entrepreneurs, your sales manager, or your

Tim Commandment #6
Confirm the sale with a direct, simple question.
Ask: Did I ask for their business?

Now, before you unceremoniously discount my confirming theory, appreciate that I'm only suggesting
this approach (the five words) in the interest of simplicity, honesty, and the power of asking. I recognize
that there are other tactics to confirming. In fact, I endorse more than one approach. For example,
simply ask your customer, "Since we both appear to be in agreement, what's our next step?" or
alternatively ask, "Where do we go from here?" You can preface this confirmation question with a
summary statement outlining the accepted benefits.
The Editors at Dartnell. Dartnell's Professional Selling Series Volume 2: Close It Right, Right Now: How to

Close More Sales Fast. Page 3, 1995. The Dartnell Corporation.
Roth, Charles B. & Roy Alexander. Secrets of Closing Sales. Page 209, 1993. Prentice Hall.

Pickens, James W. The Art of Closing Any Deal: How to be a "Master Closer" In Everything You Do. Page

91, 1991. Warner Books.
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Is It No, or Is It Know?
Time for a spelling lesson. It's important to understand the difference between no and know. Sales
representatives spell no as no, taking the meaning literally as more rejection, another opportunity lost.
(But of course you can't lose something you never had.) Conversely, sales entrepreneurs spell no as
know: the customer simply needs to know more information before making a positive buying decision.
It's not interpreted as rejection but more as an invitation to explain the possible benefits of doing
business. By saying know, the customer has not yet seen the value in your offering and needs to know
more about your tailored solution. This means going back to feature fishing and scrolling your corporate
menu for appropriate features (hot-buttons), then bridging to create a benefit package worthy of
consideration. That's value. Upon hearing a know, you might consider asking the customer: "What is
the single barrier preventing us from moving forward?" A candid response may spotlight a potential
objection that when managed effectively produces a yes. Until the customer sees value, you'll continue
to hear knows.
Remember, earlier in the book I defined selling as the process of disruption. Making a change in
suppliers or adding a new supplier to the list is scary at the best of times. Customers experience fear
and anxiety just as we do. Your benefit package has to be convincing enough to disrupt customers into
change. Customers will continue to say know if there is a bigger yes offered by the competition.
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Three Ingredients of a Yes
Just as a good fire needs three ingredients to burn, so does a successful confirmation. Take away any
one of the three ingredients and you have no fire, no sale. The three ingredients of a Yes are: rapport,
trust, and the power of asking. Just as with the five rights of passage in our definition of selling, you
can't take away or fail to establish any one of the three. Unfortunately, many salespeople create rapport
and trust comfortably, but fail to ask a direct, honest, confirming question. Sometimes they do ask, but
have failed to first create rapport or trust. Would a customer give you a bag of money if he trusted you
but you failed to ask? Not likely. Would he say yes if he didn't like you or trust you? Not likely. It's all
part of engineering commitment. You start confirming the sale the second you come in contact, by
telephone or otherwise, with your potential customer.
I find it amusing to hear the different excuses as to why a customer didn't buy. Sales representatives
are the best "fire-dancers" on the planet. Each probably has 50 excuses, all conveniently memorized,
and of course none blame themselves. During my years as a sales manager, I could have written a
book on. "The reasons why I didn't get the sale." No doubt it would have challenged David Chilton's
book, The Wealthy Barber, as an international all-time best seller. I offer only one reason why a
salesperson didn't get the sale and ended up in second place. My reason doesn't make me popular but
it's inarguable: "You didn't get the business because you were outsold." Pure and simple. Strip away all
the excuses and that's what's left. The customer had a need and a bag of money and decided to give it
to your competitor. Why? Your competitor probably offered a better, value-added solution having asked,
better, smarter questions.
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When to Confirm
When does one confirm the sale? When have you earned the right to ask this most feared and sacred
question? The answer remains elusive, subject to broad interpretation, often founded on your
interpretation of perceived buying signals. The majority of sales literature suggests confirming, "When
the prospect is ready and communicates a buying signal," or, "When the buyer appears ready." I have
always marvelled at the ambiguity in terms of when to confirm. Several authors suggest that you rely on
little more than your own perception of body language and discrete buying signals to interpret when
they're ready to buy. Unless body language or buying signals are very obvious, you run the risk of
misinterpreting the customer's nonverbal communication. I agree that body language is a powerful
component of the communication model, but not as the sole method of interpreting when to close.
Everyone is different, just as behavioral flexibility suggests, each individual has a unique body-language
style (Chapter 6). Socializers adapt their body language differently from Directors but they could be
thinking the same thing. I don't think that we can apply a universal set of standards to effectively and
accurately interpret body language.

When discussing body language at my seminars, I often notice a participant leaning back in his or her
chair with arms folded. I ask the participant not to move and point out their posture to the class. The


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