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Selling Vs Closing

Old school sales people would say that “Closing” is part of the sales process, and that it is the final step to finalise a deal. With changing trends however, as we enter the new decade, “Selling” and “Closing” have become two distinct and opposing themes. There are sales people out there today who are so good at selling, but can’t close the deal. Being able to sell, doesn’t mean you can close on a deal or prospect.

“Selling” refers to one’s ability to accurately describe a product’s or service’s features and benefits in such a way in order to persuade (convince) a potential customer on why they should proceed to buy. The reason “Selling” no longer works, is because customers are wary of sales people, sales tactics, and once they suspect you are trying to sell on them, their automatic response is to flee. Remember that “Everybody loves to buy, but nobody likes to be sold”.

“Closing” is when you are actually helping a customer make a decision by themselves. “Closing” is what will get the get the other person to pay the money, or sign on the dotted line. The big difference here is that you are helping them say “Yes” and proceed with buying, or “Thank you” for assisting them with their decision making process.

Another difference between the two, is that “Selling” most of the times happens on the go. While you are engaged in a discussion over the phone, emails, face to face, you are trying to sell your product or service, trying to convince and persuade through different techniques that your service or product is the best, and if all goes well and all objections are answered, the sale will be finalised.

On the other hand, “Closing” doesn’t necessarily have to happen at the end. What if I told you that you can begin “Closing” right from the get go? For example, what’s the easiest way to persuade you to buy a box of chocolates, or a perfume? You are right, free samples! If you try the free sample and you like it, then there is no need for the sales person to try to sell you. You are already sold on it ! But this goes beyond merely chocolates and perfumes.

Most companies now aim at offering free things in the market place, through social media, videos, free e-books etc, in order for customers to see for themselves the value in doing business with the specific company. Once a customer sees value in the free material, the next question would be “If the free stuff is this good, how good will the paid stuff be?”. This goes to show that “Closing” can happen way in advance in the sales process and not just at the end. The numerous ways to close will be covered in a future blog post.

A final note on the distinction between “Selling” and “Closing” and why you should focus on “Closing” more, is that in “Selling” you are trying to justify the price of your product or service with features and benefits. In “Closing” the customer justifies your price by focusing on the added value of your product or service!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you have found this topic helpful and useful. Any and all feedback is welcomed. Leave your comments below.

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