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Closing a Sale

10. 12. 2015

This article deals with the closing of a sale, which is a very crucial topic in the area of the strategic management of sales. In today’s competitive environment, it is important for an organization of any size-small, medium or large to close a sale successfully and move to the next step. Your organization wants to sell, and your employer wants to receive cash on its bank account. The organizations are investing thousands of dollars daily in the training of their sales force on tactics or techniques on how to close a sale successfully. The aim of my article is to relief sales people from the stress of closing a sale, based on a personal experience on how a simple technique of a sales assistance increased the sales of a well- known supermarket in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

 

CLOSING A SALE

We have a tendency to believe that every sales person closes sales in the same manner. This is definitely not true. For example, if you ask a thousand sales professionals for their best tips on closing a sale, you will probably get thousand different responses. That is true, in the sense, that every sales person has her own tactics to approach the customer and close a sale successfully. Don’t be surprised to hear that many sales persons who close sales are not even sure how they do it. Let’s see the example below.

During my free time in Dubai, i usually visit several malls to entertain myself. As a parenthesis, the malls in Dubai are incredible, and i definitely suggest that it goes beyond your fantasy. Please try to google the ‘Dubai fountain’ which located by the main entrance of the Dubai Mall. It features water and it is probably the world’s largest choreographed fountain system performing 35 songs per day. Most probably, the inventor of the fountain had in mind that such a creation by the main entrance of the biggest mall in Dubai, will make both the buyer to buy and the sales person to close a sale.

In general, i am a person that loves window shopping and i am also very much interested in observing how salespeople are dealing with the customer. I have seen hundreds of salespersons welcoming a customer by using different selling techniques, like a genuine smile or repeating in a very smooth voice ‘welcome sir’ or ‘welcome madam’. It is all about triggering the purchasing behavior of the potential customer in a way that she will make her purchase from you. My story is that i usually buy my groceries from Zoom supermarket, which has a convenient store in the Dubai Mall. Zoom supermarket has a policy to reward its employees on a monthly basis by recognizing the efforts of an employee as the employee of the month. The picture of the employee of the month resides next to the counter and it usually takes mine and other customers attention.

I was amazed to see on the whiteboard-for six months now- the picture of a young Filipina, who is one of the sales assistants in the store. She is usually on the counter and the reason she was continually selected as the employee of the month is because she had been the ‘’fasted growing sales person’’. She is now promoted to a sales person, so she is not a sales assistant anymore. Nevertheless, I wanted to understand what is so special with that employee to win the award for six months in a row. I could see the smiling face, i could hear the ‘welcome sir’ during my arrival in the store, but I also recognized that these are common tactics. One day, after i bought my groceries i went to the counter. Then, Jenifer, that is the name of the award winning Filipina, processed my stuff and before she pressed the enter button for the subtotal she asked me ‘is that all sir’? Then, I got a chewing gum and a bottle of cold water and i said, yes, that’s all, Jenifer. Another customer walked in and handed over a bottle of non-fat milk and a piece of bread she wishes to purchase. Then, Jenifer said, is that all madam? The customer picked a lifestyle magazine from the front shelf and she said, yes, that’s all. This is her simple technique and it is an ongoing process with every single customer who is ready to pay on the counter. At the end not everyone buys something extra but a significant percentage does. It is a simple but very effective technique to close a sale. When I discussed her technique with her manager, he told me that when he promoted her to a sales person, she didn’t even realize that the ‘is that all sir/madam?’ technique was the reason she is being promoted. He also explained me that he never sent Jenifer for any training related to how to close a sale.

To conclude, it is true that Jenifer’s simple technique supports the statement that before you can expect to close a sale, you must first earn the right to ask for the sales. When I congratulate Jenifer for being the employee of the month, she told me that as soon as the customer is in front of you, you should be trying to close the sale. So feel free to ask. That is the lesson I got from this story.

 

Autor: Pantelis P. Panteli