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Time To Close

 
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:15 AM   #1
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Time To Close


How much work is it to close a sale, the process is different for everyone. What is your process and how long does it take?
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Time To Close


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Originally Posted by woodmagman View Post
How much work is it to close a sale, the process is different for everyone. What is your process and how long does it take?
I meet the person, we talk for 30-60 minutes while they show me what they want done.

I give them my card, and some information that will help them in choosing the "right" contractor for the job.

I write down all the measurements, and information I need, sometimes take pictures of certain things.

Then I email them my proposal within 1 or 2 days, depending on things I need to price and if I need to talk to the electrician or plumber about something freaky.

As far as I can tell, usually the customer likes me from the first meeting and are just waiting to see if my price is reasonable.

I usually get a positive reply within 1 day of my emailed proposal. However the time before I actually get a signed contract varies a lot from job to job. Mostly because I'm not a pushy guy and work is coming steady enough.

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Last edited by Winchester; 11-14-2008 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:58 PM   #3
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Re: Time To Close


Closers are losers. Closers use gimicks, tricks and high pressure.

If you a professional, know your trade, and are a genuine person; you do not need to close.

All I do is ask, "What do you want me to do next?" after giving my presentation. The tin men need to understand a few things. A) customers are typically much more eduated now about their purchases. b) You don't need to close a sale on the first sitting to close the sale. People are not always ready the first night and if you make them feel uncomfortable you will lose any future business.

I do pretty well, personally. I take the time to get to know the customer, eduate them on their job, build some raport. I think I do well because I religiously believe that if someone wants a good job done for a fair price they have no reason to hire someone else. I know not every customer is my customer, some people want the cheapest, that's not me. One other thing, don't ever forget the call back.

My average sales cycle is 2 months. That means on average from the day I meet until the day I close the sale is typically a 2 month process. Think about that closers. Think about all the people you made feel uncomfortable who are calling me 2 months after you ment them. Not calling you. Calling ME.
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:14 PM   #4
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Re: Time To Close


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Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post

All I do is ask, "What do you want me to do next?" after giving my presentation.
That is a close. You've announced that your presentation has concluded and now they are to make a descision. I'd say it's a pretty good close, especially if it's working for you.

We seldom close on the first visit either. I think our approach is very similar. Most jobs we take photos and notes back to the office for a thorough estimate. Write up a detailed proposal and deliver in person. We will ask for the sale (close) on that visit, but will not engage in a series of closing tactics. Many sign on this visit, others may call days, weeks or even months later to say yes.

Most common reasons given for hiring us are attention to detail, professionalism and trust. Price is seldom mentioned.

Good Luck
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: Time To Close


Closing is not a sin.

Repeat.

Closing is not a sin.



Grumpy,

Just because someone can gain a customers confidence during a pre-sell measurement call and then with the follow up investment option presentation, does not mean that they did not offer sound advise.

What one reality of this is, that most contractors barely meet "Minimum" standards, and therefor, most contractors do not deserve to be in the same setting as yourself, proposing a service for a fee to a new client.

Differentiate between the differences of a Hard Sell, Tin-Man like closer and an educated consumer oriented and friendly salesman with a likeable attitude, who comes off as more of a friendly consultant rather than a salesman.

Ed
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Old 11-14-2008, 08:58 PM   #6
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Re: Time To Close


I like to get a beer, if they drink, alcohol is a great way to really get to know someone. Of course you must know the limits of your self and your client. Not a drinker? I like golf too, its a great way to break the ice also. It works best if your client is an average golfer. My personal favorite is to SMASH them on the first few holes, and slowly start to let my client "beat" me at the end. During these "meetings" I don't speak a single word of any potential contracts, work, or anything that pertains to there project. If they ask I change the subject. My goal is to make my client my FRIEND, and not a customer. When that client goes over all of there estimates from other contractors, they cant help but remember what a nice guy you where, and the personal connection is a GREAT advantage. Try it, I get a lot of contracts this way, when i know im not the low bidder.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: Time To Close


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Originally Posted by Hanalike View Post
I like to get a beer, if they drink, alcohol is a great way to really get to know someone. Of course you must know the limits of your self and your client. Not a drinker? I like golf too, its a great way to break the ice also. It works best if your client is an average golfer. My personal favorite is to SMASH them on the first few holes, and slowly start to let my client "beat" me at the end. During these "meetings" I don't speak a single word of any potential contracts, work, or anything that pertains to there project. If they ask I change the subject. My goal is to make my client my FRIEND, and not a customer. When that client goes over all of there estimates from other contractors, they cant help but remember what a nice guy you where, and the personal connection is a GREAT advantage. Try it, I get a lot of contracts this way, when i know im not the low bidder.
And this applies to residential remodeling/construction sales how?
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:20 PM   #8
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Re: Time To Close


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanalike View Post
I like to get a beer, if they drink, alcohol is a great way to really get to know someone. Of course you must know the limits of your self and your client. Not a drinker? I like golf too, its a great way to break the ice also. It works best if your client is an average golfer. My personal favorite is to SMASH them on the first few holes, and slowly start to let my client "beat" me at the end. During these "meetings" I don't speak a single word of any potential contracts, work, or anything that pertains to there project. If they ask I change the subject. My goal is to make my client my FRIEND, and not a customer. When that client goes over all of there estimates from other contractors, they cant help but remember what a nice guy you where, and the personal connection is a GREAT advantage. Try it, I get a lot of contracts this way, when i know im not the low bidder.
I will remember that next time I am on the island....you buy and a penny a hole...
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Time To Close


Closers are Losers really? gone are the days of the guy that meets face to face and says I will mail you an estimate. Why is that because sales people follow up and sell the job. You say " Well I always follow up on my bids afterwards" That means you are trying to close. If you just send estimates and wait for them to call you, you are waiting to go out of business. can't wait to see the great comments I get from this.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:41 PM   #10
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Re: Time To Close


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
Closing is not a sin.

Repeat.

Closing is not a sin.
"Closing" is not a sin when done with ethics.

Now show me a closer who knows what the definition of "ethics" or "morals" are. The fact remains that most "closers" lie, cheat and steal to get the sale. Sterotypes are here for a reason. Nobody wants to be "sold" anything.

I used to want to be a salesman, I used to want to be a closer. I read the books, I listened to the tapes. I sought after the tin men for advice. Then I realized I wouldn't buy from me. Who wants a snake oil salesman in their house? Who wants to to be pressured? Who wants to be made to feel not in control in their own house? Who wants to feel uncomfortable in their own house?

Yes my "what should I do next?" is a close, however it gives the customer the control, or at least the perception there of. I don't need to "Sell" anyone anything. They sought me out and invited me to their house, they want to by from me. All I have to do is identify what they are looking to purchase and if I can provide that product or service I let them know.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:47 PM   #11
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Re: Time To Close


It makes a big difference, with me being the guy making the promises.

I know what I am telling them and everything is covered, in writing.

The crew does exactly, if not more than we are contracted to do.

No Snake-Oil neede, just honesty and passion along with a dash of knowledge. But, I still like to feel good about getting them to sign on the first appointment, or on an immediate, Lets Think About It, 2nd appontment, which already gets scheduled before I leave, usually.

Ed
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:34 AM   #12
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Re: Time To Close


This stuff is interesting to me. A "closer" called me today, a former employee who had been quite successful in direct sales in a wonderful U.S. market. As my business went into decline in 2005, I had to lay him off and cancel his salary, but proposed (as a final gesture) that he could continue to work with me on a pay-per-lead commission basis. He declined, setting up his own business in the market.
My business went through another year of decline before hitting bottom in Nov 2006. Just before we reached the 'end', I realized some important things. One: The selling is not the important thing, it is the value of the relationships you achieve. Two: You need to integrate your selling with a great respect for your clients and community.
Today, we sell the same 'stuff' but the processes are much different. Sure we track results and everyone is expected to produce, but the most important measure of success is how well the representatives connect and respect their clients and the community.
Back in September, I put a call through to my former sales rep, realizing that we were growing again and possibly could reopen the market. We talked a little, but he wanted a salary guarantee far in excess of my resources. In any case, I wasn't sure if he understood the way we do things now. I put the file aside, and went onto other stuff.
Then he called again today, proposing an arrangement that mimics my 'last offer' of 2005.
Now the picture is different. Now we have a business, possibly. But I need to frame his proposal within the larger picture of our business and the community and the resources of our overall business. And here things get interesting.
We have new relationships in his community, formed, ironically, long after the original business closed -- because of my community service and involvement with a national trade association with a strong local chapter in the community.
The community is relatively recession-proof.
So we'll probably say 'yes' to the proposal.
Who closed who? The point is, when business makes sense, when relationships are valid, and when you think about the bigger picture, you'll see that rational people make the right decision when they put all the facts together and do what is right for them and others.
You don't need to 'close' to succeed in selling and business. But it sure helps to know how.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:49 AM   #13
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Re: Time To Close


I started in sales at 17, and have done nothing since for the past 18 years. Once you are in business and you are getting the deal yourself, you are closing. Even your looks, dress, eye contact, everything is your close. Speech is only a small part of it. Once you get really good at it, you should only be talking about 15% of the time. The customer should be talking.

I think the comments about closers being losers, closers being pushy etc stems from stereotypes. Ever tried to close an auto mechanic from New York while being passive? Or an old rich guy from Alabama that is retired while being aggressive? Neither works well.

If you truly want to close read a book that honestly has nothing to do with closing, with the exceptions of a few references to a stock broker buddy of his. Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

In the current economy state you need to change tactics and customer bases. Who is benefiting from the current economy and who is not? Who is in a recession proof field? Who was smart and had all their money in T Bills or muni. bonds? Figure this stuff out and you will find the money. Examples would be Walmart benefits from slow downs, healthcare fields never slow down and usually older people have their money stashed for safety. Those are just a few. Start finding these people/companies and you will find sales.

Changing tactics examples would be doing more add ons, maximum your jobs. I do not know examples for any particular industries but possibly notice fixes while on a job that need to be done that are outside of your trade. Set up some type of lead referring system with other trades and then sell those leads to them for either a flat rate per lead or % of the job if sold. Are their upgrades available for your job, and did you offer them fully?

I can go on and on, but the bottom line is the person that truly knows how to close without being that stereotype, mentioned above, then you will always have work/sales.

JJ

Last edited by Aiken Colon; 11-15-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:18 PM   #14
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Re: Time To Close


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If you truly want to close read a book that honestly has nothing to do with closing, with the exceptions of a few references to a stock broker buddy of his. Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.


JJ

Really? I thought the entire book was about closing. winning friends and influencing people is closing. You cause those people to do what you want them to do. That is closing.

Being a great closer, you just didn't realize Dale Carnegie closed your deal with him. You read his book and are now advertising it here. He influenced you.


Closing does not mean only closing a sales contract. We "close" all the time.

Wouldn't you agree Aiken?
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:22 PM   #15
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Re: Time To Close




All I know is that coffee is for closers.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:56 PM   #16
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Re: Time To Close


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
"Closing" is not a sin when done with ethics.

Now show me a closer who knows what the definition of "ethics" or "morals" are. The fact remains that most "closers" lie, cheat and steal to get the sale. Sterotypes are here for a reason. Nobody wants to be "sold" anything.
You are about a bazillion points higher in my estimation.

Not that my estimation counts for very much!
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:00 PM   #17
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Re: Time To Close


I hate the word close.
It seems as if it's the finish when in fact it is the very beginning.

I prefer "Solidifying" or something that means a decision has been made but the relationship is just beginning.
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:11 PM   #18
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Re: Time To Close


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" Nobody wants to be "sold" anything.
I'd actually disagree with that. I want to be sold and I believe everyone wants to be sold.

When I walk into a store when I'm in the market for a new TV, I want to be sold and not have my order taken. The difference is most of us have experienced such low quality salesmen most of our lives. So low that the odds are you can not find a true salesman to sell you anything. Odds are you'll be standing there with a 18 year old kid who knows nothing and is more interested in the text message coming in on his phone, or a recently laid off telecommunications middle manager who is looking for some temporary holiday employment. The common denominator is most salesman are not in sales jobs but the companies they work for pretend they are.

Now when you find a true salesman being sold is a beautiful experience, a thing of joy and a miracle unfolding before you. He will discover your wants and needs, analyze them and eliminate all the models or poducts that don't fit your needs and narrow down you selections to one or two items. He will then proceed to demonstrate exactly why he has chosen this product, why it fits exactly what you want and need and proceed to take you down the road to one final decision which is cash check or charge?

I love to be sold, I love to find a salesman to sell me what I want, it's a joy to run into one. I probably run into 2 a year at best and run away from at least 20-30 pretenders in an average year.

I sell my customers. I sell them by being able to listen to them, discover their wants, needs and desires and show them how my company and my products are the best solutions to their needs. It's a process that starts from the moment you meet them. They say yes and hire my company because they feel we are the best value, not the least expensive, but the best value, maybe the highest dollar amount of anybody they will meet, but the common factor is they will say they felt the most comfortable with us, they believed we were the best choice, that we would deliver, that we were the most knowledgeable, that we listened and understood their needs the most.

THAT is selling.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 11-15-2008 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:15 PM   #19
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Re: Time To Close


I like to buy things, and I like to buy things from people that earn my business.
People try to close me all the time, before they get me interested. I can peg a bad salesman right off. I never buy from a bad sales rep. Closing is what you have to do, but you gotta make a connection, selling is a fine art when done well, and anyone will buy when given a good enough reason to.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:01 PM   #20
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Re: Time To Close


Nothing happens until something is sold. Period. There are countless styles, methods, etc., but if you're selling something you are either good at it or you are not. The passive close, Grump, is one of the most effective closes in the book. People generally do need to be lead. We are in a business that has a ton of misinformation floating around about it. With all the $10,000.00, 3 day, flip this house shows on TV, the general public has a great misconception of how 'easy' it is to do what we do. When I am in the market for a new electronic, I want to deal with someone who is informative, interesting to talk to, listens to my questions and answers them, honest, and overall knows his product. I want this so that I can make the most informed buying decision. Our clients want the same thing. It is our responsibility to deliver that. I don't care what you call it. It is sales. And when you're really good at it, you are a closer. Otherwise your just a tour guide waiting for the phone to ring.

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