Closing the sale involves building a consensus between all stakeholders in the decision making process.  You basically earn your seat at the closing table – then facilitate the process and direct the next actions.

So, how do your earn this coveted seat?

  1. Make your reservation.
  2. Invite everyone to the party.
  3. Connect with all stakeholders.
  4. Ask great questions.
  5. Direct the next steps.

Make your reservation:

When you want to eat at the best restaurants – and you are not already a regular customer that is known by the personnel, you need to make a reservation.  The same holds true for the best customers.  Make your reservation at the closing table by doing the following:

  • Do your research and understand your prospect’s challenges as much as possible before your meetings.
  • Do your research and understand the potential risks that may be in the future for your prospect.
  • Find ways to provide value in some form to each stakeholder prior to the actual sales process – can be in the form of useful articles, tools, etc.
  • Find a trusted person that you have in common, who can provide a reference for you.

Invite everyone to the party:

  • Make sure that no one is left out if they have influence over the final decision.
  • Ask your contact about the decision making process and who will be involved.
  • Stress the importance of knowing all of the players in order to build the consensus.

Connect with all stakeholders:

  • Personal and electronic contact should be made with all involved parties.
  • Ask them questions about the issues that affect them and find out how you can help.
  • Look for them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media sites and build personal connections.
  • Be genuine and authentic about your interest in them, their issues, and the solutions to their specific needs.

Ask great questions:

  • Plan great questions prior to your meeting that will get your prospect to voice their issues and what they perceive to be the best solutions.
  • Plan great questions that will bring any issues to the table in areas that your client may not be aware are coming around the corner.
  • Plan questions that will walk your prospects through a thought process that builds a solution together with you as their partner.

Direct the next steps:

  • First, understand their buying process and their specific needs.
  • Second, take leadership in what the next steps should be in order for you to provide a solution.
  • Gain agreement from the prospect on those next steps.

My favorite closing question was actually more of a statement… “This is what we need to do next.”


What is the worst example of a closing question or statement that you have ever heard?