I hate the term “close” as it applies to sales. The word implies that you are ending or shutting down something. The truth is, if you wish to gain a customer’s commitment, you don’t want to end anything. You want to begin or continue the customer relationship.

The act of Gaining Commitment is a natural conclusion to a well-orchestrated sales conversation. Highly skilled salespeople know that sales conversations must first include steps that open a sales opportunity. When the process is done correctly, you’ll actually see and hear the opening happen. The customer’s body language may give you a clue. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll begin to hear questions or comments that indicate a customer is open to buying from you.

That “open” generally won’t happen unless you make it happen. A properly orchestrated sales conversation progresses through certain steps or “acts” that must be completed so that you get an opportunity-an opening-to ask for commitment.

You need an opening before you can Ask for Commitment.

Research on how customers make major purchasing decisions shows that they actually make a series of incremental decisions. These decisions are always made in the same predetermined order…