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…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).