Question 2: Closing a sale
Based on my research I tend to disagree with the quotes. The basic idea behind the quotes is that closing a deal is irrelevant to the selling process. The quotes completely negate the importance of strategies that have “closing the sales” as their main focus. I believe that this approach might lead us to a completely ignorant state in regards to closing a sale. As I did my research, I could see that many researcher put the phenomenon of closing a sale at the forefront of the selling process. For example in his research, McMaster (2010) found that closing is the logical end of a sales process. He says and I quote “Closing the sale is the natural consequence of the sales process”. If we look at it from an impartial view, what does a sale imply as a business term? Doesn’t it mean providing a service or a product for a certain amount of money? Isn’t it closing a deal? McMaster (2010) has stated in his research that “If the sale is not closed, nothing is ordered and the purchase is not made.” This is exactly I understand from a sales process.
In a research, Bird (1990) states that “There comes a point at which your prospective customer must make a decision, to buy or not to buy.” He has called this decision to be either or not closing a sales on the part of the presenter or seller. Closing a deal is what we all prepare and present our presentations related to the products or services we are dealing in.
Monscrief, William and Greg (2005) have described the sales process to be a seven step process. They have stated in their research that the sales person should start the closing of the sales as soon as he/she is sure that all obstacles have been successfully overcome and the sale is ready. I would like to quote the exact words from the research here:
“Once any objections have been successfully overcome, the salesperson must actually ask for the business and thus begin the process of closing the sale.”
So according to the research, it is the ultimate end of the sales process which according to the research has 7 steps.
- What are your personal beliefs about the importance of commitment and closing techniques? Be sure to discuss the techniques described completely in the book as well as the techniques briefly described in Exhibit 12-3.
Question 3: Importance of commitment and closing techniques
Commitment and closing are the foundations of the sales process. Commitment is necessary to gain customers who are loyal to your product and are ready to listen to you when you have another product to offer. There are many techniques that are used to gain a customer commitment in the long run. Sellers have to be aware of the actual needs of the buyers. Sellers have to be honest about the specifications of their products as any manipulative techniques used will not be helpful in the long run. Sellers can use many techniques like Benefit Summary that reminds the buyer of the agreed on benefits of the proposal and tries to convince them to make a purchase. Balance sheet method is used to gain a customer commitment by listing the pros and cons of the product and letting the customer make a decision. If there is no success in making the sale, probing method can be used to use a series of questions to know exactly what the problem is with the sales attempt. In this method different cultural differences can be assessed to access the customer in a more meaningful manner. The seller can use the alternative choice method to limit the choice of the customer so they can easily make a choice. I am not sure about the ethical implications of this method as it would also mean that the customer is deprived of some information that he/she can use in their purchasing decision.
When the customer is convinced to buy a product or a service, closing techniques are used to actually get the sales processed. There are many closing techniques that have been used by seller over the time. Minor point closing techniques are used to deliberately make a sale based on a minor point for example the seller might ask the prospect “Is the black color sofa ok?” if the prospects say “no”, the seller might say “ok then brown it is.” In an assumptive close the seller just assumes that the prospect has agreed and processes sales. Seller might use continues yes close techniques where the customer is only asked question to which the most probable answer would be yes. The sales representative does not provide an overall summary of the product specifications. Standing room close is another technique that is used by sellers to convince the buyers that there is a limited amount of product left and the prices are going to rise soon.
There are a lot more closing techniques that are used by sales persons around the world. The ethical dilemma stays for some of them as these techniques are used by the sales representatives to negatively influence the purchasing decision of the prospective buyers. But I could safely say that any unethical technique used to sell a product or service will negatively affect the commitment of the purchaser.