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William Rice

Hi Jill,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments on closing techniques! For
a couple of decades now I have felt like I have been ****ing into the wind
arguing with sales "professionals" about that. If the presentation is done
properly and the need exists, or has been created, the customer should be
closing you! It is good to hear it from a professional with a good
reputation, I will be quoting it a lot in the future.

Also, I have been on the purchasing side as well and you really have the reactions that I felt when faced with closers down pat.

Thanks again,
Bill Rice

Bill Bell

Dear Jill,

Your sales lady with the canned closings might be typical of sales people across the full range of industries. They are the ones who make it hard for sales people to get their foot in the door, or even get an appointment. If they would approach sales the way you do, and the way I did, they would make more money, their customers would be glad to see them coming back, and the general sales activity would not be contaminated by close-oriented sales neophytes.
And yet, at the other extreme there are those who present their wares attractively, and persuasively but still fail because they never ask for the order. Knowing when and how to pop the question is hard to explain, if it acutally can be explained at all. But one way not to do it is with all those "by- the-book" closes that you so well listed.
Thanks for anothr fine selling message.
Regards, Bill

gary jader

I could not agree more with your comments on closing. It's like a business card. Never give them out unless they are asked for. And, they will not be asked for until you first provide value. It's like the guy who sits in front of the fireplace and says "Give me heat," not realizing that he first must put wood in. Understand needs, demonstrate value first, and closing will take care of itself.
Gary Jader
Ideas on the Wall

Jeff Seifert

Bravo Jill!

I couldn't agree with you more. I've been selling to big companies for 20 years and I find traditional close-centric training to be entirely inappropriate for the complex sale. If we do our jobs correctly, closing the sale is a natural outcome of our problem-solving abilities.

Keep up the good work.

Jeff Seifert


"When you analyze what happens when you teach sellers how to be great closers, you'll understand my perspective."

This woman is NOT a great closer. She's a very poor closer. Any sales technique must fit the situation. In this case no sale has been made.

This person has not listened to her customer. If she had, she would know that her next step is to close on the next step. What can we do to move forward? What information do you need? Who else in your organization should I be talking to? I can see that you have more questions and that you're busy today. Can I see you again next week, or would the following week be better?

Without closing, "sales" people are just professional visitors. But, poor fact-finding leads to inappropriate closes, which does indeed irritate the customer.

Andrew Golden

Dear Jill,

Another great segment. Couldn't agree with you more.

I avoid these type of sales people. Fact is, I think it's these types of
sales people that immediately conjure up the visions of car salesmen,
better yet, used car salesmen- ultimately causing people to be
'sales shy' because they desperately want to avoid appearing as such.

We've always take the position of education. Meaning a slow 'soft'
(for lack of better words) approach. We probably give away about 20%
of our potential sales because we're not aggressive enough.

Andrew Golden

Mike McLaughlin


What a great post. Clients/customers see right through those store-bought closing techniques. All it does is telegraph to the customer that their needs are less important than yours. If salespeople embraced this idea, we'd clear the bookshelves of alot of books that are just giving bad advice. Then, there'd be more room on those shelves for your forthcoming book.



Great post Jill! I've never seen closing tactics you highlighted ever work in selling to big companies.

I've found the only closing tactics you need are honesty, empathy, and respect.

Michael Martine

Excellent points made in this post. I think this closely maps to the reasons why blogging is so huge and getting huger: Authenticity. All selling "techniques" (and for that matter marketing and PR "techniques") are essentially performances and playacting. They are not honest discussion. Real selling is authentic and honest. Anything else is deception. Same thing goes for blogs: ghost-written "pr" blogs or any blog that isn't authentic, real, and human will not achieve its desired effect.

BTW, I know "huger" isn't a real word, but it's more fun to say than a real word!

Jacques de Villiers

Hi Jill,

I posted this article on my website. You can check it out here http://www.jacquesdevilliers.com/index.asp?pgid=103

Jacques de Villiers

Wade Fletcher


Great article. So you're telling me that we need to focus on THIER needs? What a crazy concept!

In the spirit of March Madness, I love the focus on fundamentals.

Wade Fletcher

Dale Carmichael

As someone who wants to switch careers from IT to sales I really appreciate your advice. I currently work at a fortune 500 company and have been involved both as an influencer and a decision maker in many expensive software purchases and each time a group decision was made after many sales presentations. In my experience the more expensive the product or service the more deliberate the purchasing process.

David Peterson

I agree that if you have set up the sale properly you shouldn't have to work so hard to close. Most of the products and services I sell are over the phone and if the rep has properly done his or her due diligence the sale will close naturally.

Phone reps only have the prospects level of engagement in the conversation to determine where they are in the sales cycle. While carrying on a conversation they are listing for and delivery varying voice inflections and they are paying attention to who is carrying on most of the conversation. So, I instruct the reps that work for me to use some of the statements above as trial closes to get a notion of where they are in the sales cycle. In the telesales business you don't want to waste a prospects time or your own time for that matter so my recommendation is that you throw out a few of these statements to see if the conversation is worth carrying on.

In other words you may not be using the “assumptive close” to seal the deal, you use the assumptive close to see if there is any interest, or to see if the prospect is even listen to your pitch.

David Peterson Editor - USReference.com

Douglas Jarquin

I found this article looking to better my closing techniques. Instead, I am more aware of the truth and do not have to learn anything new.


Nick Moreno - National Sales Center

So true … when you follow the sales process and implement it properly, closing the sales becomes both easy and natural.

Kathy Mast

Hi Jill,

I know your material was published several years ago, but I think it is still very relevant. I'm sharing your ideas in a presentation for a group of management consultants, and I will suggest that they sign up for your newsletter, buy your book and review your website.

Best regards.
Kathy Mast

Jim Farrell

Hello Jill, I enjoyed your Blog Post. I just completed reseach on Spin Selling by Neil Rackham and published the post "Spin Selling - How To Make The Larger Sale"

Rackman's research was very intersting regarding closing, that is what made reading your post so revealing to me.

My Blog Post can be viewed at http://blog.business-bits.com/?p=15

I would love to have your comment on it.

Thanks so much and keep up the great work.



Great blog. This have good relevant detail.


An insightfull post. Will definitely help.

Apart from traditional marketing, these days most of the marketers use viral marketing. I came across a website called www.how2talk2.com. It allows people to write articles about their products and services for free in a fun way. You write an article in the form of how to actually talk to someone and you can include links on all of your websites in your articles.

Also, thanks for the great post!"

John - www.how2talk2.com


Wow Jill -- you wrote this way back in '05! As relevant and fresh then as now and as always. Closing-centric sales approaches are as simple-minded as they are fundamentally dismissive and arrogant and as fatally flawed when positive outcomes are being desired.


From the other Bill Rice:

I think this shows two important distinctions that should be highlighted in most sales training:

1. There is a big difference between belly to belly B2B sales and aggressive B2C sales. I have done both and there is cause and technique for both.

2. Sales scripts and rigid sales process can drive customers away. I advocate the "playbook" paradigm versus the sales script.

Jill you always give us great stuff. Thank you.


you're awesome!

Debby Binns

Hi Jill
This is a really insightful post! I agree that if you have set up the sale properly you shouldn't have so much hard work at the back end closing it up. Thanks for the words so succinctly put and there as a reminder to us all!


The principle you are stating is true.

However, isn't this just a rehash of the grandfather book of all sales, "SPIN Selling?"

Please email me if I am incorrect.

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