Why you should open with your close

Sometimes, a prospect can go through your entire sales process and still be undecided. This usually happens for two reasons. The most common reason is that you didn’t communicate the opportunity in a way that would inspire him to take action, which in turn usually means that you may not have listened well enough or asked the right questions to uncover the underlying objections that, for whatever reasons, the prospect is unwilling to disclose. However, it also frequently happens that we’ve failed to properly qualify the prospect.

One colleague of mine used to say, “Don’t qualify him – DISqualify him.’ Never be afraid to address the opportunity in a direct manner early on, because that’s where you want to weed out indecisive prospects, or ones who really aren’t the best fit for your product or service. I usually begin the conversation with some version of my close so that I can ascertain whether the prospect is even qualified to do business with me. These days, I don’t even hand over a business card unless I’ve at least built a a good rapport with the individual.  The sooner you determine whether a person has a genuine interest, the less likely you will end up spending valuable time going through an entire presentation with someone who already decided not to do business with you anyway. This might seem counterintuitive, but it will increase the likelihood that you will make presentations to people with a higher interest level.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you just dismiss them entirely as a prospect. Some will be open to considering you in the future. In my own efforts over the years, once I would see that they have no immediate interest, I made it clear to them that I’m not about to pressure them in anyway, but I am available should they ever want to check out their options. As a result, I often got referrals from people who told me in no uncertain terms that they weren’t going to do business with me.

Thus, it is in the best interest of you and your prospects that you be direct from the very start. You’d be surprised how many of them will appreciate it, since it shows that you respect their time, and it will help you to invest your time in presenting your opportunities to more interested prospects, which in turn will lead to more sales.