What if I told you that you could close more sales by not trying to close the sale? Does that run counter to everything you’ve ever been taught about negotiation? That’s what I thought too when expert negotiator Jim Camp first brought this idea to my attention.
I asked Jim if our marketing consultants should be trying to close their clients when they conduct their Opportunity Analysis. Jim reminded me of the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of negotiation:
“The effort to bring about agreement between two or more parties with all parties having the right to veto.”
If a consultant goes into an Opportunity Analysis with the mindset that they are going to use some tactics to close the prospect on their marketing services, then they’ve violated the above definition by attempting to take away the right to veto.
By using closing tactics and not focusing on whether or not the service is right for the prospect, you are trying to take away the prospects right to say no to your offering. In any business transaction, tactics that try to fool someone will never work in the long run.
Instead, your goal should not be to close the client, but to find out as much as you can about the client’s needs to see if you are able to fill that need. You want to give them the opportunity to say no to you.
Why give them the opportunity to say no?
Your goal is not to get them to say no. Your goal is to get them to say yes. But, you should only desire this “yes” as the result of you being the best solution to their problem.
Therefore, finding out what their needs are and then showing how you can be the best solution to that problem is the proper way to negotiate a closing. Make yourself and your solution irresistible to the prospect.
You can do this only by laying everything out for them and saying “This is what I understand are your challenges and here is how I can help you overcome those challenges.”
That comes about by spending as much time as possible in the client’s world and not in your world.
If you can properly identify their challenges and you are in fact able to help with overcoming those challenges, the transaction will close itself. You have already addressed the needs of the prospect and you have given them the chance to say no to you.
If you’ve explained things properly, there is no reason left for them to say no. You’ve closed the deal.