CCA 10.2 Lesson 2: Obstacles to closing the sale

The closing stage of the sales process is one of the most difficult experiences sales professionals go through–especially new and inexperienced sales professionals. When you think about it, the closing is simply “asking the customer to buy.” In fact, customers expect to be asked by sales professionals to buy the product or service demonstrated. If buyers expect to be asked by the seller, then why do so many sales professionals have such difficulty in asking the buyer to buy? Four major reasons will surface in answering the previous question. The four reasons that become obstacles are fear, guilt, no need, and forgetfulness.

The Four Reasons Why Sales Professionals Fail to Close the Sale

Fear of rejection
No need

  1. Fear of rejection: Research studies have shown that the number one reason why sales professionals fail to close a sale is because of fear–fear of rejection and being turned down. To avoid this fear, sales professionals simply don’t ask for the order. We all have fear of having our ego and self-esteem deflated. So, the tendency is not to ask for the order but rather plan another sales call, then ask for the order at a later time. Customers know that the main purpose of your profession is to sell products. In order to sell products, you must ask people to buy. For this reason, customers expect you to ask; they may not look forward to it or encourage it, but they expect it. Chances are that if you do not ask the customer to buy, the customer will not ask you for the product. As you gain experience, you will realize that the step of closing should come as naturally as the other six steps of selling that have been discussed in this book. The law of averages will play in your favor only if you learn to ask each customer to buy your product and attempt to overcome the fear by attempting to close the sale.
  1. Guilt: The second reason why sales professionals fail to close the sale is because of guilt. Some people have guilty feelings or feel uncomfortable in their profession as they ask people for things. Many of us have been taught not to ask for things because we will become dependent and have to return the favor in the near future. Some sales professionals feel as if they are intruders begging for a living instead of people helping other people to solve serious problems.  This guilt feeling usually exists in the heart of those sellers who do not understand the product they are selling or the benefits their products can bring potential buyers. Our society and economy as a whole relies heavily on the selling profession. Sales professionals help speed the acceptance of new products that can better the lives of people. When guilt enters as a barrier to the closing of the sale, sales professionals need to do some soul searching and analyze their profession.
  1. No Need: Many sales professionals fail to close sales because they feel no need to do so. They think the prospect will automatically buy at the end of the presentation. Even though it does happen, you must learn to ask customers to buy since the majority of customers won’t ask for the order. The last twenty years of selling in the United States have seen a 180-degree shift from what has been called the “hard sale” to a concept called the “soft sale.” The soft sale is simply giving the buyer more room and time, and less pressure and initial help from the sales professional. Well, this soft sale approach has gone to the extreme in some cases to the point that customers are finding it hard to get any person in a retail-type store to assist them, the theory being that if customers want help or assistance, they will ask for it.

Forgetfulness: On occasion, some sales professionals get so bogged down and involved in their presentation that the thought of trying to close the sale slips their mind. They become confused and lose control of the sale, and the closing opportunities walk out the door. Sales professionals that have this problem will be found checking back on a lot of callbacks and will have poor closing records on initial sales presentations. The problem of failing to close on the initial presentation is that the emotional involvement and level of the buyer will wear off as one, two, and three days pass by. The success of closing increases as closing attempts are made during the first sales presentation with the customer.