Closing the Deal
When it's time to close the deal, don't use any high-pressure techniques, such as the old "price-goes-up-next-week" technique, or the "Where would you like the brochures delivered?" technique (assuming that the buyer will buy before he has agreed to). I hate it when someone uses this assumptive close on me. Also, stay away from cheesy gimmicks, such as handing the buyer the contract and rolling the pen across the table to him.
The best thing to do is simply ask the buyer, as one friend to another, if he is in a position to make a decision today? If he says, "Yes," you have your blank contracts with you, and you can fill them out and get a signature right there. If he says, "No," you should feel comfortable enough to ask the buyer what his next step is. The buyer should feel comfortable enough with you to give you an honest answer. If the buyer says, "I need to take this back to my boss," or "I need more time to think about it," then you should offer to send a written proposal and try to set up another meeting on a specific date. If the buyer says, "This is just more expensive than I can afford," you could make some suggestions as to what you can do within his budget. You might also make some concessions on price if you think it would seal the deal, but don't give away the farm.
If you get the sense that the buyer doesn't want to hire you to do his project, and he doesn't want to give you the real reason, just let it go. You can't close every deal, and there's no reason to feel rejected. End the meeting by standing up and shaking the person's hand. Smile, look the buyer in the eye, and mean it when you say, "I'm sorry we can't get together on this, but I really enjoyed meeting you and learning about your business/project. I hope you have great success with it." Give the buyer your business card and say, "Please feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way in the future."
In the fourth article in this series, I will give you some advice about how to handle your customers after you've landed them.
Read part 4, Managing Clients and their Expectations.