“The Perfect Close Workbook” by James Muir provides a deep dive into one of the most important selling skills: how to conclude each meeting with an agreed-upon next-step that your buyer is strongly bought in to.
When I started my career in sales I was taught to ask for the maximum level of customer action commitment at the end of each meeting. For example, “Can we schedule a demonstration?”
The problem with my old approach was that the customer would answer me either “yes” or “no.” Or even worse, the dreaded “call me back in a couple weeks.” As Muir points out, recommending a next-step action to a prospect is risky because it creates pressure and tension for the customer. And, if the answer the customer gave me was “no” – my sales opportunity would grind to a halt.
A better way to ask for customer action is to use Muir’s two-question perfect close. An example of question #1 is: “Would it make sense for us to schedule a demonstration?”
Notice that by adding the phrase, “Would it make sense…” you take all the pressure out of the answer for the customer. You did not ask the buyer to schedule a demo. Instead, you asked a question about the timing of scheduling a demo. If the customer answers “no” they are saying that the timing for a demo now isn’t right.
If you happen to get a “no” answer to your “Does it make sense…” question, you then ask the #2 question in the Perfect Close sequence, “OK. What would be a good next step?” The answer to this question is the buyer’s logical and natural next-step for them. It creates a perception in your buyer’s mind that they are in control.
For sales managers, “The Perfect Close Workbook” can be especially valuable for onboarding new-hires. I say this because the topics and exercises provided are comprehensive. The book also provides exercises on maintaining a positive mindset, call planning, value creation, etc. In all, 49 practical exercises that can be completed by salespeople without a manager’s supervision.
“The Perfect Close Workbook” delivers practical techniques that can be easily implemented into your existing sales process to increase sales. I highly recommend James Muir’s “The Perfect Close Workbook.” The technique is great, and I am already seeing positive results using it in my discussions with clients.