Sales Tool: Are You Ready to Close?

Last Updated Oct 1, 2009 10:41 PM EDT

Here's a quick way to assess whether you're ready to close. Before asking for the business, ask yourself the following six questions (YES or NO).
  1. Have you already helped the customer in some way?
  2. Does the customer think your offering is unique?
  3. Does the customer consider you a trusted authority?
  4. Would buying support the customer's stated self-image?
  5. Does the customer know peers who've bought from you?
  6. Does the customer like you personally?
For each "YES" answer, give yourself 1 point, except for #6, where the "YES" is worth 2 points.
  • You scored 6-7. You are ready to close. Ask for the business.
  • You scored 4-5. You're not done selling yet. You need to work harder to position yourself and your offering.
  • You scored 0-3. If you're even thinking about closing, you're being foolish. Hopefully, you're at the beginning of the sales cycle. If you're at the end of the sales cycle, you probably aren't going to get the business if you attempt to close. Best to move on.
The best way to use this tool is to put the questions as a checklist in your notes for each customer. As you believe you've achieved each "YES" answer, put a tick-mark next to the question. When you have 5 tick marks (and one of them is question #6), you're ready to close.

For why this tool works see: How to Know When to Close.
BTW, the above is based upon the work of Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, probably the world's foremost expert on the psychology of influence.