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The Subject Is 'Closing'
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 6:35 AM

Marcus Cotton, VP Executive Recruiting, Credit Union Resources

Many people associate the word “closing” with used-car, encyclopedia, and vacuum-cleaner salesmen. The fact of the matter is, even the giants like Microsoft, General Electric, and Coca-Cola are well populated with “closers.” Otherwise they wouldn’t be where they are today—at the top of their respective industries.

Broken down to its lowest denominator, closing consists of either asking questions or painting pictures with words that result in making a deal come together. A closing question is any question that, when answered, confirms the person is buying or has bought. A word picture is a verbal scenario in which the logic leads the listener to buy what you are selling. Look at closing as a debate from which you want to emerge the winner because your reasoning has been more persuasive than that of your opponent.

Producers are salespeople… always have been and always will be. Whether you work for a small credit union or one of the biggest in the country, to be successful requires someone to sell services, capabilities, fees, and vision.

There is a vast difference between an order-taker and a closer. A good order taker is like a book with knowledge sitting on the shelf waiting for someone to read it. In comparison, the closer is like a smash hit Broadway play; it jumps right out at you and hits you between the eyes. It doesn’t wait for anything; it’s a full-scale production with all the trimmings. Someone that really wants to produce has to make this decision. Do they want to be an order taker or a closer, a leader in their profession or indulge in mediocrity?

Compare yourself to these traits of a successful closer. A closer:

  • Is the person people look to for their opinion on a deal
  • Listens, learns, understands, and uses salesmanship to solve a problem simply and directly
  • Uses logic, and is "deadly" with it
  • Has self-confidence
  • Is creative
  • Is always in control
  • Changes approaches to fit the situation
  • Is aware and uses all tools available to them
  • Is an independent self-motivator
  • Is well organized
  • Knows when to push and when to pull back
  • Knows when to talk and when to listen
  • Knows how to give glamour to a product, opportunity, or service
  • Has a fascination for people
  • Is aggressive and positive in all they do
  • Has well developed closing techniques they deliver successfully, consistently, and comfortably as a result of practice

Closing is nothing more than motivating, instructing, educating, encouraging, and reassuring people that they've made the right decision by doing what you want them to do.

It isn’t easy. The art of persuasion (closing) requires that you do and say things that will alter the way others act in response to your influence. At first, this can make you uncomfortable. After all, the easiest way out of a difficult situation is to agree with the other person and hope things turn out the way you want. Unfortunately they usually won’t!