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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery


Updated: Apr 15, 2020

The difference between relationship building and selling is asking for the sale. How many salespeople do you know who are good at building rapport and building relationships but don't generate good sales numbers?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see whether you're on track to close a sale, and here's a tip of the hat to Al Simon at Sandler Training.

Have you established rapport with your prospect? If they don't see you as both competent (you know what you're talking about) and caring (you genuinely want a win-win solution), then you have no real shot at this sale. That's why the "always be closing" advice so often fails--folks don't want to be sold, they want to be helped.

Have you established yourself on equal footing with your prospect? Do they see you as a glad-handing underling who is starving for a sale under any circumstances or as a savvy business peer they can respect and trust to provide a real solution to their problem?

Have you uncovered the real pain that is motivating your prospect to seek a solution? If you haven't established rapport and asked enough probing questions, you likely aren't hearing the real pain and won't be able to propose an effective solution.

Have you avoided the "happy ears" syndrome and been skeptical enough to determine whether this is a real "prospect" instead of a "suspect?" Do they have a budget for this, and can they write you a check? If not, what's the decision process, and who can write a check? Bottom line, is this worth your time?

Have you gauged your prospect's commitment to make a decision? Is it a 1 or a 10, or somewhere in between?

Did you present your proposal in person? If not, then you're missing an opportunity to address your prospect's concerns in real time and move toward closing.

Have you congratulated your prospect on making a good decision and clarified next steps to fulfill the agreement?

Copyright Terry Dockery, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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