How to Close a Deal: Think Like an Olympian

Closing deals effectively is one of the biggest challenges to anyone in business.  One way to master the process of closing is to think “Winter Olympics”  and the downhill skier who hits certain flags through their heat to win the race. 

You and I…we are those skiers but in a business fashion.  Let’s break it down to four flags to hit to close a client with integrity and thoroughness.

Flag 1: Be Sincere and Honest

Be sincere and honest in your intentions. Ask tailored questions to establish an understanding of your client’s true goals and challenges before recommending ANY idea to them. This is the stage of the race where listening and asking the right questions are the winning skills.

There is a great business expression to remember: “Disclosure builds Trust.” The more a client explains their situation the more they feel you understand them.

Flag 2: Play Back What You Hear

Once you capture a client’s desires, play them back with empathy to create a relationship. This illustrates you heard them and gives them an opportunity to give you more “color” on their issue.

It reinforces your commitment to providing them with a solution versus a “nice-to-have.” This is the stage of race where you start to become an adviser, not a vendor.

Flag 3: Present a Solution

Begin your recommendation with the phrase “As you said, an important goal is to…” There is no a better way to present a solution.

By paraphrasing your client’s goals you illustrate your recommendation is driven solely by what they said was important.

Flag 4: Close with a Critical Path

Close your client with a series of clear next steps that illustrate the horizon of activity required to achieve their solution.

This pathway shows your understanding of what needs to happen and by when.

Even if your client doesn’t agree, they will put forth an alternative critical path you both can discuss and on which you can agree. Your path is clear and you become the champion!

Enjoy the downhill race of closing with honor. Let me hear about your medal-winning victory. Leave a comment below. Thanks.  

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