The final ask, The Commitment to Decide, is either the easiest commitment to gain, or it is the most difficult. How you sell up to that point determines which of these two things is true for you.
- If you have gone through the process, ensuring that you are not far out in front of your prospective client, nor allowing them to get too far out in front of you, closing is easy. If you have helped them explore change, commit to doing something different, collaborate around the solution, build consensus, agree to the right investment, review their choices, and resolve their concerns, the ask is a formality. Literally, you can just ask for the business.
- If on the other hand, if you got way out in front of your prospective client, disconnecting with them and not making sure they have what they need to say “yes” to your ask, then the final close is going to be difficult to gain, and you are to blame. If you let your client control the process, disconnecting from you and not doing what really needs to be done to make a good decision, the close will be difficult, mostly because your dream client now determines what comes next. What comes next is often nothing. They go dark. This is also your fault because you didn’t push back and explain why you still needed to do what was necessary.
If you struggle to gain the final commitment, if you have a low closing rate, it isn’t because asking for the business is so difficult. It’s because you haven’t done what was necessary leading up to that point to make the final ask a fait accompli.
All of the more difficult commitments come earlier in the process. If you want to spend time learning how to close, then spend time learning how to gain the commitments that make closing easy. Or say, “Can I get you a contract and put this solution in place for you?”
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