Jul 18, 2017
In sales work as in life, ideas and words matter. The words you use to describe something influence how you think about it, they also reveal to others what you really think. In business there is one particularly destructive phrase. "Closed Sale" is used to say, the prospect formally agreed to buy.
How is it closed? A more accurate "New Commitment" or "New Promise to keep" would be better descriptions. To use the term "Closed" implies that our work, or the most important part of it is done and finished. Actually, it has only just begun. Either you or your company have to fulfill the promise.
Making an agreement to provide something specific in return for payment is only another step in a projects process and success. The word closed implies that you are done.
Perhaps your customers are edgy at the moment of commitment because your words betray your beliefs that this is the most important step at the end of your part of their project rather than just another step. Intentionally or not you convey to your customer, "you are on your own from this point."
We NEVER close sales here. We only use the word "close" to describe completed projects.
To close a project, we require:
-Delivery to specs at a minimum. This implies doing more than meeting the minimum requirements when possible. It also implies that we know what the customer really needs.
-Debriefing Customer's thoughts on the product and service so we can make future improvements or know what we need to continue doing in the future.
-Debriefing with the factory to thank them for their part and to help make our process with our factory partners better.
-Second debriefing with client as to the success of their campaign / event. (The things you learn a month after an event are different than the week of a product delivery.)
-Schedule the next contact with or action to take for this client.
-Record what we have learned and schedule its use.