Closing the Sale is All About Timing

As I watch the vice presidential and presidential debates, I wonder who'll end up winning and what will be the tipping point. Sure, I know who I like, but I’m disappointed sometimes because my candidate isn’t delivering the right message. So now I start to look at the other candidate. Now I try to like them because they have the right message. And this makes me wonder: what really makes a good closer?

Closing is a lot about timing. Have you noticed when you're serious about buying something the presentation isn’t important? The other day my friend Mary and I were in New York City. It was beastly hot and there were too many people. Mary offhandedly said, “I’ll die if I don’t get something to drink.” We were waiting in line next to a deli so it wasn’t much for her to quickly open the door and ask for an ice tea. She came out in tears of laughter—it seems she said to the clerk, “Where’s the ice tea?" The clerk said, “Right in front of you — did you want me to mix it for you too?” On any other day this would have been enough for Mary to show the clerk who’s boss—but not today while dying of thirst on stifling 43rd Street!

While in Dalton last week I wandered into Clair’s, which features jewelry, earrings and other stuff for girls. This is one of those places where the clerks are so young they don’t know what to say to you — sort of like Spencer’s Gifts. I’m just the wrong customer. So the clerk says, “Hi, nice weather,” which it was, so I couldn’t dispute that. I agreed and asked her, “What’s new?” She said tons of stuff and proceeded to show me what’s new. She asked if I was buying for me or was it a gift -–I said I didn’t know. She wasn’t “fazed” and showed me some little gadget that you hook to your cell phone and it lights up when you get a call. It lights up even when your phone is off. Cool huh? I bought five.

How do you know if the timing is right? If you don’t try you’ll never know. Some salespeople have already decided the customer doesn’t want to buy before they ask for the sale. Well that’s the end of that. Did I tell you that when I asked the salesperson in the shoe store what’s new he said nothing? I guess he had already decided or didn’t know much about timing.

If you don’t step up to the plate you’ll never get a chance to hit one over the center field wall. The more times you step up to the plate the more likely you are to get a hit.

I shudder to think that when I get to the voting both I still might not know what I want and become the impulse buyer. Well, timing is everything!

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