By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

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Have you ever had opportunities in which you won the business without having to close? In these cases buying is a logical conclusion and just happens. These situations are gratifying and rare. In most transactions sellers should and do ask for the business.

Many sellers close on their timeframes (end of month, quarter or year) with little regard for where buyers are in their buying processes. Buyers that aren’t ready to buy may feel pressured. Discounting may be necessary to accelerate decisions. In some cases high pressure closes can cause transactions to be lost.

0-man-writing-notepadYour Pre-Closing Checklist
Competent sellers earn the right to close. To have a realistic chance of getting the business, I believe buyers should:

  • Know the business outcomes they are trying to achieve
  • Understand in their current environment the reasons that outcomes can’t be achieved
  • Be able to articulate the capabilities they need
  • Know the price
  • Understand the cost vs. benefit
  • Be able to fund the initiative
  • Be a decision maker (it’s demeaning to be closed when they aren’t authorized)
  • Understand what will be necessary to implement (or activate) the new offering

If sellers close before these items have been addressed, they pressure buyers (ask them to buy without a clear understanding of why they should buy). Especially as year-end approaches, try to be sure buyers have the needed information and authority. If they know the potential value, they’ll also understand delaying decisions defers benefits that could be realized.

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