As those of you who read my posts will know, I come from the direct sales trenches, where we were taught, “Always be closing!” But more recently, I've read many articles that suggest the art of closing is an outdated tactic, that hails from the last millennium.
Quite a few years ago, we spent a lovely Sunday afternoon looking at houses. The third one was exactly what we were looking for. The agent could sense my wife really wanted it and that I was on board.
She had begun the ascending close. “So you really like this kitchen?” Yes, it's perfect. “Is the second bedroom a good size for your sewing room?” Yes. “And will the den suit your needs, Cole, for an office?” Should do nicely. “It sounds like you really love the house?” Yes, it has everything on our list. One small “yes” after another…
The next question should have been something like, “So why don't we write up an offer?” She would then have tactfully shut up and waited (for what often feels like an eternity), until we responded with what would have, in this case, been a yes.
Years later, I still drive by that house from time to time. We never bought it. Do you know what she said to us as we stood by the door, with all those buying signals? “Well you two obviously have a lot to think about…” She made sure we both had her card, shook our hands and smiled warmly, then walked us to our car. I received a voice message a few days later, and I meant to discuss it when I got home… not really sure what happened.
The real estate agent that drove us around that day, was very gracious, helpful and a wealth of information. She had a wonderful personality, and had built a great rapport with us. Sadly, she didn't want to put those comfortable, friendly feelings at risk by asking us to buy.
Here's the thing, it is only when we close the sale, that we open the door to future interactions. Had we purchased that home, we would have spent time together during the closing. She would have been invited to the house warming party. And we may have contacted her down the road with referrals. Because she never pressed for a sale, we never saw her again.
Do you have a story to share, where you either didn't pull the trigger, or you locked eyes with your prospect and waited until the answer was, “Okay, let's put in an offer for…”?
I welcome your questions and comments below.
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