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Sales Consulting and Training:

Wrapping Things Up to Make the Sale

Using the Summary Close

There are times throughout the sales process when it helps to help the customer catch up with the existing situation in order to move to the next step. The next step isn’t always a closed sale. It may be a next appointment or a commitment to evaluate a product. Simply put, the next step is a forward move in the sales cycle that causes the customer to move closer to purchasing your product.

Summary closes allow you to proceed to “the next step.” They allow you to do three things via a three step process:

Step One: Reconfirm your customer’s needs.  You restate concerns or issues and repeat them back to the customer

Step Two: Restate FABs that address those needs.  In a way, you are reminding the customer of how your product/service/company can alleviate that particular concern or need.

Step Three: State a course of action. This is the catalyst that allows you to move to the next step of the sales cycle. Rather than leaving things hanging and not making any progress, you tell the customer where you would like to go from there.

Here is an example of how the summary close can be used to get a customer to commit to a product trial.

Step One: “You had expressed a concern about our product’s compatibility with your existing systems.”

Step Two: “We then talked about our product’s backwards compatibility that allows it to function with your other software.  This will minimize upgrade costs and compatibility issues.

Step Three: “What I’d like to do is have our technical sales team contact you to have a pre-sales consultant set up a product trial next week.  What would be a good day to have them call you?”

Another example provides an idea of to use a summary close to set up an appointment:

Step One: “Earlier, you had mentioned that the need for flexible payment terms was required when selecting a vendor.”

Step Two: “We agreed that our finance department would work with you to come up with payment options and financing to make a larger purchase more palatable.

Step Three: “I’d like to come back next Tuesday with one of our analysts so we can start exploring those terms together.  Would this same time, next Thursday work for you?”

Finally, here is an example of how the summary close can be used to close a sale:

Step One: “During the past week, you had requested that we ensure packaging for each unit is provided.”

Step Two: “We came to an agreement to include packaging if your company was able to place an order for 5,000 units.  This would allow you to receive a product that is ready to sell in time for the Christmas shopping season.”

Step Three: “Shall we go ahead and draw up the paperwork to have everything shipped and delivered by August 31st?”

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