The attitude of the salesperson at the close is very important. There’s always some tension at the close. This is natural — a good bit of money is about to exchange hands. But the salesperson can minimize this tension, and maximize the customer’s confidence in the fact that a positive decision is the right decision, by having a positive closing attitude.

Here are four points to remember that help communicate a positive closing attitude:

1. Remember that the customer expects the salesperson to ask him or her, eventually, to buy something. He or she understands that it’s the entire reason for having the salesperson in the field — to sell products. A customer has greater respect for a salesperson who attempts to close firmly and confidently than for someone who avoids or hedges on this part of the sales job.

2. Be convinced that a positive buying, or action, decision is genuinely in the best interest of the customer.

3. During the close, maintain the same confident, natural communications style you’ve used throughout your presentation. The close is a normal part of the sales call. Concentrate on presenting a relaxed attitude . . . by being relaxed!

4. Signal your confidence to your customer by maintaining eye contact as you ask the closing question.

This frame of mind is demonstrated most aptly in the following close that has scored millions of dollars in sales.

The Assumptive Close — positive thinking in action
One of my favorite closes is the one that depends most on positive thinking. This close actually begins the minute you wake up in the morning, and definitely the second you are at the customer’s door. Assume you will be closing on a new system in the home of every customer you meet today.

You must have a positive mental attitude, and never let your mind defeat you before you’ve walked into, or potentially away from, yet another deal down the drain. This goes especially for Yellow Pages leads and the folks who announce right up front, “We’re just checking prices.”

You’ll find that by automatically assuming you have the sale, in many cases, no one will disagree with you, but rather simply follow along at your command. You're the professional and you're giving solutions to their problems.

In using this close, you must feel comfortable that the customer is in sync with you as you mention the assumptions. If you feel you’re still just “one of many” quotes they’re getting, you can’t use this close effectively. Just wait on clues that they’re pretty well on your side, nodding in approval, as you begin the assumptive close.

Part of the language of the assumptive close is for you to say to customers, as if they’d already decided,

“Well, we can put your new system here, and we’ll paint the lines to match your home so it’ll blend in.” This mentally installs the system for them, so saying yes becomes less of an obstacle. Your assumptive language helps make it theirs.

Then you’d say something like, “And your new thermostat will go here, maybe a little higher than this one so you can reach it better. We’ll program it at installation and show you how to use it.”

Each assumption you make has lowered the barrier of asking for the sale, because in their mind, they already own it. To wrap up the close, you’d say something along the lines of:

“And do you have any more questions about your new system? Okay, then we can schedule this at your convenience as soon as I make sure we have this one in stock.”

You see, you’ve never really had to stop and ask for the sale. You’ve simply progressed toward ownership through assumption.

By not assuming the sale, you may transfer doubt into the customer’s mind that even you aren't sure that you’re the right choice for them. Assume the sale and close more deals today. That’s positive thinking at its most profitable.

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a contractor marketing firm. Hudson, Ink has just launched the new HVAC Sales Power Pack, a product designed to improve presentation skills and guaranteed to increase sales closes. Hotmail readers can get a free 16-page booklet, “How to Double Your HVAC Sales in 90 Days” by calling 800/489-9099 or faxing the request on letterhead to 334/262-1115, or visitwww.hudsonink.com.