Originally published in the July edition of SmartCEO DC magazine.
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Bobservations’ Surefire End-of-Month Sales Closing Techniques
The end of a month, quarter or fiscal year can be a dreadful time for anyone in sales. The pressure of closing enough business to meet your quota, or in some cases, pay off your bookie, is enough to turn a lump of coal into a diamond. And while you’re standing over the fax machine or waiting for the FedEx guy to deliver that signed agreement, you’re also fending off incessant calls from a sales VP two levels above you asking if you’ve done everything you can to do get the order.
It is out of necessity, therefore, that the “closing technique” was created. The term itself, in case you’re interested, dates back to the Neanderthal Age when it was typical for a male caveman (Salesmanicus Pithicus) to seal the deal with his mate by pulling her by the hair back to his cave.
Today there are more than 200 “closing techniques” that have been certified by the Reno, NV-based International Salesological Institute. A recent scan of the Institute’s web site reveals that some of these techniques are, shall we say, a bit less elegant than others. For example:
Ultimatum Close – Carefully describe a specific and brutal threat against the prospect’s family, making sure to include actual dates on which the consequences will occur.
Myocardial Infarction Close – Down several nitrate pills to slow your heart rate to an undetectable level, then wave your arms frantically and gasp for air.
Puppy Close - Act cute to invoke heartbreak and sympathy in the hopes of eliciting a nurturing response.
Fire Sale Close – After dumping 3 gallons of kerosene on prospect’s desk, hold lit match next to it.
Calculator Close – Bring a heavy calculator and use it to pummel the prospect about the head and neck areas until he signs.
Filibuster Close – Read corporate earnings press releases and Senate hearing transcriptions out loud in the prospect’s office until he relents.
End of the World Close – Send the prospect a fake Internet news story about an impending tsunami or nuclear attack and say, “What they heck does it matter anyway? Just sign it!”
Plain Brown Envelope Close – Slide an envelope containing $10,000 under the prospect’s desk blotter and wink.
Demonstration Close - Hire 300 temps to protest against working conditions at your prospect’s Southeast Asian factories until he signs.
Self-Spamming Close – Send yourself an email under the prospect’s name indicating that the deal is approved.
Taser Close – Offer the prospect a free Taser brand stun gun if he signs by the last day of the month, and if he still doesn’t comply, turn the weapon on him.