Why trying to close a sale never works

I recently listened to an audio interview featuring one of the world’s top direct marketing authorities and one of the world’s (supposed) top sales training authorities.

I was shocked with what I heard.

The sales trainer, a man with a global reputation; author of several books and training programs, was boasting about a new way he had developed to close the sale. He explained that this new close was for advanced salespeople only, and shouldn’t be attempted until you had mastered his other 60 or so sales closing techniques.

He then delivered his new close. It was so corny it was almost laughable. It was totally manipulative, laced with tie downs and delivered with his usual smirk.

I was even more surprised that the direct marketing guru complemented him on this new discovery. Surprised isn’t the best word for how I felt; disgusted would be far better.

The close was written to be used on anyone who traditionally said “No” to a proposal. I tell you; if anyone tried this one on me, I’d short-shift them out of my office so fast their feet wouldn’t hit the ground.

Sleazy, underhanded and manipulative.

If I hadn’t been out walking and listening with headphones, I would have stopped the recording then and there. I’m glad I didn’t because as the interview continued, I was able to focus on the real issue – why were they doing this?

They’re perpetuating the myth that closing techniques work. They need to do so in order to justify continued sales and dependency. Think about this…

You’re a new or struggling salesperson. You’re out there desperately trying to meet quota to keep your job and it’s not working for you. Someone either hands you a book or audio program, or books you into a seminar focused on how to close more sales.

Diligently, you absorb the content and go out to apply your new knowledge. You may see some small improvement; they come mainly because you’ve started to think about what you’re doing and you’re paying closer attention to the conversation, not because of any new techniques.

You play the audio in your car every day and gradually become addicted to the voice telling you to keep trying and to keep on closing. It’s like a drug; you keep on searching for more. Every new book, every new audio and seminar your “guru” releases gets added to your library, thinking that the ever-elusive “Real Secret” will be revealed and you finally achieve the success that has eluded you.

The sad part is that the success you crave will continue to elude you.


Because you’re following the wrong advise.

They are deliberately creating dependency on a flawed technique and you’re the victim.

Look at this from a different perspective for a moment…

This guy has over 60 scripted sales closing techniques. So you learn all 60 by standing in front of the mirror every day and reciting them. You test them on your cat, your 2-year old daughter and the lamp beside your bed until they’re word-perfect.

Now you use them on a prospect; a human being. Someone with intelligence and emotions who sees straight through you and who knows exactly what you’re doing. Someone who doesn’t follow the formula and who says “No” when you least expect it.

So close number 37 didn’t work. What do you do now? Roll out number 25; maybe add number 59 if 25 fails? If any of Mr Guru’s previous 60 closes actually worked, why would he need to invent more?

If sales closing techniques worked, we would all buy everything that anyone tried to sell us. The real truth is that the entire concept of closing the sale is flawed. It never worked, it doesn’t work and it never will work.

Nobody wants to be sold. Nobody wants to be manipulated. Nobody wants to be “closed”.

You, the salesperson are poorer both in spirit and in reputation for trying to “Close the sale”. Your employer, sales manager or peers have it wrong if they think that learning more closing techniques is the key to making more sales.

I’ll never teach you sales closing techniques. I’ll never teach you manipulative tactics.

What I will teach you is how to open a sincere relationship with your prospect; how to earn their trust and how to identify their real issues and solve them in a partnership format that leads to high levels of repeat sales and referrals.

Call my office and we’ll talk about how you, too, can join the increasing list of people who know that the twin processes, TIPS and my unique Theory of Consequence, work together. Learn and apply these processes, and you will make more sales with less effort and Gain And Retain More Customers.

Here’s the number: 1300 884 757.

(c) James Yuille