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Dangers of Selling Past the Close

Article Cliff Notes

Selling past the close = over-selling.

You worked hard to craft your offer. Now’s not the time to doubt the pitch!

When in doubt, close your mouth.

Let’s cut to the chase—sometimes it pays to shut your mouth.

Selling past the close means continuing to flap your gums long after you’ve made your point. The concept works in a huge range of situations, from marketing to dating. It definitely has applied to our sales process here at Klicker.

Basically, you’ve hit your high note. By continuing to drone on—like a movie that takes forever to wrap up after its climax—you’re actually creating NEGATIVE emotions in your audience.
Picture this scenario:

You’re at the grocery store. You’re out buying organic kale and artisan rhubarb for your detox drink. Or maybe you’re picking up a slab of Angus beef to enjoy raw as you recline on a bearskin rug.

Anyway, a cute guy/girl walks up to you and asks where the paprika is. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to flirt, but you don’t care because they’re hot, so you play along. One thing leads to another and, whoops, you’ve given out your phone number and agreed to meet this weekend for coffee.

You had me at saffron.

Here’s where a good salesman would take his leave. Your mysterious stranger caught your attention, built up your interest, made his pitch, and closed the deal. If a date was his or her game all along, they’ve already won.

But this is where a startling number of would-be salesmen screw up. They stick around and ruin everything.

Imagine again that your supermarket superhero stuck around after getting your number. After a few minutes, you realize they have an unbearably shrill laugh. Their breath stinks. Turns out, they’re married too. And they hate puppies.

All information that would have been hidden had they’d just WALKED AWAY. Now you can’t wait to delete their number from you phone.

If you want to avoid selling past the close, you’ve got to recognize a crucial point in your pitch—after you’ve said everything that needs to be said, and nothing more. Once the ball is in your prospect’s court, play defense. Don’t keep hammering them and running up the score.

A few years back, I was shopping around for a new gym. All I needed was something simple where I could move heavy objects from Point A to Point B without someone complaining about my grunting (I’m sorry).

Chad was their new hotshot salesman fresh out of college, with a New York money haircut and the handshake of a UN ambassador. He also royally screwed up and lost me as a customer.

In a face-to-face sale, whoever talks first after the pitch usually loses. I don’t like talking much, so I usually win. Chad dropped his tactical nuke of an offer on the table—just sign here on the dotted line and you’re good to go.

Stand firm. You worked hard on your pitch, now let it work for you.

I stared at him and nodded my head. Not for very long, but just a split second longer than Chad was willing to lock eyes with a scowling stranger.

“OK, well let me just tell you about our fitness classes really quick…”

Nope, not interested in fitness classes. I told you that a few minutes ago, don’t you remember? Were you listening to a word I said?

See, it’s such a simple little comment. But it set off a spiral of doubt that ultimately led to me shopping around and choosing another gym.

When people are ready to buy, you can only make things worse by continuing to talk. The simple fact is, people would rather NOT spend money than spend it. You’ve worked hard to hype your business as being WORTHY of your customers’ hard-earned ducats, so don’t go planting any seeds of doubt at the last minute.

Keep it simple, keep it direct, keep it succinct. Don’t sell past the close. Easy.

Written by on September 29, 2016

I'm Nick and I have a uncanny obsession with words. I live, breath, and even eat (alphabet cereal) words all day, everyday. You should definitely subscribe because we're going to put out some of the most insightful marketing content you'll ever come across.