“Sales professionals are expected to generate the best possible win rates for their effort,” explains Adam Wiggins in a Hubspot blog post. Choosing the right phrases to seal a deal is crucial, because the close is “the final verdict determining whether or not your efforts will amount to anything at all.” Wiggins reviews seven close types:
- Now or never close (some special disappearing benefit prompts an immediate decision)
- Summary close (reviews value and benefits)
- Sharp angle close (prospect asks for price reduction or add-on, but you agree only if they close today)
- Question close (“Does what I’m offering solve your problem?”)
- Assumptive close (salesperson monitors prospect’s engagement throughout, assuming a close)
- Takeaway close (remove a feature or service if customer balks on price)
- Soft close (low impact question: “If I.….would you be interested in learning more?)
Will blog marketing “close: deals in the same way as a face-to-face encounter between a prospect and a sales professional? The answer is obviously “no”. Interestingly, a second Hubspot blogger, Corey Wainwright, explains the indirect selling benefits of blogs and their place in the sales process:
- If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer, it’ll help establish you as an authority in their eyes.
- Prospects that have been reading your blog posts will typically enter the sales process more educated on your place in the market, your industry, and what you have to offer.
- Salespeople who encounter specific questions that require in-depth explanation or a documented answer can pull from an archive of blog posts.
In the book Close the Deal, authors Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman suggest that a salesperson faced with a demanding prospect ask “What concession do you need from me to close the deal right now?”
In blogging for business, of course, such an exchange would not be taking place between the business owner/practitioner and the reader/customer. On the other hand, one purpose of the content is to persuade the reader to act. For every fact about the company or about one of its products or services, a blog post addresses prospects’ unspoken questions such as “So, is that different?”, “So, is that good for me?”
The traditional selling sequence of appointment, probing, presenting, overcoming objections, and “closing” may be totally dead, as Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, asserts. What has replaced it, Gitomer says, is a step-by-step risk elimination, a process for which blogs are well-suited. Business blogs, I “preach” at Say It For You, are nothing more than extended interviews, and blog posts are an ideal vehicle for demonstrating support and concern while being persuasive in a low-key manner.