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"How do you close the sale? "


Are you ready to confirm the close? By the time you reach the presentation stage of the sales process, you should have gathered all information for a compelling close. The first part to ensure your deal crosses the finish line starts with these four steps:

  • Defined a solution that solved the prospect’s Pain
  • Define a solution that fits the prospect’s Budget
  • Are prepared to present to fit the Decision-making process
  • Presented a structure for closing the sale with the Ultimate Contract


Rather than focusing on selling your solution, the pain funnel is designed to help you focus on building a relationship with the buyer, and uncovering their biggest challenges. It’s a more consultative style of selling, so when you use the pain funnel with potential buyers, you position yourself as a trusted advisor rather than “just” a salesperson, This process also helps your customers address their true pain points, something they may not have really dug that deep into. If you haven't used the pain funnel, and identified their true pain, there will not be a compelling enough reason for the sale to close.


The Sandler Selling System is unique in the fact that money is talked about early in the sales process. We want to combine the Pain Step with the Budget Step, and talk about money prior to our presentation, what we call the Fulfillment stage. If you begin talking budget after your presentation, you risk blindsiding your prospect, losing the sale, and potentially damaging the relationship you've worked to develop with your customer.

Decision-Making Process:

How are decisions made? When are they made? We don’t want to get to the end of the process and find out that there’s a committee or board that we had no idea existed. As you uncover the pain, budget, and decision elements of a given opportunity, you are evaluating it to determine whether it meets your own criteria for a “qualified” opportunity. When you reach the point to make a presentation, your prospects will be evaluating your product or service to determine whether it meets their criteria for a best-fit solution for their needs. You need to identify what those criteria are, and who will be evaluating them, before you present. This ensures you present the right information, to the right audience, so a decision can be made after.

Ultimate Contract:

If you have qualified your prospect using the steps above, it is time to confirm the order with the prospect. Yes, you still haven’t presented yet. Before you give away your solutions, when stress is still relatively low, ask for the order. What could this sound like? It could go a little something like this:

"Now I will present my solution that addresses your pain for the price that we all have agreed to. If I am able to show you a solution that you are completely satisfied with, then I will produce a (LOI/agreement/proposal) for you to sign which will (begin service/transfer to implementation team/move to new department). Does this work for you?”

If they say, "Yes," then you are ready to present. If they say, "No," or produce hesitations, it is those you address before getting to the presentation stage or disqualify the opportunity and part ways.

The last step, #5, to prevent a sale from closing is to identify any potential roadblocks that may pop up. Roadblocks to closing could happen because:

  • You were given inaccurate information.
  • Circumstances have changed.
  • The prospect has been less than honest with you.

While some of these are out of your control, how you respond can make or break the deal getting to the finish line. When roadblocks arise rely on your Sandler questioning strategies to overcome or embrace that the opportunity may no longer be qualified. The process to close a deal is fluid. By using the Sandler Selling System, you will qualify the opportunity up front, prior to presenting, so that your time is used efficiently when you reach the presentation stage.

Questions? Reach out to us for a free 15-minute consultation.

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Kevin Hallenbeck

Kevin Hallenbeck

Kevin Hallenbeck is a Principal of Sandler, a national consulting firm specializing in business development strategies, sales and sales management training. Kevin holds both a B.S. and an M.S. in Engineering. He lives with his wife, Diane, and their five children in Bedford, New Hampshire. Kevin is active in church, community and professional organizations.