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Closing The File

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In the buyer-seller dance, one of the things we talked about is how the buyer has a system. The buyer will sometimes mislead you about their interest. When they are in front of you, they are often there to get unpaid consulting. Once you have given them that unpaid consulting, they may lie or mislead you about the next step by sounding positive. When you are trying to get back in touch with them, their last step is to hide.

The technique “close the file” is all about getting them out of hiding mode. The key is perfect tonality and is disarmingly honest.

Here’s an example:

You’ve left a message or two for someone who seemed interested, but now you are not getting a callback. The take-it-to-no voicemail sounds like this:

“Hey [Prospect], this is John Rosso here at ABC COMPANY. I know you, and I had a chance to meet two or three weeks back. I thought we had an excellent meeting, and there seemed to be a good fit to move forward. I know I put a few voicemail messages into you and an email, and I haven’t heard back. I sense that maybe priorities have shifted or things have changed, and at some point, you decided that you have zero interest in moving forward with ABC COMPANY. If that’s the case, I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable in telling me that. If you could give me a quick call back, we’ll close the file.

It’s John Rosso, ABC COMPANY, 555-1212.”

The magic of close the file is that it is disarmingly honest. You are saying things that would seem to be not in your best interest before saying something that could be in your best interest. Don’t squander this technique by closing with “On the other hand, if you have questions or if there is any way I can help you, please call.” End with: “If you can give me a quick call back, I will close the file.”

That is closing the file to get a prospect out of hiding mode. When they get out of hiding mode, your objective is to get them back in your office with an up-front contract for a yes or no decision.

John Rosso

CEO and Best Selling Author of "Prospect The Sandler Way"