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Book Review: 'The Art of Closing the Sale' by Brian Tracy

Get your copy here: Alec Baldwin's Glengarry Glen Ross monologue of ‘Always be closing’ is so seminal to the world of sales it’s become essential general knowledge. Now, if you’re a salesperson of any kind, the most important part is the end: the closing. With that in mind, Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale is the seminal book on inspiring salespeople to master the art of closing. Tracy’s book is born from a simple truth: the struggles of facing rejection time and time again, missing out on closing the sale. With years of experience and repeated rejections comes wisdom. That’s what Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale is about: closing, closing, closing. Having meticulously studied years and years of sales performances and narratives, Tracy articulates the essence of closing as the key element that determines the success of a salesperson. His understanding on how to close the sale has helped Tracy break every possible sales record, increasing his income some twenty-fold. His range of closing techniques have helped over a million people maximize their sales results. This is essential reading for anyone interested in improving their sales efforts, exploring the aspects that go past the usual ones like eloquence, passion, friendliness and likeability. A must-read from those hoping to win sales pitched with record-breaking consistency.

Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale introduces a practical, workable framework on navigating the crucial last step of the selling process that is closing. Tracy draws from a wealth of experience, plotting insights and techniques that aren’t just tried and tested but easy to follow and put to practice straight away. The book is designed to help salespeople with all levels of experience a guide to navigate the art of closing with finesse,  conviction and confidence.

Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale explores a specific aspect of persuasion and influence in the process of sales, of closing, which he draws from learnings in psychology. A key aspect of this approach is to understand the needs and wants of the customer, getting into their shows, and meeting those expectations and preferences with clarity and conviction. He discusses a range of concepts from the world of psychology that bases the art of deal-closing through rapport, trust and value exchange, ultimately allowing the customer to take definitive actions.

Tracy establishes a fundamental insight into how people actually make decisions by differentiating the mind from reality. He proposes that there is a two-step method to closing the deal: first, close the sale in the mind, then close the sale in reality. This involves getting the prospect to work through a series of incremental commitments, helping build momentum toward the closing of the sale. He introduces a variety of techniques like strategic questioning, active listening and empathic communication to discover those hidden motives and desires. And in doing so, the product or service that’s being sold is positioned as the ideal solution to meet their challenge.

One key element of closing the sale deals with anticipation. When the salesperson can anticipate the objection and counter-points of the prospect beforehand and be prepared to face them, those objections and counter-points can be diffused. He reveals a number of key techniques to overcome objections naturally. A smooth close is possible only when barriers are removed, so anticipation is an important element in closing the sale efficiently. In addition, Tracy points to a strategic tip: reframing the objection as an opportunity. This way, not only is the sale more cohesive, but it feels convincing while demonstrating the value and benefits of the offering. 

Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale reveals a number of closing techniques that can help with presentations and pitches such as the use of three Cs: clarity, conciseness and conviction. He suggests that preparing stories, considering narrative arcs and conveying the messages and value proposition, with the three Cs can help deliver successful outcomes. He references a bunch of real-life case studies, anecdotes and examples to highlight the principles in action. Whether that be a full-fledged boardroom presentation to a casual handshake meeting done in the corridor. 

Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale reveals a step-by-step closing framework that includes identifying the decision maker — recognising the person in charge of approving. Then comes presenting a compelling offer, which deals with recognising the needs and value proposition. Followed by handling objections — anticipating and overcoming barriers to pave the way for outcomes. Using closing techniques — like trail close and assumptive close, which helps nudge the decision maker. Lastly, asking for the sale directly — which reveals a confidence and clear approach to securing the commitment. Besides this, the way one comes across is a defining factor in helping close the deal, so confidence and professional demeanor are necessary traits to build on.

Tracy suggests that different types of customers require different closing techniques. For instance, price-conscious buyers would need to be sold a value proposition beyond cost. Hesitant customers might need to overcome their barriers and biases. Phone customers might require that their time and attention be accounted for before the sell, and so on. But overall, persistence, 

To conclude, Brian Tracy’s The Art of Closing the Sale is a seminal book on the art of closing. It’s a timeless classic that applies to all forms of sales, from big boardroom presentations to everyday scenarios. The book reveals a range of insights into closing techniques, building on years of experience, real-life cases and psychology. Its focus on confidence, value proposition, objection handling, anticipation, trust-building, rapport-developing and other closing techniques provides a solid foundation for sales success — whether you’re a novice or a seasoned salesperson.

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