Did you know that the very best of sales professionals are often challenged by the 'close'? There's a reason for that. In the early stages of the sales process, the skill sets one uses are comfortable for salespersons....they're about relating and listening and sharing information and answering questions. That part is easy. But then the conversation can get sticky because many prospects are reluctant to make the final decision. The truth is they're often feeling fear...and so is the sales professional. In addition, the skill sets required for the 'close' are a good bit different than those used in the earlier stages of the sales process. Sales professionals often feel forced to step out of their comfort zone and to confront and persuade prospects to come to a decision. And these skills are a lot tougher to master. But not impossible. Follow this four step rule to close sales kindly and efficiently: 1. Be sure that your sales process is created with the close in mind. In other words, the close should be a natural next step in the sales process and one the prospect is expecting and prepared for. 2. Stay close by your prospect's side. If there's ever a time to keep in constant touch, it's during the close. Don't let your prospect's silence intimidate you. Meet it head on. 3. Be sure you create closing questions and closing phrases that are comfortable for you and that come out of your mouth easily. For best results, try these phrases out in advance of the close to see where your prospect's head is. 4. Acknowledge the fear that your prospects are sure to be feeling. Give their particular fear a name. Work together on surmounting it. Till next time, Happy Closing! Flo Schell, EdM, is former VP Franchise Sales, Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc, and Founder of Franchise Coaching Systems. Flo can be reached via e-mail at: email@example.com and online at www.FloSchell.com.