Closing Time

As a young man growing up in Ireland it was not at all abnormal to socialize in the local Public House. For those on this side of the pond, this would be better known as the Pub. Everyone I knew had their local, as it was known. This was a close-by, favorite spot to meet with friends and have a few pints, Irish speak for drinks. Strict laws were governing when a pub could open and when it had to serve its last drink. It has since changed a little bit, but in my time, the last drink during the week was 11:30 PM and 10:00 PM on a Sunday. It was as if the publicans did not want to be blamed for anyone missing work the next day for indulging with too much to drink the night before. This was especially true for Sunday night when you had to get up bright and early on Monday morning. For me, my intake was more limited because of the price, where at two pounds fifty pence it was more like drinking gold than beer back in those days.

Characteristic of a night in the Pub was the sound of the bartender shouting at the top of their lungs that the time had come to drink up. “Have you no homes to go to?” they would say. Occasionally, they would resort to telling the revelers that the Police or “The Guards” as they are known there, were outside and would be in to take us to jail if we did not drink up and move on. Little did I realize then that these bartenders were not only closing the pub but trying to close me as well. Their tactics were coarse but somewhat effective.

This week I was conducting sales training for a group and we were talking about the subject of closing a sale. I asked the team what their biggest fear was in closing. Was it going in for the kill too fast? Was it failing to see and hear the buy signs and missing the close entirely? Was it that asking for the business was a little too cliched? The group was divided on their response, probably because there is no normal situation when it comes to closing a sale. Don’t get me wrong, closing can be kind of natural for those that have an innate ability for this skill. We in sales have even developed a name for these folks called “The Closer.” Some organizations use closers to advance their products in very subtle ways and others not so much. Ever deal with someone selling a Timeshare?