Weekend Reading: “The Lost Art of Closing” by Anthony Iannarino

For the 135th episode of The Marketing Book Podcast, I interviewed Anthony Iannarino, author of The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales.

For decades, sales managers, coaches, and authors talked about closing as the most essential, most difficult phase of selling. They invented pushy tricks for the final ask, from the “take delivery” close to the “now or never” close.

But these tactics often alienated customers, leading to fads for the “soft” close or even abandoning the idea of closing altogether. It sounded great in theory, but the results were often mixed or poor. That left a generation of salespeople wondering how they should think about closing, and what strategies would lead to the best possible outcomes.

In The Lost Art of Closing, Iannarino shows how to approach closing within the new technological and social realities of our time. The key is to lead customers through a series of 10 necessary commitments in order to prevent a purchase stall and close a sale.

If you are going to sell well now, if you are going to succeed in sales, you’re going to have to ask for commitments. Closing is non-negotiable. If you aren’t willing and able to ask for the commitments you need, you will not succeed in sales. The good news is that nothing about asking requires you to be self-oriented, nor does it demand that you do anything that would violate your client’s trust. The old tactical approaches are not necessary, and you won’t benefit from using them anyway.

This book Is for professional salespeople. It is a book for people who aspire to be their client’s trusted advisor. This book is for people who believe in building lifetime relationships on trust, creating value, collaborating, and delivering exceptional results.

This book won’t help you if you are looking for tactics that allow you to manipulate, pressure, or trick people into buying from you. This is a book for professionals in the art of selling.

A bit more about the book…

Douglas Burdett

Douglas Burdett is the Principal of Artillery, a B2B marketing agency and is host of The Marketing Book Podcast. He is a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man and stand-up comedian.