?Don't 'Close' sales - 'Open' relationships

Steve Hall



Words are bullets and language drives behaviour.

Some have killed, others have died for the sake of a few words. Words shape our experience, our attitude and our actions - so it's important to think about what we say the consequences of our words.

Some words have emotionally charged connotations that trigger an automatic response in our nervous systems, irrespective of the context.

One such word is the verb "to close". It evokes visions of closure, endings, a finish.

Many phrases that use the word have negative connotations; "close minded"; "closed shop"; "closed door" and so on.

When we use the term "close a sale" it implies it is the end result. And so it is - from the perspective of a salesperson who can move on to another sale he or she can "close".

But from the perspective of the customer it isn't an end - it's a beginning. It's the beginning of a relationship with a company that's sold them a product and service. There's a cognitive dissonance here - the salesperson, who is supposed to care for the customer and help them receive the business benefits they are looking for, has don his or her job thank you very much and can move on.

Meanwhile the customer is passed on to someone else to look after and if they don't get what they expected or were promised that's not the salesperson's problem. All care and no responsibility - or in many recently documented cases, particularly in the financial services arena, no care and no responsibility.

Of course, the majority of salespeople are ethical, they do care about the customer and they do want them to achieve the results they have been promised.

So let's make our language match our customer facing rhetoric. If we're committed to building relationships, delivering value, promoting customer satisfaction and selling ethicallywe need to use relevant language

So let's not 'close' any more sales - Instead, let's 'open' relationships.


Your B2B Sales Library

Need resources to help you sell or manage more effectively?

Ever wished you could find a wide range of B2B sales Resources in one library?

Check out the library here

It's packed with articles, videos, keynote speeches, Tools, templates, training materials, eBooks and eGuides.‚Äč

Subscribe to the Library Here


European Peer Group Chair Wanted

We have a number of new enquiries from sales leaders based in the UK, Europe and South Africa who are looking to join a peer group.

We need a Chair to facilitate this new on-line group. This is a valuable role that will be rewarded.

If interested read "Is a Forum Role for you?" and if the answer is "yes" please Contact Us


A Sales Leader Forum provides you with the opportunity to connect with your peers and create a support network of like-minded individuals to learn how they have dealt with the same challenges, issues and problems that you’re facing.



1000's of sales articles, videos and sales tools.  Sales leaders and their teams can access most of it free - simply subscribe.

This site brings you some of the latest expert thought leadership content on business to business (B2B) sales from specialists, sales leaders and sales professionals.