Closing Matters… or does it?

Business Starting Line

“Finishing strong is an everyday occurrence as there will never be a race, goal, day, quarter or year that does not come to an end. This means finishing strong is not an act…it’s a habit.”

~ Gary Ryan Blair

What Does Closing have to Do with Finishing?

Michelle looked at me with hostility. I was training and managing the sales team for her organisation and her boss had asked me to have a talk with her. Based on her history, personality, and skill profile, she should have been a top sales performer, but her results were extremely average.

In response to my questions, she had just presented me with a litany of excuses for her uninspiring results that ranged from lousy leads to the economy to her marital problems. Then I had asked her a seeming irrelevant question “How many unfinished projects do you have in your life?”

That provoked another angry outburst culminating in her furious response: “What does closing have to do with finishing anyway?”

She didn’t quite add, “and how is that any business of yours?” But the unspoken words hovered in the air.

I wasn’t willing to back down, though. Her boss, Justin, had asked me to resolve the problem or let Michelle know that the company would be asking her to leave due to her poor performance. I didn’t think Michelle wanted that to happen, so I answered quietly… “The habit of finishing things and the practice of closing a sale are both tied to your overall wellbeing.

Research is exposing more and more the inter-relationship between unfinished tasks and projects in every area of life and people’s mental health and overall performance. It’s behind best practices in goal setting, project management, and task management and it’s part of the reason that many high performers practice daily meditation (the art of letting things go) and micro-meditation (the art of resetting as you move from one task to the next).

Michelle’s sales performance had been stellar. I was trying to discover what had changed – and this was indeed the key.

Judgers, Perceivers, and other Key Indicators

At first, Michelle hid behind the Myers-Briggs concept that she was a perceiver (P), so of course she was comfortable with open loops and unfinished business, but I knew that closing sales hadn’t always been hard for her so I kept digging through the excuses until we reached the root…

Uncertainty had become such an integral part of her life that she had developed the unconscious belief that everything was outside her control. As a result, she had developed a habit of blaming anything and everything on someone else and delegating as much as possible. Over the past few months that habit had spilled over into smaller and smaller projects and tasks until now, she acknowledged that closing a sale seemed to in the realm of ‘out of my control’.

“It’s easy for John,” she went on (talking about her colleague) “he likes everything neat and tidy, so he just won’t quit until he has closed a sale any more than he will quit before he wins an argument.”

I had to smile. She had summed up John’s judger personality perfectly, but the reality was that Michelle had always delivered a far higher number of high value sales than John – simply because she was willing to see the other point of view, read the situation, and circle back – either later in the conversation or on another day.

I was committed to working this through for her sake, not just for the organisation’s. It turned out, that once Michelle was aware of the shift in her belief and habits, she was also willing to address the issue and do the work required.

Why Does Everyone Get So Caught Up with Closing Sales?

Sales is far broader than simply the need to bring clients on board or sell produces and packages.

When you realise that sales skill are necessary to:

  • Get a job in the first place
  • Land a promotion or salary raise
  • Lead a team or organisation
  • Persuade friends, family, and children to take action
  • Shape beliefs and adopt habits
  • Communicate ideas and offer alternative paths…

You also realise that the ability to close sales is a very important skill that affects your happiness, opportunities, influence, and much much more.

There are many different ways to “close” and they are shaped by context and personality, but choosing not to close sales at all is a recipe for unhappiness and a deep-seated realisation that you have chosen to play small when you could have had a greater positive effect on your world.

That’s why I’m so passionate about closing sales…  For me, it’s about helping you to be, do, and have all you can be: to fulfil your potential in every arena!

YOU should also be caught up with closing sales!

  • That idea you had that would solve your business’s lead generation problems…
  • The lifestyle change that would enable both you and your partner to lose weight and become healthier…
  • That new prospect you know will experience total transformation if he buys…
  • That hobby that will help your son make friends and feel valued…
  • That restaurant you really want to dine at…
  • That credential you believe would create exciting opportunities…

They’re all sales you could close… If only you had the beliefs and habits to support you.


If you don’t close them?

You develop the habit of letting other people – other forces – control your life instead of taking the reins yourself and choosing your own direction!

Cultivating the Closing Habit

If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taken from many people, it’s that sense of control.

Robert, a successful CEO, said as much to me last week. “I used to believe and act with the confidence that if we went ahead, we could work things out. Recently, I’ve noticed that I’m saying, ‘Let’s wait and see about …’ disturbingly often. My habits have changed and so have my beliefs about what’s possible. I liked the old Robert better, and I think that there’s a new Robert inside me somewhere that would be even better than that one. Can you help me find him?”

We’ve only just started working together, but already things have started to shift – not just at work, but at home too.

In my program, Confident Conversion, we actually don’t spend very much at all talking about sales tactics. The focus is on your beliefs about yourself and your product, your positioning (and the tools to help you communicate the value you deliver), your qualifying process (so you never sell to anyone you can’t help), and several other important elements that increase your confidence and deliver results.

If you’d like to find out more, visit

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