Apr 02 2010

Close The Sale With A Standing Ovation

standing ovation
n. an enthusiastic outburst of applause during which those in the crowd or audience rise to their feet.

A standing ovation for an entertainer is the ultimate acknowledgment from his audience. Every performer craves it whether or not they like to admit it. The big “O” is the grand prize in show business.

The final moments of a performance are critical for success. It’s the feeling you leave with your audience that will make or break a performer. It’s good business! When someone who didn’t see the show asks “How was it?” or “Was he any good?”, without hearing anything else about the show, if he finds out there was a standing ovation, nothing more need be said.

It’s no different with traditional business. When you complete a sale the last moments are what your customer will remember. The last thing that happens in the sales process, the feeling the customer is left with will be remembered above all else. It makes sense to build up to the applause, to keep them coming back.

I’m fascinated by watching magicians and how they boost their chances of getting people to their feet with applause. There are tricks of the trade to close a show. It should go without saying that a performer either deserves an ovation or he doesn’t. If the show is terrible, clever tactics to get applause mean nothing. As a business owner you deserve praise from your customers only if you provide a service that delivers on your promises.

A magician structures his act to ensure as exciting a climax as possible. Only then will applause-getting tactics be of use. Your business must operate in a way that gives your customers as many benefits as possible to create a feeling of trust at the time of the sale.

Let’s assume you have a good product that solves a needed problem. You also have a support system in place to take care of your customer after a sale. Now we can borrow some tricks from the magic world. Ken Weber in his book Maximum Entertainment talks about ways to get applause.

Don’t Leave The Stage Immediately

A good performer takes a bow and stays for as long as the applause is peaking. Only when he hears the slightest lessening of applause will he leave the stage.

After completing a sale, your customer wants to know they made the right decision. They are more concerned about YOU. Did you really solve their problem? Are you going to be available if something goes wrong? Be sure to stay long enough to answer any follow-up questions.

After A Bow, Extend Your Arms To The Audience

This technique borders on being insincere if done poorly. After bowing, the performer extends his arms to the side, palms up. It’s the motion you would make if you were actually asking your audience to stand… but instead of the full motion, the performer just starts it slightly. His hands will only move about an inch or two without being obvious.

In your business, see if you can get your customer to tell you why they bought your product without coming right out and asking. An easy way to do this is ask which feature they’ll be using first. When they answer they will repeat the benefits and what is meaningful to them. If you did your job correctly by selling benefits, it will be easy to confirm for themself why they made a purchase.

Acknowledge The People Who Stand

A performer give immediate attention to the first person or two who stands with applause, extending his arms directly to them and says “Thank You”.  It’s contagious. Other people will want to join in.

If you have testimonials from previous customers, thank them and share their story with your new buyers. In a group sales settings, always let existing customers talk about your product. It creates excitement for your new prospects.


Going for the standing ovation after a sale is a sure way to start an ongoing relationship. As long as you have a worthwhile product or service that does exactly as promised, why not try to get some praise? It’s what they will remember most.

How do you get applause in your business? Please share some of your tips in the comments below.


  • By Glen, April 3, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    If I listened to this as a speech I would give you a standing ovation.

    Probably the biggest thing that gets repeat business in my real life job is saying “Hello”. In real life it’s surprising how often Customers are ignored by sales staff. I try to treat new Customers like they are a good friend coming into my home for a visit..
    .-= Glen´s last blog ..Edna at Easter =-.

  • By Tim, April 3, 2010 @ 8:54 am

    It’s amazing how one word can make such a big difference.

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