A lot of people are scared of the close, the rapport building bit can be easy and the conversation flows, you hang up the phone and think to yourself, I've missed an opportunity to push this interaction to the next level.
I always soft close a sale no matter how far I am from the final close. If at each interaction you close and achieve something, a call back, some inside information, commitment to meet etc then you are making progress.
I like this article because it can be interpreted and used by lawyers, sales execs and recruiters.
From their first conversation to the close, a strong salesperson consistently asks her prospect for small closes. Getting incremental commitments from the buyer trains them to say “yes” and indicates how invested they are in the relationship. These closes also accelerate the deal, since they help you hit significant milestones more quickly.