I see these two phrases interchanged all the time, but they’re quite different. Winning business implies a positive outcome, and that you’ve earned the new relationship.
Closing deals, on the other hand, is cold. It’s transactional. It makes the relationship impersonal and reduces the prospect to merely a metric on a dashboard.
The cultural impact of these phrases can be damaging as well. When you treat prospects as “deals,” you teach your sales reps to dehumanize their prospects. To treat them as something that requires a conquest. But is that how you want to treat your new customer? Is that how you want them to feel?
At the end of the month, sales reps in this context “go into battle” to close more deals and hit their number. But is war really the analogy we want to use here? Is the prospect the enemy?
Even if we use that analogy in a light-hearted way, I guarantee that the prospect may still feel it. If you go scorched earth to get them to sign before the end of the month, you may have won the deal – but also left a bad taste in the mouth of the prospect right as the business relationship is beginning.
Whether you hit your number this month or not, the sun’s gonna come up tomorrow and you’ll have another number to hit. Burning bridges doesn’t help now or then.
Want to “close more deals”? Earn the right. Don’t take it by force. Make it a win for both parties.
This isn’t a conquest you walk away from. It’s the start of what hopefully is a long-term, mutually-beneficial relationship.