Some of you may have heard the long time famous quote from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, others may have heard it from a friend or co-worker as almost a sarcastic play on the now cliche phrase, but although the meaning is pretty straight forward, it’s worth to take a deeper look into how we can apply this to our day to day work.
When I started off in sales and heard this mantra repeated over and over around me, I always wished someone could tell me exactly how you can be closing all the time! After all, we’ve all faced prospects who are just not interested no matter how you spin things or how great your solution actually is. It made me as frustrated as the feeling you get when you’re reading a Wikipedia article about a successful entrepreneur that seemed to go from sleeping on their buddy’s couch to running a multi-million dollar business overnight. “You skipped the most crucial part!”
So, here I am to appease your frustrations, new salespeople and entrepreneurs of the world.
One of the more important things you’ll learn about sales is that it never works out if the customer is leading the process. Customers want to be told how to buy, what to do next, what the best use of their time should be etc. The goal is to take away as many decisions as possible that they need to make, because they’re busy and don’t want to do more work, and to make any decision they do have to make as easy and natural as possible.
This means that with every customer interaction you need to have a clear goal and outcome, or else everyone’s time including your own will be wasted.
So, you’ve thought of every possible outcome of the conversation, and have figured out exactly how you want to close them. Perfect! But wait…how can you make sure that they’ll say yes?
By asking as many questions as you possibly can. Let them do the talking and probe further when you hear that they particularly care about a certain problem even if you don’t directly solve it. Maybe you can point them to some other solution that they will be forever thankful for. But the main point is this: the more questions you ask the more educated you will be about what the best “close” is for you.
ABC does not mean always be trying to get your customer to give you their credit card or sign on the dotted line. Of course that’s the ultimate outcome and that is how you get paid, but if you want more people to buy from you you need to get comfortable with adapting to their needs as opposed to pushing your own agenda. A sale is a partnership like any other and requires both sides to come to a mutually beneficial conclusion.
Know what you want your outcome to be and don’t hang up the phone until you ask for it, but always have a few backup “asks” that you can be ready to throw in if the timing is right.
Is the person on the other line an introvert or extrovert? Maybe all they need is to meet with you for coffee for 20 minutes to trust you and the deal is yours.
Do they seem like the perfect buyer for you and are very excited about your product but you know they need approval from the executive team to buy and will need to stick their neck out on the line for you? Make their lives easier by sending them documents with direct ROI of your solution that their boss will care about and will make them look smart!
Are they more technical and would like to speak to someone on their level? Set up a demo with your technical person to gain their trust.
Have they been kicking the tires and singing praise but just have not gone on your website and put their credit card in? Send them a direct link to the sign up/ cc info page so that they only have to do one thing today instead of the 5 steps it would normally take to put their info in. (Seriously, I’ve gotten deals this way)
You get the idea. The definition of what “closing” means is going to be different for every prospect, partner, at any given time. As long as you gain a good understanding of what the appropriate outcome is during that particular interaction, don’t be afraid to ask and you will receive more often than not.