Part of the hazing process of joining your first sales team is watching Glengarry Glen Ross. It’s there, during that screening, that you’ll learn some fundamentals of sales. A salesperson should always be closing, but more importantly coffee strictly for those who close deals.
Forget all that noise.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a large purchase, you may have felt the sales squeeze. Traditional closing techniques intend to force you into a position where your only rational choice it to agree to the sale.
Modern shoppers are so weary to this crap, they smell it a mile away. Not always, though, which is why you still run into slicksters practicing their ABCs.
The rub is that you don’t have to make people feel uncomfortable to sell well.
In fact, that not only has nothing to do with success, it’s more likely to tarnish your reputation in the long run. Master closing the right way to be a better overall communicator.
Most would tell you the most important part of a sale is listening. It is.
It’s the most important, but if you aren’t real with people it won’t matter how much you listen. A crook will listen well too.
Stop applying techniques and just be real. The more approachable you are, the more people trust you. Trust is the most important aspect of your sale.
Unless you are the only game in town, without trust, nobody will buy from you. We arrive at trust via the realness freeway.
We could dedicate a book to techniques on being genuine, but most of us know the difference.
Ask Open-Ended Question
This is your biggest tool for listening.
Open-ended questions seek more information. They start with words like how, what, when, where; one cannot answer them with a yes or no.
It’s not so you can close the deal, even though that is a ultimate goal of your conversation. Your goal with the questions is to gather as much as you can about your client so you can make the most sensible recommendations.
If you have trouble collecting that information, take notes. Just, make sure to ask permission to make notes since you will need to look down for that.
Make them shorthand notes, very short. People like eye contact.
As you gather important information about your client, organize it all into a narrative in your head.
When you feel like you have a good picture of what that person wants, repeat back what you’ve heard.
This will give them the chance to correct any misunderstanding. Also, take it slowly.
Keep in mind that person is likely nervous. They are trying to read you, so give them the space to listen when you speak. If you rush, all they may assume you are trying to lose them.
Don’t Close Every Time
Yes, you are looking to get a yes from your client, of course. You didn’t start down this path to not close deals.
If you spend every sale chasing your closing rate, then you aren’t being genuine. You aren’t listening.
Not every pitch will make sense. The best salespeople don’t squeeze juice from their sales opportunities. They recognize that the relationship is more important than anything.
Don’t let that person walk over to the competition to buy, but don’t push them there either by being a jerk. It’s okay if you don’t have what they are looking for.
Sales is a numbers game. The best in sales are where they are because they logged the hours. They never give up, working overtime whenever they can.
They make more calls, talk to more people, get in more conversations than their peers. They realize that every conversation may lead to someone sitting in a chair in front of them, handing over a credit card.
If you think being good at sales is refining your closing percentage, you may get better at closing, but you will never win in the long run without hard work.
If the product is good, then the rest is minutiae.
You can hone your sales pitch over time, practice asking open-ended questions or handling objections, but in the end, it will come down to how hard you are willing to work.
This is why coffee’s for closers. They never sleep.