There are a lot of great movies that have been written about selling. In fact, Amazon lists the top ten sales movies when you search the site, and, unfortunately, none of them present the sales profession is a very favorable light. Movies like Boiler Room, Used Cars, Tommy Boy, Wall Street, Tin Men and even The Godfather come to my mind when I do a quick scan. Yes, The Godfather! Who can forget the memorable sales pitch from the movie, “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”I still love sales movies, even though they stereotype my profession in an almost cartoonish way. There is one that really captures my vocation like no other and I have watched it so many times I can immediately quote many of the lines.Once a year, I sit with a large bowl of popcorn and watch the movie version of the Broadway play, Glengarry Glen Ross. It is full of rich sales dialogue sprinkled with numerous expletives deleted and immortal sales phrases like, “Coffee is for closers, only,” and “A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.” As an aside, if you are a business owner or sales manager and conduct regular sales meetings, pay close attention to the sales meeting that Alec Baldwin’s character conducts at about the midpoint of the movie.Speaking of closing, we are a single-minded army of salespeople with the following thought on our mind: Close the prospect! It’s our mantra and our driving directive. We pursue it doggedly and judge all our successes by our ability in this key area.There have been thousands of books written about the tactics we should use to accomplish this. In the 60′s, a well-known training company coined the phrase, “If I could show you a way….” That was followed by the impending event close, “If you buy before Friday, I’ll throw in a free toaster.” And who can forget the famous insurance industry close as they slide the contract toward you, “Press hard there are 3 copies underneath.”I often wonder if anyone ever asked a prospect how they feel when salespeople try to trap them into buying with a cluster of canned approaches. Do they feel violated and recognize that they are a footnote in a sales success journal?I have a developed a theory that each prospect knows how he or she should be closed. When a pushy sales type tries to close without understanding their buying process, the prospect is smart enough to make the “close” contingent on the lowest price.Salespeople need to earn the right to close a prospect. We earn this right when the prospect has a high degree of confidence in the salesperson, is aware of their current situation and has enough knowledge to make an intelligent buying decision.Here are some questions to ask yourself when you begin your closing “dance”:
By asking these 12 questions after each sales call, a salesperson can predict with some degree of confidence, whether they stand a chance to close this sale or not. I personally use these 12 questions as a strategic roadmap to prepare for each sales call, recognizing that I must be confident in each answer while I’m involved in the sales call.Too many times either the buyer or seller tries to dominate a selling situation, creating an imbalance that can only be solved with price concessions. Both the buyer and seller play equally important roles in the closing of any sale. They need to work as a team, gathering critical information necessary for a successful decision.
- Do I thoroughly understand this prospect’s problem?
- Does the prospect understand the consequences of not fixing this problem?
- Did the prospect get the sense that I understood their business?
- Does the prospect see me as an expert in my field?
- Is the prospect totally comfortable with me?
- Does the prospect have confidence in me?
- Does the prospect really need what I sell?
- Does the prospect understand the ways my product or service will help them?
- Can the prospect afford what I sell?
- Do I understand how the prospect will make will make a decision?
- Does the prospect know enough to make a buying decision?
- Is the prospect willing and able to invest in my product or service?
Yesterday I heard an interesting interview on Radio 4 about a study that had been conducted for many years on happiness. The outcome was that happiness was not down to what you were born with or the possessions you hold, but could be found in “emotional intelligence. “
As business leaders, owners and professionals, we spend hours and invest thousands of pounds developing our skills set but are we missing the point? If we ignore developing ourselves, our self -concept and our personal development will all this professional development be for nothing?
I have come to the conclusion over my years of working with those in the business community, that developing purely our business life can bring results. But by ignoring the development of our inner selves, our self – concept, we are making it so much harder to keep the results in the long term. To use a medical analogy, its as if we are realizing our arm is hurting but have decided only to stick a plaster on it and hope it will cure it rather than looking as to why we think it hurts in the first place.
So how are you working on your happiness?
To listen to the full interview click here http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9769000/9769443.stm
You have probably heard that you need to find something in common with your prospective customer or client in order to produce a trusting relationship. The thinking is that if you find you have something in common with a decision-maker, somehow a bond or trust will be formed from a shared interest or mutual acquaintance.
It is true that people buy from people like themselves, so on the surface this selling technique seems like a reasonable method to produce positive feelings in a prospect, customer or client. But, finding something in common with a decision-maker just takes too long in todays fast paced selling environment and often is too difficult to uncover to build the trusting relationship that actually produces sales success.
To build trust quickly in a sales transaction, all you need to do is ask a series of “open-ended, personal questions.” One of the easiest ways to build rapport and trust is to get a decision-maker chatting about something that she loves to talk about–herself!
Generally, people are far more interested in themselves than in you, your organization, or what you are selling. However, psychologists tell us that when a prospect reveals something personal about themselves, they are forming a strong and trusting relationship. And you can always remember: People buy from people they trust!