A friend of mine, who is also involved in sales training in the Midwest, told me that recently she and her husband were shopping for a graduation gift for their favorite niece. They found an attractive ladies’ sport watch and decided to buy it. After telling the store salesperson they wanted the watch, the clerk violated a selling no-no. He volunteered a 30% discount although they didn’t ask for one, and had already told him they wanted the item.
This surprise discount made my friend curious how much more she could get the price reduced, with a little work on her part. She started into the role of a grumpy customer with second thoughts and told the salesman they wanted to look a bit more before making a final decision. Automatically the clerk responded by taking another 20% off, which came to a 50% discount in less than 60 seconds!
Now she was really curious to see how far the clerk would go before asking them to leave the store. Her husband knew her well enough to know what was coming next, and began feeling uncomfortable. My friend continued to object and argue with the sales rep, and every time this guy responded with another discount.
They finally walked out of the store with the watch, having paid only 35% of the list price! Her comment was that she thought they could have even done a little bit better, but was getting the hairy eyeball from her better half, so she called it a day.
What it comes down to is salespeople are afraid of price. Yes, they’re afraid! They’ve built up a huge defense mechanism to allow themselves to believe the reason they’re not more successful is because of price. Although it’s hard to close a deal without verbalizing a price, that’s not the real focus of today’s post. I want to talk about the concept of what closing really is.
As I ask the following questions, think about your actual results, not what you wish they would be:
– What percentage of your sales do you close on the first visit with a prospect? I realize that figure varies based on a number of factors, but for the most part your honest answer is going to be less than 50%.
-So the next question is, on average, how many visits does it take to close the rest?
-Regardless what that number is, how do you get appointment #2 if you don’t close appointment #1?
-IMHO it comes down to the definition of “closing.”
Every salesperson, and anyone who has watched the 1992 movie, Glengarry Glen Ross, is certainly familiar with the phrase, Always Be Closing. To me that doesn’t mean you constantly bug your prospects to death for a signature on a contract; but rather that you must “close” every sales call.
When I use the term “close,” my definition is a logical next step. Closing, with a small “c” is something you should do regularly, until you eventually can close with a capital “C” and get that signature you desire on your agreement.
As an example of what I’m talking about, here’s a response I’ll bet you hear a lot:
“Thanks for coming out and explaining everything to us. This is a lot to consider.”
I also bet you typically respond with, “Great, here’s my card. Give me a call when you figure it out and I’ll come back and we can talk some more.” THAT’S NOT CLOSING!
Closing would sound like, “I understand. Could you tell me on a scale from 1-10 your level of interest in what I’m recommending?” (Let’s assume you hear a high number)
Continue with, “OK, then about how long do you think it will take to study over this information?” (Assume you hear a couple of days)
Conclude with, “Well then, with your permission how about I come back Thursday about the same time and answer any final questions you may have, and then hopefully wrap this up so I can secure a spot on the install schedule for you, fair enough?” THAT’S CLOSING!
Now I get it that this is closing with a “c”, until you come back Thursday, but if you don’t establish this logical next step you may never be able to secure a follow up meeting. He may buy from a competitor or lose his sense of urgency for doing anything.
If the prospect agrees to the Thursday meeting, the odds are very good that he will buy when you return.
If he is not willing to grant the second meeting, you need to question his “supposed” high level of interest. You may uncover an objection right then that can be answered to his satisfaction, and possibly close with the capital “C” on the spot.
But if there is no commitment to your logical next step, why should you waste time continuing to chase him?
Therefore by “closing” every call, you either realize:
It’s “No Sale” and doesn’t have to go into the pending pile, because you got an answer, or
“Know Sale”, meaning you have an agreed-upon next step and now have a good idea what is required to win the customer on the next visit.
Either way, you are much better off than you were leaving your success to chance. Try it, you’ll like it, and you won’t become an unpaid entertainer who is Clumsy at Closing!
“Doug Robinson has been a large part of my career success in pest control industry sales. Additionally, I have personally watched several managers, salespeople, and technicians step up their game with the help of Doug’s materials. His book and leader guide are simple & effective sales training tools that increase sales across the board. I promise you it is well worth your time to check out his website and material. He also has a FREE weekly sales blast newsletter that is always informative and fun.” Greg Cosgrove, CosMo Pest Solutions, Doniphan, MO.
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