Asking For the Order in Sales

Way too many salespeople lose orders they should have won. They talk too much, don’t listen enough, pitch too soon and use manipulative closes. Dear old Zig, dear old Tom; you guys made rods for our backs when you taught us “*7 ways to close the deal”.

You assumed that our customers were unintelligent men, incapable of rational thought. Guys, those men own companies and make decisions about buying from salespeople, and most salespeople work for someone, don’t they? So who’s the one with the power?

No, no, no. It’s not about closing the sale, never was, never will be. It’s about opening a trusting relationship and solving problems. Look at it this way… You go to the doctor. Before you open your mouth he diagnoses appendicitis and wants to book you for surgery.  Questing his diagnosis, you say “But I’m here because I have an ingrowing toenail”. The Doc says “But your stomach, you’re in pain!” “Yeah” you answer, “Had a burger with the works for lunch and the onion’s repeating on me”

Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice. So is blind pitching. It’s not a numbers game despite what Amway says. Eventually you run out of people to talk to.

It should go like this…

“Graham, I see where you’re coming from, I hear the problem and understand how it’s creating the stress you’re feeling” {Sidebar, appealing to auditory, visual and kinaesthetic aspects of his personality here.}

“I think what we have to do here is implement a project management system that tracks exactly where each job is at any time so at a glance, you know who is working on what and how long the job has taken. That way we can monitor profitability easier and keep a better handle on cash flow. Does that sound like a plan to you?”

Graham agrees, so we move on…

“It’s going to cost around $2,000 per month over 12 months to implement and the productivity increase across your 5 guys is going to be equivalent to 5 hours per week each which means you’ll be billing an extra 25 hours per week at $100 per hour so even while you’re paying it off it’s making you $500 per week. So it’s a no-brainer, hey?”

“Every week you wait is costing you $2,500 so when do you want us to get started?”

Logically and emotionally, can he easily say “No”?

Create either a sense of urgency or agree to a timeline are the only relevant closes when you use a consultative approach. And that’s what you are, isn’t it? A consultant.

Forget the tricky closes. Throw those old books away. Timeline and sense of urgency, you have nothing without them and the only way you’ll have them is by identifying the cost of the pain.

James Yuille is a 35 year plus sales and marketing veteran based in Brisbane Australia He runs Mediaglue, a marketing services company. His book, “Are You Getting Enough?” is available at JamesYuille.com

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