It doesn’t matter where I go or what I do I can’t get away from salespeople who quiz me about closing techniques and sales managers who beg me to teach them how to get their salespeople to close. I try to avoid these conversations because philosophically I believe that closing is a process that depends on excellence throughout the entire sales cycle, rather than a point in time where a manipulative line or tactic gets the prospect to say yes.
Everyone is sales is looking for the edge that will help them close more deals.
Unfortunately, most people want the easy way out so they spend their time looking for shortcuts and silver bullets which will miraculously deliver huge commission checks. This is why so many questions I get include statements like, “what’s the trick,” or “can you tell me the secret” It is also why so many salespeople are duped into buying into seminars and products that promise to deliver these secrets of closing only to find that there really is no secret.
Sales, like athletics requires training, education, persistence, practice, and a winning attitude. That is the real secret.
Universally, though, there seems to be an unyielding desire to find a magic closing pill. There was even a time when I would wear my special closing tie on sales calls. From superstitions to an endless stream of cheesy scripts, closing, much like putting in golf, is shrouded in mystery. There is no shortage of “experts” who are quick to claim that they have the one, true secret for “closing the deal every time.”
Here is the brutal truth: There is only one closing technique that really works.
Now what I’m about to share with you is a secret that has been guarded by the Knights of the Sales Round Table for thousands of years. It has been passed down from generation to generation – given only to worthy sales professionals who have sworn an oath to use this powerful secret wisely and guard it with their lives.
I’m going to reveal this secret to you; but, before going further, I need you to you to solemnly swear on Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Bible to use this information to earn a higher income, become sales rep of the year, go on your president’s club trip, get promoted, and earn a massive income.
Get your note pad and pen ready. Here it is. The silver bullet, the real secret, the magic closing pill:
That’s it. The only closing technique that really works. Just ask. Ask for the appointment, ask for the next step, ask for the decision maker, ask for the business. Ask for what you want. Ask.
The fact is, if you are having a hard time getting the next appointment, getting to decision makers, or closing the deal, 9 out of 10 times it is because you are not asking.
Why? Because 9 out of 10 times you are afraid to hear “no.”
Rather than admitting our fear and working to overcome it, we blame our failure to close on everything else. We blame our product, our company, the economy, our sales manager, and our luck.
Instead of owning up to our shortcoming we look for secrets, tricks, silver bullets, and turn to cheesy closing scripts that make us and our prospect feel even worse.
Instead of facing our fear of “no” and asking anyway, we hide behind justifications like not being too pushy, or bad timing. Along the way our self-esteem deteriorates, our belief in our self suffers, and ultimately we don’t reach our true potential as sales professionals.
Getting past the fear of “no” isn’t easy. The first step is to at least acknowledge that your fear is real. I’ve been selling my entire life and have been incredibly successful at it, yet today I still have to remind myself that “no” won’t kill me.
Once you admit that you fear “no” you can then begin to pay attention to your behavior in front of prospects. Start by learning to anticipate the anxiety that comes right before asking for the deal. Then practice overcoming your fear by asking for what you want.
When you fail to ask, and you will fail, don’t put your head in the sand a pretend it didn’t happen. Instead, acknowledge your failure, get back up, and on the very next call ask for the business.
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