Properly Close a Sale

How To Properly Close A Sale

Are you struggling to close sales?

In my last post I talked about the fact that if you stop trying to close you can make more sales. You can imagine, I got a fair amount of feedback from people who didn’t understand how they might make more sales if they stop trying to close. I understand that this goes against everything most people teach about the sales process.

And if you want to get different results you have to do something different.

I was a hard-core closer and I would close people because I could. I am the expert. I was more prepared. I could overcome their objections. So I made sales. That doesn’t mean it was always what was best for the prospect or client. I honestly believed that if I represented a great product (and I always did) that it was okay for me to close aggressively.

I would’ve gone on like that forever, if it hadn’t been for a parenting class of all things. In the parenting class several things caused me to rethink my core beliefs. One of the things that just blew my mind was the idea that our children are in our lives for our transformation. The more I thought about that. The more I understood that everyone is in our lives for our transformation, and that includes prospects and clients.

The next thing that became challenged was what I had always been taught was the greatest motivator. You see, I had been taught that pain and pleasure with the two big motivators and that we were more likely to do something to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. I always thought using pain to close was right. It seemed to work well in my sales process and in truth I didn’t mind manipulating people by using their pain, if that’s what it took to get sales.

Of course, I convince myself it wasn’t really manipulation. It was “persuasion”. What I learned in the parenting class was that love is the greatest motivator. The instructor taught us that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son. This tremendous sacrifice was motivated by love. He pointed out that it says in the Bible “No greater love has this then a man would lay down his life…” The instructor gave many, many examples of how love is the greatest motivator.

These thoughts challenged what I had always believed. As I began to examine my thoughts and my beliefs. I knew I needed to change. It wasn’t right for me to make sales just because I was capable. I considered myself a master closer, an expert at sales. I was always either number one or in the top 1% in any organization. I saw this as a challenge to become better than I had ever been before.

I recalled a great sales book by Og Mandino titled The Greatest Salesman in the World. If you haven’t read the book. I couldn’t possibly give it a higher recommendation. Do yourself a favor, go buy it, get it from the library or borrow it from a friend. Whatever you do read the book. In chapter 9 it talks about the scroll marked II. The scroll marked II explains how the greatest weapon/tool a salesman has in the whole world, the most important thing he possesses is love.

I read the book many, many years before I went to the parenting class and after going to the parenting class, and having my beliefs challenged I chose to reread Og’s book. That began a new journey that changed my life and how I close when selling forever.

These days, when I train salespeople (I’ve trained over 1,200) I no longer teach them how to close sales. What I do instead is teach them how to prospect without rejection or failure.  I teach how to properly qualify a prospect to uncover their needs, and to determine whether or not we are a good fit to work together. If they are a good fit then based on that information I teach them how to put together a presentation specifically about the prospects need for a solution and how they deliver that solution.

When you focus on your prospect, or clients, specific needs. And you tailor your presentation to solve those problems, and only those problems, you build value, you build trust, and you are perceived as the expert. When it’s done like this, you avoid objections, rejections or pressure and the close is simply a natural byproduct of your well done presentation.

Sales is about a relationship and it should be built on trust, not manipulation, pressure or stress. When you’re willing to put your prospects needs first, even if that means referring them to a competitor because a competitor has a better fit for what they need, then, and only then, are you on your way to being a master salesperson.

Have you struggled when closing prospects or clients?  Leave me a comment about your struggles closing and share this article on LinkedIn or other social media to help the world of sales people learn to sell with a healthy system if you benefitted from reading.

Healthy Selling System - Logo

What is Healthy Selling?

Has anyone ever told you selling is evil?

What is healthy selling?  Like the name implies, Healthy Selling is a healthy way to sell. Too many salespeople are taught that sales is a numbers game. For years I’ve had salespeople come to me from other organizations and they are just burnt out and stressed. Many times their health is questionable or at least not as good as it might be.

All of these are symptoms of an unhealthy selling sales process full of pressure, stress, and manipulation. They take a toll on the sales person and the customer or the prospect. There is a better way.

A Healthy Selling System helps salespeople and business owners sell their goods or services without pressure, stress or even the need to close. You might be asking , “how can you possibly sell without needing to close?” And that would be a good question.

You see, it was questions like that they got me started down the path of creating a Healthy Selling System. I decided to work backwards and I asked myself, “what would I need to do differently to sell without having the need to close by applying pressure or stress?” Believe it or not the answer was simple, stop selling.

Now I am not the first salesperson ever come up with the idea to stop selling. And what I discovered when I did my research of other people that claimed to stop selling was that it was just another tactic to manipulate the situation to get the sale. I realized you genuinely have to stop selling.

In order to do that you have to make a couple of decisions. First off, it starts with a decision to put your clients or prospects needs first in all situations. That means if your competitor has a better solution for what their particular need is you need to recommend your competitor. Secondly, you have to actually care about the needs of your prospect or customer. That means you learn to ask questions to truly understand their situation so that you can make a proper determination on whether or not you are able to even help them.

When you put their needs first and then you learn how to make a proper presentation, then and only then will you learn how to make sales without objections, rejection, or the need to close.

Have you discovered anything about your sales process while reading this post?  Leave me a comment and share your takeaway.

Know a sales person who might benefit from changing their sales process to a healthy selling process?  Share this post with them, on LinkedIn, or any other social media website.

I love how Joe Polish addresses the question, is selling evil.  Watch this short video.

In my next post I share how to properly close a sale.

Always Be Closing

ABC (Always Be Closing) is Dead

Are you having difficulty making a sale?

Traditional sales training tells every trainee to Always Be Closing, it’s part of the ABC’s of selling. The problem with that is that in this day and age no one wants to be sold anything. The good news is they still love to buy and it’s important you understand they desire to buy for their reasons, not yours.

It’s simple avoid old-school, hard-core closing, it’s inappropriate and all it will do is cost you sales instead of help you sell. If your a sales veteran you may very well be saying to yourself, “it works for me,” or “I still get sales.” I know you still get sales but are you getting all the sales?

If you’ve been selling for a few years think over the last year and compare it to previous years. How are your sales? Are they easier then ever? Or, do you find that you have to work harder to make the same number of sales you used to make?

If you’re like most of the salespeople and business owners I talk to it’s the latter, more difficult to make sales. The biggest reason sales are more difficult to make is because most salespeople and business owners haven’t changed the way they sell.

Are you willing to test your sales process and see if it’s possible to grow your sales?  Imagine the sales process becoming easier and easier.

More has changed in the last 10 years than in the previous 50 to 100 years combined when it comes to how your prospects and clients are educated in the marketplace. The old days of a salesperson actually knowing their product better than a prospect are done and over. These days it only takes a few clicks of a mouse for someone to find out just about everything they need to know about you, and whatever it is you are selling, whether it be goods or services.

Buyers are not interested in being sold something they don’t want, can’t afford and won’t use. And why should they be? What they want is to be treated with respect and they want to be understood. It’s only then when they feel understood that they are ready to move forward, and then they only buy if they have a problem they desire your help to solve.

So next time you’re trying to make a sale, STOP. Focus your time finding out the prospects real needs, focus on understanding their perspective, and determine whether or not you can help them before you even think about making a sale, let alone always be closing.

What’s your experience with “Always Be Closing”, share in the comments below.

Do you know a struggling sales person who might benefit from updating their sales process?  Share this post with them on LinkedIn or another social media website.