Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Facts and Fallacies About Selling Fallacy #4

Fallacy # 4: Some salespeople are good at selling but they can’t “close” the sale.

Reality: Effective selling includes securing the business. There are no slick closes ineffective salespeople can pull out of their bag of tricks to get unconvinced prospects to sign. Knowing when to ask for the business and asking with skill and confidence is only part of the selling process. In our view, selling is not a battle with prospective customers; it is a battle with competitors.

For example:
“While people liked my work when I first showed it to them they had a lot of questions about why things were the way they were. Their questions indicated that my design was not what they had in mind, and as a result, I would spend countless additional hours redesigning pieces to fit what I thought they were looking for or asking them irrelevant questions that would not move the sale forward.

Slick closing techniques would not help this designer to secure more business for herself. Here's one component she focused on to increase sales through effective selling competence.

I increased my sales 234% by asking more pertinent questions and listening to what would actually motivate the client to buy now.” [Graphics Designer]

I know this sounds hard to believe, and there is more to it than noted here, but plenty of salespeople leave business on the table and this has little to do with their ability to "close the sale."

In the eighties, one prominent publisher said they would never publish a sales book without the word "closing" in the title. Thank goodness those days are almost over! ABC (always be closing) is an antiquated theory based on ineffective sales managers transposing their theories onto our fine profession. Closing is a logical conclusion to a fine sales conversation.

There are competencies in closing that salespeople need to learn and practice. But the best “close” applied to the wrong prospect in the wrong way at the wrong time will not “motivate” the prospect to buy.
Order-takers pride themselves in saying “I’m not here to sell you” or “I’m not trying to sell you” as if the very reason they are there is invalid or somehow wrong.

Prospects don’t mind talking with salespeople, as a matter of fact, they want to talk with salespeople who bring real value to the conversation and can help them make an informed buying decision. What is offensive is ineffective salespeople trying to deny their profession. I don’t need another “buddy.” What I want is relevant information presented in a reasonable way to help me make the right choice. I want someone who is willing to explore the fit between their products and service and what I am motivated to buy and am willing to pay for in money and other resources – including time.

I am okay if you ask for the order. I’m just irritated when it’s done in a sloppy way for all the wrong reasons.

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