Our topic for this month is closing, which is the 7th “C” of the SELLability 8 Cs of sales. And it makes sense that because the subject of closing is so misunderstood that it is subject to many clichés—none of which really help. We’re going to take up some of the most overused of those clichés and debunk them for you, so you won’t be trapped by them.
“Always Be Closing”
Let’s start with probably the most common one— “ABC, or Always Be Closing.” This one couldn’t be further from the truth of a salesperson’s operation and following it will never do anything but lead a salesperson astray.
We discuss this topic very often, and in fact, the name of our upcoming book (watch for it!) is Closing is NOT Your Problem! Simply stated, if you’re “always closing” that means you have skipped all the earlier steps of the sales process. Having done so, you’re certainly not going to close. Only the successful completion of each of the sales process steps will finally bring you to the close.
Probably the most fatal crime you can commit when you try and apply this cliché is to never gain trust. Trust is established very early in the sales process, and it is the primary factor that carries you through to a completed deal. If you start out trying to close, you haven’t established trust. If the prospect doesn’t trust you, you’ll never close them.
“Customers are Liars”
What this generally means is that prospects aren’t telling you everything—that there’s always something that’s going to jump up and surprise the hell out of you and possibly ruin the sale.
This goes back to what we just covered: trust. If you haven’t established trust, the prospect won’t trust you enough to tell you everything. Turn it around: when was the last time you told someone something secret about yourself when you didn’t trust them? The same goes for prospects.
“Extroverts Make the Best Salespeople”
This is one of those things that’s partially true. Partial truths are the most dangerous kinds of advice you can take.
In this case, it is true that if you’re going to be a salesperson, you do need to be able to comfortably talk to people. What’s not true, though, is that salespeople must be heavy talkers—which is unfortunately how this cliché is understood by many. That is the route to more and more lost sales.
If you’re talking, you’re not listening. And listening is probably the most important skill a salesperson can have. Listening is the only way you’ll find out what kinds of issues your prospect has, that your product or service might be able to solve. Listening is the only way you’ll find out when your prospect begins to trust you.
“Sell High or Die”
While it’s true that you need to make sales and achieve quota, a cliché like this one (like many of these) can push a salesperson into again, primarily focusing on the close. This is done in an attempt to rush every sale to a closed deal. Once again, the salesperson has omitted some or all of the sales process steps.
It can’t be said often enough: only the successful completion of every sales process step will lead to a closed sale.
Effective Sales Technology
There are endless clichés just like these, that unfortunately have been ground into the heads of salespeople and followed throughout history. The problem with following anything like them is that, while they may work some of the time, most of the time they will not.
The only way to win is to learn and follow a proven sales technology. SELLability is just that! Sign up here