Traditionally the “ABCs” of sales have meant “Always Be Closing.” But as we show throughout our training, literature, and workshops, closing is never the problem. Failed closes come about from neglected sales process steps prior to closing. Therefore, we’d like to redefine “ABCs of sales” as “Always Be Contacting”—a motto that Lisa has lived by and has had incredible success with. Here are three great examples.
The Airport Adventure
Lisa was once amid a miserable travel experience, having had a flight delayed three times and counting. Almost everyone was swearing, yelling, and being disrespectfully rude. Meanwhile, there was a man who had been sitting next to Lisa for hours in the airport terminal while they both worked on their laptops.
Finally, the man looked at Lisa and said, “This plane has been delayed so many times I can’t even count. Everyone here is stark-staring mad or about to murder someone. And you’re just the most polite, sincere person ever!”
Lisa thanked the man, and they started talking. He turned out to be a senior VP at IBM, and Lisa had been trying to get in touch with a senior VP there for several months. They started conducting business right then and there!
The Restaurant Adventure
Another time, Lisa and some clients were at a restaurant in Las Vegas, during an enormous trade show headed by Microsoft. The tables in this restaurant were close to each other, so Lisa ended up talking to a couple at the next table.
At the end of the evening, there was a time when Lisa and a gentleman who had been seated at the next table were standing by themselves. The man said, “By the way, if you have any interest in meeting Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer [the CEO and President of Microsoft at the time], let me know.”
Turned out the man was Bill Gates’ bodyguard!
The Microsoft Campus Adventure
Once Lisa was visiting the Microsoft campus. She was at her hotel, in a long line of people to get a taxi and was casually talking to a man. A short time later, another man came along, and he and the man Lisa had been speaking with began talking—it was obvious they knew each other. Turned out he had a car and offered both a ride to the Microsoft campus.
On the way there they talked some more. Lisa had been trying to see a Microsoft executive, but had no appointment and was just going to try her luck at getting in. It turned out the man driving the car was going to the same building Lisa was—and the person Lisa was going to see work for this man! He ended up introducing Lisa to the woman she had come to see, with the line, “Take really good care of her.” Lisa and this woman are friends to this day.
Always Be Contacting! In today’s world, in which bad manners are the norm, having great manners and being respectful will get you a long way. Lisa recommends being a great person all the time, not just when you need a contact, which has certainly worked well for her. She says that operating this way, many of the contacts she was trying and trying to reach tended to find their way to her.
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