What makes one person great at sales, and someone else not so great? It lies in a very simple difference between “sales” and “closing.”
• business development
• educating the client
• motivating the client
• relationship driven
• trying to get the customer to like you
For closers, these things don’t matter as much. Sales is the process that leads up to the close, it’s the journey. The close is the destination. Sales is getting to the point where they want to buy and closing is when they actually buy the product. Sales leads into the close. To close is to succeed.
What does closing mean? Some might say it’s a decision and a commitment. But a decision or commitment to what? If there are five frogs on a log and all five decide to jump off, how many frogs are on the log? Five, because they didn’t actually jump. They decided to jump.
This captures how difficult it is for many salespeople to ask for the business. It’s like asking for a hand in marriage, then checking with all the relatives, and courting for a long time, and setting it all up, and then getting on one knee.
Do you think closers follow that process? What do closers do? They come in and ask right away.
Why do they ask right away? Because 1%, 3%, or 5% of the time, people buy right away. Why the hell would you sell to somebody that’s ready to buy? If you don’t have a psychology that says, “Hey, I’m Bill Sumner, I’m here to sell you this because it is awesome and I have a nice proposition, etc. Are you ready to sign with me?”
What if 3% or 5% of people are intuitive and make fast decisions? This is a Napoleon Hill rule, he wrote the book Think and Grow Rich. One of his rules is that really successful people make their minds up quick, and change their minds slowly. Everybody else, which means the “not-as-successful” and the unsuccessful minds, they make up their minds slowly and they change quickly.
Who do you want as your client? Walk in and ask for the business in a very professional manner because you don’t have a lot of time to waste and they don’t have a lot of time to waste. But sales people never do that because they have a process that’s like a mating ritual. They ask them to dance and they go through the ritual of getting ready, getting the fire started.
The first thing closers always do is ask for your business and it works. Closing begins right at the start, there is no certain place to stop or start. Closers begin the closing process from the moment they walk in that door.
If you say, “Here is my professional proposition and I want to close this business. It’s good for you and it’s good for me.” And they refuse or are unsure you say, “Whoa, okay, so you’re not ready to buy yet. Let me give you some research as to why you want to accelerate this decision and why I’m the right decision.” Now you’re in the sales process, whether it is through questions or you’ve researched the client and you start giving them information to make a decision. Closers are closing every step of the way.
The number one priority for most salespeople is the mating ritual. It’s like, “Will you dance with me? Because if you dance with me, and you like me, then you will buy from me.” The sales person’s subliminal message is “Please like me. Do you like me? I’m likable aren’t I?”
When you’ve established rapport, and depending on how uncertain or unconfident your game is (because maybe the economy is good and your game is better, or the economy is worse and your game is more challenged), will you take it to just short of the “like me” line and leap over it because you know they like you and you ask them to buy?
Will you, as a sales person, take it to just short of the line and say “Gosh, I’ve danced six dances with this, I’m not sure, but I’m just going to leap.” Or will you go two dances past the line and make sure that you are liked first and that you are really, really sure they will buy?
Closers close. And their subliminal message is “Will you buy now?” And the risk they run is that somebody is not going to like them. And they might make some customers unhappy because they are too aggressive, but they still close deals.