Success secrets for salespeople
When I worked in commission-only sales, there was a popular movie my colleagues and I loved called “Glen Gary Ross”, starring Alec Baldwin. The movie was about a sales team managed by Baldwin who trained his team through the use of the acronym ABC, which stands for “always be closing”. This sales tactic was taken to the extreme in the movie and lead to unethical practices by his inexperienced salesmen.
However, the strategy does not have to be unethical. When used properly, it can take the tension out of closing the sale at the end, as it can aid in creating a natural progression. Closing the sale is often the most challenging part of the process for salespeople. It is often the step that causes anxiety because it is the moment of truth. Salespeople often brace themselves for rejection while praying they will win a “yes”.
The skillful use of ABC can serve as a thermometer throughout the selling process to check the prospect’s temperature. Always be closing means, instead of running through your sales pitch in an uninterrupted monologue and then stopping at the end to ask for the sale, you should be in a conversation and asking questions to get a better understanding of what is important to the client.
Neuroscientist have studies to show the brain moves to protect us when we are asked to make what is perceived to be a big decision or commitment, so to keep things familiar, it is easier to say no than yes. The brain is more comfortable with micro-decisions. ABC can be used to get agreement on less significant choices throughout your presentation, which natural progresses to a yes on the big question.
Therefore, salespeople should always be closing. Look for the small things for which you can get agreement without resistance.
For instance, if you are in real estate, start with the obvious questions like “Isn’t this a nice spacious living room.” You would only ask this question if the only answer is ‘yes’. Then you get them to tell you how they can see themselves using the space. There is no need to be afraid to ask, because if they do not like it, you need to know. If they feel the living room is too small, but they fall in love with the kitchen, then you know what to focus on.
In sales, you benefit from asking questions, listening intently and looking to get as many yeses as you can along the way.
Then when it is time to ask for the money or contract it doesn’t feel like such a big decision. Asking questions is the best way to sell. Make it a habit of turning your statements into questions. Instead of telling your client, “This is an excellent insurance policy because…” Ask them what would they consider an excellent policy. Then you can show them the policy that contains the exact features they seek. Sales should not be about manipulation, but about providing solutions. Adopt a new habit, ask, don’t tell and always be closing.
I will be sharing more strategies to increase your sales I my upcoming free sales training webinar, send me an email for details.
• Kim Welcome is the CEO of Influential Voice. A communication trainer and coach, she assists businesses and professionals to achieve their goals by helping them to develop deliberate, skillful, polished communication skills. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 242-225-9013.