The first man gets the oyster, the second man gets the shell.
Is your sales process airtight? Or is it leaking out the air you “bought” with your invested time, energy and overall sales expertise? You need to lock in what you’ve done and set up what’s to come. As my spirited New Jersey friend used to say, “Close the damn door!”
Say you’re in a sales situation. You have an excellent solution for your prospect. You believe you are part of that excellence, that you are the best source to administer the solution.
This assumption makes what I am going to teach almost wrong NOT to do. If I truly believe that I have the right solution a prospect has clearly indicated a need for, it is my responsibility to lead him to this solution.
Let’s consider one of your sales meetings that is wrapping up. The prospect is noticeably responsive to you and your ideas, definitely wants a proposal, and asks you to send it right away. The meeting ends with the prospect all but signing on the line and saying, “Call me next week, and we’ll get this thing moving.” You leave, elated. This one is a done deal, you think. At the sales meeting, you confidently consider this a closed sale, counting it in your sales forecast – after all, it’s all but done, just a quick call in a few days, right?
Have you ever made that “quick call?” You likely left the proverbial voicemail, and then got a sinking feeling in your stomach. A few days pass and you’re asked about the “done deal” by your sales manager, or worse, your sales coach. So you call again. Voicemail. You try email a few days later. If you’re lucky, you’ll eventually get a response saying something like, “We’re still sorting out some details. I’ll get back to you…”
Now who’s in control? What happened?
You didn’t close the door! Right at the point of “Call me next week, and we’ll get this thing moving,” the door was left slightly ajar.
The assumption here is not that the prospect is playing you, leading you on, and then finding a delay tactic to get rid of you. This scenario assumes you have the right solution, you are the right provider, and the prospect agrees. The challenge is keeping the idea hot after you leave.
When you’re there, your solution is all they are focused on, but once you leave, it competes with every interruption, deadline and urgency that prospect has to deal with — and you aren’t there to stoke the fire.
With the door open, your solution breezes out unintentionally, and the prospect now has to cover for his delay. As you keep following up, the energy of the idea, once positive, slowly turns to a burden – now competing with all their other issues.
The idea, like a beautiful shiny red Ferrari roaring by, is now a faded red blotch a half-mile up the road. Oh, it’s still a Ferrari, and the prospect kind of knows it, but it’s not right in front of him anymore. You lose the sale. Even worse, the prospect loses the clear value he would have gained. It’s your fault, because you did not close the door.
Here’s how to close the door: At the point of “Call me next week…” you might say, “Excellent, I’ll be in the area next week. How about we meet for 30 minutes after you’ve received my estimates? That way, we can clarify any questions or changes and start moving on …”
The words aren’t as important as understanding the principle that you can close the door by setting the next meeting. Even if the meeting is on the phone, make sure you schedule it on their calendar so it will happen as planned.
Think of it all like dating. Ending that first date on a “call me” isn’t nearly as good as booking that next date, right there.
Mike Greene owns IntegrityWorks Coaching, an integrity-driven coaching, training and consulting company focused on planned and purposeful growth for individuals, teams and organizations. It specifically focuses on sales, leadership, communication and team development. He is the author of the book “60 Second Time Out,” written to bring personal and professional development to sales and business professionals.
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Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS
I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.
WHETHER YOU LEASE OR OWN
NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU TO EXPAND, UPGRADE OR INVEST.
we are at on the a rise of the cycle in Commercial Real Estate. so there is only one way and it’s called we are going up and now is the time for you to expand, upgrade or invest in Commercial Properties in Phoenix. The prices on deals I may get you will not be around forever.
WAITING TO SELL YOUR LAND ? TIMES CHANGE / IT’S TIME
We barely could give land away the last few years, but times are changing. Even in those meager years, I sold more land across the state than most other brokers. Before the real estate crash I was a land specialist in Arizona with millions of dollars of transactions, but then I had to change and also sell other commercial investment properties, which was fun, but I am a Commercial Landspecialist in Arizonal, a Commercial Land Specialist in Phoenix and love to sell land, one acre to thousands of acres.
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