Almost every sales person has heard about the ABC’s of selling.
That is of course…Alway Be Closing! Unfortunately, many sales people mistake this sage wisdom to mean they should always be asking for the order.
That may have been the original intent of the “old school” sales dog that came up with that sage bit of wisdom, but in today’s sales environment that may be the best way to short-circuit your sales career. Instead, we need to put a slightly different spin on the ABC’s. Instead of trying to push for the order, you need to always be closing (i.e. asking) the customer to commit to take the next step.
For example, when you first cold call, you are “closing’ them on a face-to-face meeting or a web demo. At the end of a promising first meeting, you are “closing” them to supply you with data to build your case. At the end of your second meeting, once you have confirmed that you have understood their data correctly and have a compelling offer for them, you may next be “closing” them on a meeting with other stakeholders to uncover hidden opposition.
You must work like this, step-by-step until you have built enough value, overcome the major objections, and secured the support of the key stakeholders and the ultimate decision maker.
In order to take those next steps you have to develop the habit of never ending a call or a meeting without confirming the following:
1) What you will do before your next meeting.
2) What they will do before your next meeting.
3) The date, time and location of your next meeting.
Confirming next actions and next meeting date, helps to build and maintain momentum toward a sale. It also tests the prospect’s level of interest, urgency and commitment.
If your prospect resists committing to specific actions and a time for your next meeting, that should be a red flag.
Assuming you and the client agree you have something they need, the prospect’s unwillingness to commit to next steps doesn’t necessarily mean they are not interested. However, it does tell you that they are most likely not interested now, and it could take a long time for them to make a buying decision, and you should plan your sales pipeline forecast accordingly.
Unless you learn to confirm, you run a serious risk of your pipeline drying up.
1) Are you in the habit of confirming next steps and next meeting dates at the end of each meeting?
2) What do you do if anything, when a client will not confirm a next meeting date?
3) What do you do if a client cancels a next meeting date just prior to the meeting?
Please print this topic and bring it with you to this week’s Sales Growth meeting.
Our next meeting is this coming Wednesday, July 22nd, at 7:30am at the Vita restaurant in Dolce Basking Ridge (300 N Maple Ave, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920). We meet for networking and breakfast at 7:30am and the meeting starts at 8:00am. The cost for the meeting which includes their excellent breakfast (and tip) is $20.00 per person.
Happy selling this week. Remember, it’s an abundant world so focus on building value and detach from the outcome.