Action Is Where the Action Is!
By Dr Paul E Adams | May 31, 2003
"Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still." Chinese proverb
Action is getting a yes and not settling for; we'll see or call me later. A polite no, as any pro knows. If you believe may be is a truthful answer you have much to learn. Remember when you told your kids, we'll see but you really thought:"No, but I don t want to argue with you." Prospects will do the same. Selling success is getting the order-nothing more. Yet many fail this final test. Sales managers of high pressure sales jobs know this as they seek strong closers when they hire salespeople. They want sales guys and gals who know how to twist an arm to put bread on the table, not missionaries.
If arm twisting is not for you, start your process of asking for the order with a trial close- a technique to test the water to measure your effectiveness in wooing your prospect. If you fail the test of the trial close you have a signal to start over as you have not convinced the person to sign on the dotted line. Trial closes, if done correctly are not threatening to the prospect or the salesperson who may hate confrontation.
It is asking the right question that does not require a commitment to buy, but probes to see if he or she is thinking about buying and if so, you move to the close. If not, backup and repeat portions of your sales presentation to discover your prospect's hesitation. And once discovered, cut'em off at the knees.
Here are some sample trial closes or questions the pros use: What color do you prefer? When would you like delivery? When do you want us to start the job? I can ship next week, is that OK? All simple questions based on the unspoken assumption that your prospect is going to buy. Do your homework and create some questions you are comfortable with- ones that fit your style. With such questions you are forcing a response that says yes I am buying, or wait a minute, I am not ready.
If the use of psychology bothers you, and you are not bashful, go for the jugular with the time tested, frank but effective closing technique of asking for the order. The simplest way to get the order is to ask for it. No great mystery. It may surprise you to know that professional purchasing agents or buyers actually complain that too many sales people never get the point and ask for the order.
If you get a "no"- ask why- if you get a yes, stop selling. Many a sale has been lost because the salesperson did not shut up, giving customer time to change his or her mind. When you get the order get out!
Selling is not for sissies- the action step or phase of any sales presentation is the most important and most difficult. When you ask for the order, however you do it, you risk rejection, you risk confrontation, and you risk failure. And none are pleasant which is why weak salespersons hope and pray the prospect will ask to buy! Such weak salespersons may call on a client repeatedly and never force the issue wasting everyone s time.
If asking your client to buy your offer, is difficult for you as you hate to ask anything of anyone, you must change and that may be a challenge that frightens you. If you are going to be the business success of your dreams, asking for; money, customers, investors, or an order, goes with the territory.
But you can do it and you must do it. You hesitancy is based in groundless fear- fear that you can overcome. If you can afford it, I suggest you see a psychotherapist, one skilled in behavior modification and in a few sessions you will wonder what was the big deal.
If self help is your bag, try this tack; start by selling yourself- become an expert-know your material cold! Do as any Oscar winning actor does, learn your lines. Go showbiz; rehearse in front of a mirror. In no time your closing skills will make some big deposits in your bank account. And when you have hyped yourself to feeling successful, asking for the order will be as simple as asking for a refill of your coffee cup.