I was doing a sales training project at a company in Los Angeles when I had an opportunity to hear the business owner address his sales crew.
I usually enjoy watching other trainers, but this was a special treat. Frank is self-made. He built his company on grit and guts, and I admire him.
Sure enough, within a minute of entering the training room, I was rewarded with one of his key teachings:
“No matter how much you think you screwed-up your presentation, no matter how embarrassed you feel, no matter how shy you are, never leave someone’s office without asking for the order, at least once, ” he urged.
His logic is that we tend to be overly critical with our performances, and just because we think we erred, the prospect may have overlooked our miscue, altogether. Add to this the fact that most buyers won’t say yes without some guidance, and you can see how asking for the order becomes a necessity.
Instantly, I scanned my memory bank, and sure enough, I remembered a time when I failed to follow his advice. I was pitching a security alarm company and I assumed we had a deal—everything in my meeting with the two principals had gone so smoothly.
But after leaving, and then following up, I discovered that I blew it. I needed to make our tacit understanding completely explicit. And this is done by openly and clearly asking for the sale, by closing the deal.
You may have heard that the ABC’s of selling can be translated into a single phrase: “Always Be Closing. ” I think you can pull the trigger prematurely, without having yet earned the deal, but it is definitely better to make this mistake than to not close, altogether, or at least once!
Dr. Gary S. Goodman © 2006
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com , is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. A frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide, Gary’s programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. Gary is headquartered in Glendale, California. He can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org .