I was a sales professional for almost 25 years. I did better than most.
Towards the end of my professional life of carrying a bag as we say, I became more and more disengaged from my job, profession, unreasonable management, etc. The grind of quarterly and annual quotas was taking it’s toll on my health and relationships. Ugh!
It was time to make a career transition. So, I decided to become a coach.
The biggest challenge for most coaches is selling clients their services.
I can’t stand words like selling, sales, etc. Instead of doing the ‘S Word’ I prefer to enroll clients.
People don’t like to be sold. They like to buy.
The biggest challenge my coach mentees face is owning their value as a coach. As their mentor, I help them make the transition to a place where ‘S_ _ _ _” is not a dirty word.
If you’re a coach who needs help with the art and science of enrolling clients, please schedule a complimentary no strings consultation to see if we’re a good fit.
I encourage anyone who is in a revenue producing role to hopefully learn from the following essay on sales and selling.
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Steve Keating (CME, CSE,) Selling Skills Manager for Toro Company.
Don’t Close That Sale – by Steve Keating
Salespeople need to sell, that much is certain. In business nothing much happens until somebody sells something. That’s one reason I have so much respect for professional salespeople, they are the engine that drives much of a company’s success.
Please note that I said I have much respect for PROFESSIONAL salespeople. The hacks out there who will do anything to separate a prospect from their money… not so much.
If you’ve been is sales for any length of time you’ve likely heard the old axiom known as ABC or “Always be closing.” That little sentiment has ruined many sales careers. I have a better one, it not only lengthens sales careers it tends to make them highly profitable as well.
Here’s mine: NBC or NEVER be closing. That’s right, NEVER! In case you’re confused let me repeat that in a more succinct way… NEVER close a sale, never, never, never!
Salespeople who live with a goal of closing a sale, or closing business or closing a deal are looking at the sales process exactly the opposite of how their prospect looks at the buying process.
Limited salespeople believe that when the prospect says yes the deal is done. The prospect believes that when they say yes the deal, and the relationship, is just beginning.
The term “closing” is one of the most negative and limiting words in sales. It says something is over, done with, and it’s time to move on. If you’re purely a transactional salespeople who will never need or want a repeat customer then go ahead and close.
If you’re a sales professional who wants a long-term career in sales, with lots of returning customers and golden referrals then don’t think of “closing” the sale. Think instead of “earning” the customer’s business and opening a new, mutually beneficial relationship. I absolutely want you to ask for the order but only after you’ve earned the right. You earn the right to ask for the order by determining how your product or service can help your prospect and then presenting a solution that makes sense to them.
That change in mindset will change the way you sell. It will change the way your prospect looks at you. It will change your outlook on what you do for a living. You’ll no longer have a sales “job” you’ll have a career in sales.
You’ll no longer simply be chasing the deal, you’ll be searching for solutions that will help your prospects and customers reach their goals. You’ll enjoy what you do for a living far more than your “closing” colleagues.
Oh and one more thing… you’ll sell more and if you’re compensated on your results you’ll earn more money too!
I love the idea of earning a customer’s business and developing a relationship as opposed to closing a sale, Steve. You’re right, nobody likes being sold to.
In my own business as a freelance copywriter, I find the more I tell, the more I sell. I focus on educating my customers, giving them marketing ideas they can put to use in promoting their products or services. That often results in them hiring me to execute those ideas.
Relationship. I concur Susan.
I remember one copywriter I hired tell me I’m a decent writer and could do it myself. 😉