Are You Afraid to Ask For The Order?Written by Jim Logan
"The time has come for one of us to buy and youíre only one at table that can do that." Itís not most polished closing statement ever made, but it won a $3.5M deal when I gave it. I smiled, looked our prospect in eye, and almost saw one of my regional managerís lunch when I said it.
As we drove back to airport I was asked why I went for close in that meeting, it wasnít staged as a closing call. Simple. We had already presented, positioned, and nurtured our solution Ė we had done what we were supposed to do, it was time for our prospect to either buy or tell us why they wouldnít. Either way, we win.
Some sales people are afraid to ask for an order. I understand many of their reasons; none are acceptable. Fear of rejection or ending a business relationship is among top reasons many fail to close. Lack of confidence in their solution or concern of being pushy is others.
You should never be afraid to ask for a prospectís business, after all, thatís why youíre there. Your job is to sell solutions your company offers. Your prospect expects that at some time in your relationship youíre going to ask for their business. Donít disappoint them.
Change Takes TimeWritten by Steve Waterhouse
I am writing this at Philadelphia Airport on my way back from meeting with one of my clients. Three weeks ago, we offered a training program for their staff in basic selling skills. She reported that they saw an immediate increase in sales after program. Since these are all telemarketers, she listened in on their calls to see what had changed. To her pleasure they were asking good, open-ended questions. They were taking time to listen to client's responses and using their comments to match them with right product. They were even closing right at correct time. She was thrilled.
Unfortunately, not all of reps kept it up. Within weeks, some of rep's sales had slipped back to their original level. Another listening survey showed cause. Each of reps whose sales were down had slipped back into their old way of operating. It was as if a giant rubber band had been stretched during training, and now it was returning to its original size. Should we be surprised? I'm not. For years these reps had been trained to operate in a lecture mode. They read scripts and gave same pitch to every caller. Now we were asking them to change, and change takes time.
So what do you do? Forget training? No, but you may want to think about steps that must follow a training program to make it stick. These can include email reminders, peer coaching, and manager mentoring. In this case, we are adding audio 'mini-seminars' to mix. Each rep will be encouraged to call into a voice mailbox for a short refresher on subject they need help on. Each 10 minute message will give them tips and examples designed to overcome their area of weakness.