I have trained many sales people over the course of my career. I have had the opportunity to work with high achiever and underachieving salespersons from all across the country. I have observed that one (of many) common weakness that separate high achieving salesmen from under achieving salesmen is in their ability to close. Countless books have been written on the art of closing the sale so I don’t want to turn all of that over again. Rather, I would like to spend a minute on an often overlooked failing, getting to the “NO”.
What are you so afraid of?
Most salespeople put a great deal of energy trying to convince their customer why their product or service they are selling is an improved solution over what the customer is currently using. When the salesman finally gets to the end of the sales process, the part where they “close” and ask for the order, many salespeople simply lock up. They are afraid to ask for the order for a number of reasons. Here are just a few:
- What if the customer says no? What then will I tell my boss? That I just wasted the companies’ time and money chasing a bad opportunity?
- What if the customer says no? And then I have to start all over again with another prospect? What will others in the company think of me?
- If the answer is NO then my forecast will go down and my boss is always on me regarding my low forecast and funnel. I don’t want to face that again anytime soon.
- If the answer is NO then I won’t be making any commissions on the order.
Do some of these fears sound familiar?
Each of the points is irrational in one way or another. Worse yet the irony is completely lost on the salesman; no does not always mean no. When the customer or prospect tells the salesman NO, they also go on to tell the salesperson what it will take to make it a YES! No rocket science in this.
The customer will always tell you how to win the order if you will give them the opportunity. So while the underachiever will often delay asking for the order out of an irrational fear of losing the order, the high achiever long ago figured out that asking for the order early and often weeds out the customer’s NO’s, which are really nothing more than objections needing to be overcome.
So how about it, get to the NO with your customer and let them tell you how to make their NO a YES!