1992=Always Be Closing
2015=Appropriate Behavior Closing
Some of the major developments to “sales teams philosophy” have come from cinema. These sentiments, at the time of their creation and use in film, were aligned with the sales industry. It took, as Baldwin put it, “big brass ones” to be a good salesperson.
From these cinematically inspired days, it became normal to “Always Be Closing”, or to “Act as if”. There are still industries where this is not just the preached mantra, but the practiced system of success. You may know them for the reputations they have built for themselves, as Used Car Salesmen, Collections Agencies, and even some Call Center Models today. In a time where the “one call close” ruled the land, and the only sales personalities were hunters or farmers, looking to media for role models is not an absurd thought, although risky. In fact, there are the MadMen, Wolf of Wall Street, and, Thank You for Smoking, “salespeople” coming up in the industry right now, that believe this is the best example of how to be effective. Unfortunately, without the proper mentors, farmers will pick up weapons to till land, and hunters will be bored to sleep watching grass grow.
When we coach sales people, it isn’t always about when to close, but more, when to “not” close.
The truth of the matter is this. People don’t want to be sold, but they do want to buy. Heard that one before? This is becoming more and more the truth we live with in an increasingly savvy purchasing world. So how does the redefinition of ABC help you here?
Take into account the skill level of not just yourself, and how you can best sell your services, but also consider the skill level of the purchaser and how knowledgeable they are about their level of skill. Someone who purchases a lot, and often, may use the accumulated power of purchasing so frequently to leverage better deals for themselves or the companies they work with. For these people, they can smell a close a mile away. If they aren’t to the point of wanting to buy, versus being sold, they will swat the “closing opportunity” out of the air like the nuisance of a house fly. However, if they know you have done your best, and are closing not out of desire, need, protocols, or processes, but because it is the right thing to do next, the closing opportunity is welcomed. It is still a house fly, and can be annoying, but flies are supposed to like sugar, and it’s where we expect to see them.
Learn to hold off closing “always” until the prospect is asking you buying questions, signaling you into the runway somehow, or just flat out says “yes” to ask for the business. Treat objections only as request for further information.