(Article 14 in a series)

In my career as a Sales Trainer in Edmond Oklahoma and as also a Business Coach I get asked one sales question often. How can I close better? Business owners usually ask, “How can I get my sales group to improve their closing rates?”.

One of my sons is a distance runner and I imagine it would be like asking him how to finish better; His response would probably be to discuss your training program, diet, and how you are starting and pacing throughout the race. How you finish your presentation has a whole lot more to do with how you begin and pace throughout.

How you begin and pace has a whole lot to do with your training and perspective.

It’s all in your Mindset.

My first statement would be to throw the word out the door. Closing. It’s a meaningless word and often counter-productive. It implies that the salesperson is making the potential client buy.

Impossible.

There is one thing that is happening and is a buying decision. The client will decide to buy or not to buy.

Even worse, they may decide not to decide – which is a lot like not buying, but worse.

I’ve coached salespeople in the thousands and I tell them all the same thing.

  1. No’s are good
  2. Yes’s are better
  3. Maybe’s mean you didn’t do your job

It’s always my plan (and my advice) that the sales presentation be a pleasant conversation. I hate high-pressure tactics and will tell any salesperson to take a hike that attempts them on me. But I would coach salespeople to be incredibly intentional.

Remember that word: Intentional.

Everything you do from the moment you say “Hi”, to the moment you ask the client to make a decision should be 100% on purpose and planned ahead of time.

“But Chris, I like to read the room and go with the flow.” Codeword: Wing it.

I’ll say that there are some naturally talented salespeople out there in the world and maybe 2% can wing it with some amazing success. Just like there are some gifted runners that can run so fast it’s shocking. For the other 98% of us, we need a plan if we’re going to make a living out of this.

If you own a business that involves any sort of sales team, you absolutely must have a plan. Without it, your plan is simply that you hope to get lucky.

Hope and luck are horrible plans of action.

They are not repeatable, reproducible, and even worse, they are not scalable.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. By the time you get to the close, the buying decision is 90% made. Whether you like it or not. Remember, the client thinks 7 times faster than you can talk and their mind is reaching conclusions at lightning speeds. If you do not recognize that, respect that and work with that – you are hosed.

A professional salesperson (or team) needs a reproducible and scalable sales process, not a fancy finishing technique. The next few posts will break down that process for us.

Business owners and Entrepreneurs are invited to take my Free Online Assessment on the main page of the 7th Gear Website.

Other Articles of the Sales Series:

  1. The 7 Gears of Sales
  2. Nobody Sells Anything
  3. Atomic Level Sales
  4. Buying Vs. Selling
  5. The 7 Gears of Sales (Part 2)
  6. The Sales Approach
  7. The Warm Up
  8. The Set Up (1 of 3)
  9. The Set Up (2 of 3)
  10. The Set Up (3 of 3)
  11. The Sales Presentation
  12. Splitting Your Presentation
  13. Take a Breath