(Article 17 in the Sales Series)
5-year-olds know more about sales closing than most adults. Instead of asking mom “if” they can have a candy bar while in the checkout line at the grocery store, they do one of the following:
- They go ahead and pick up the candy bar while they are asking.
- They sneak the candy bar into the cart of groceries.
- They go ahead and unwrap the candy bar and take a bite.
Genius. They are all geniuses at assuming the agreement. They somehow naturally know that mom is much more likely to go along with the candy bar decision if they show some commitment to it first. They require mom to have to take action to avoid buying the candy bar. Mom is not only going to have to say “no” she may have to take it out of their grubby little fist and put it back herself.
So what happened to all of us? How did we forget so much about persuasion as we got older?
No matter what mom said, we had a prepared response. We were playing the long game. If we weren’t getting a candy bar today, we were laying the groundwork for a candy bar next time.
“You’ll ruin your dinner,” we said.
“Can I have it if I wait until after dinner?” she asked.
“I can’t get you one and not your brother,” we said.
“Let’s get two candy bars and I can share it with him,” we said.
“Maybe, let me think about it,” we said.
“Awww mom, maybe always means no,” she said.
The entire time, we know we are moving mom to the point of agreeing to the candy bar. Now you might say, “None of that works with my mom.”
And that’s fine, we’re not trying to get a decision out of just one “mom”, we are doing this for a living and are using a sales process that will get the majority of human beings to make a decision. Because the 5-year-olds are right. Maybe always means no. At least it might as well mean “no”.
“Maybes” have put more salespeople out of work than all the “No’s” combined.
The problem with the vast majority of salespeople is not that they are getting too many “no’s”. The biggest problem most salespeople have is they actually never get enough concrete decisions made by their clients.
I’m going to blow your sales mind here so hold on. As a Business Coach in Edmond, OK I tell my clients this all the time:
“No’s” are good.
A “No” means you did your job. You got a clear decision. You know what to do with a “no”. “No” means “Next”.
“Yes’s” are better.
A “Yes” means you did your job…..and you’re going to get paid.
But a “Maybe” means you did not do your job.
Your prospective client doesn’t have enough of the right information and motivation to decide at all. And that’s on you.
The client will never be as excited or recall as much information as they will right now within mere minutes of when they heard it all. It’s going to be harder to get them to a decision point later than it will be today.
Most of us believe that if we come back later (at least we tell ourselves this), we are more likely to get a sale.
The real truth is that people forget over 60% of what they hear within 24 hours and over 80% within 48 hours.
You are about 10 times less likely to get a decision on a return visit because the client no longer remembers all the great features and their emotional state is a lot less interested to boot. Because we occasionally get a sale on a return visit, our mind tells us that coming back later for a decision works. The problem with that belief is that it is somewhat true but mostly false.
When faced with the emotional moment of pressing forward when a client hesitates to decide today, most salespeople crumple and tell themselves in the back recesses of their brains, “I remember getting a sale when I went back that one time so I’ll do that today.”
They should learn how to artfully and persistently bring their clients to a decision point today.
(I’ll continue this thought next week)
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:
- The 7 Gears of Sales
- Nobody Sells Anything
- Atomic Level Sales
- Buying Vs. Selling
- The 7 Gears of Sales (Part 2)
- The Sales Approach
- The Warm Up
- The Set Up (1 of 3)
- The Set Up (2 of 3)
- The Set Up (3 of 3)
- The Sales Presentation
- Splitting Your Presentation
- Take a Breath
- The Buying Decision (Closing)
- Getting Decisions Made
- Asking Clients to Buy