Closing sales is not a wrestling match!
When I started my sales career it was with a well-known Financial Services organisation who shall be nameless. My manager, who I can now see was the cliché of the crooked salesman, was much worse and delighted in teaching his team of young, inexperienced sales people how to close.
I can’t remember all the names now of the closes, but I think it says something that the closing techniques all had quite combative names. For example, there was ‘the double arm lock’, ‘the right angle’ and a particularly unpalatable one that my boss loved where he would fill out an application form and then tip his clipboard towards the potential customer, allowing his pen to roll towards them – the idea being that they would pick up and sign. Yes really!
Young as I was, I could sense that these closes that seemed to relate more to a wrestling match than helping people choose the right sort of life assurance! Moreover, they seemed designed to ‘trick’ people into signing up, which probably explains why the cancellation rate in our team was so high. It also went some way to explaining why I felt so uneasy about working there. I left, miserable at the situation. It was only later, when I had been on some really good sales training that I was able to understand exactly what the problem was.
You see, if you take time to properly understand what customers want and need, you can simply and honestly match what you are offering to their requirements. I am now deliver sales training all over north London and it doesn’t matter where you go or what you to – it’s not magic – it’s just skill and integrity and taking a whole lot of time to make sure you’ve got it right. Then, you don’t need to manufacture complex closes or offer meaningless gimmicks – your customer will buy because they know it is the right thing to do. If they don’t, then you either haven’t done your job properly, or the fit just wasn’t right (and yes, that can happen – no disgrace in it either).
So ask questions, listen and try and make sure your customer gets a solution that is perfect for them. The good guys do always win in the end. How do I know? Well the last I heard of my former boss, his wife had thrown him out and he was due in court for some sort of financial mismanagement which resulted in him being banned from the financial services industry. And you know what? I’m pleased, not just because he couldn’t try to con any more unsuspecting people out of their hard earned money, but also because crooks like him give the rest of us in sales a terrible reputation, when actually all we are trying to do most of the time is just help people.