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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Always be closing (but define closing!)

An intriguing contractortalk.com thread, Time To Close, starts with this question: "How much work is it to close a sale, the process is different for everyone. What is your process and how long does it take?"

The answers are interesting. I offer my own observation, indicating that closing is a constant process, but doesn't need the brutal hard rock approach represented by the Glengarry Glen Ross speech.

Some people really are successful at hard-rock selling; I think my former employee who may soon rejoin the organization referenced in the thread fits into that category; but increasingly, I believe effective selling is a much more patient, long-range and relationship-focused process.

What are your thoughts?

2 comments:

Yusuf said...

While I really respect the customer, and feel a need to be honest and straight forward with them, I have to say that hard core closing, if effective, should be done. This is only because customers, for the most part don't really care about your honesty because you may have to tell them something they don't like, and from there they may go to a closer such as the fellow in the movie who will sell them a dream and they'll love it. They will pay him, and get screwed over but be stuck due to a contract or something and then regret that they didn't go with me. Whle I may now have their trust, I do not have, nor will I have their business.

Mark Buckshon said...

the challenge is that if you have to use a hard rock close to get a "yes" you then travel down the path of the "game" rather than real relationship/business development.
As an example, the former employee who I contracted with because of "you can't turn this down" pitch, ended up playing a bait and switch game on me. Not good for sustainable relationships.
You don't need to be a wimp and there are indeed times when it makes sense to ask for the order, but I'm not convinced that the stereotypical closing techniques really work.
If you have allowed the "closer" to steal the account from you I would argue you haven't won sufficient trust (or the potential clients are truly fickle.)