Really, “Close” the Sale? Eh, no Sparky. It’s “Earn” the Sale.

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesBy Jeffrey Gitomer

It never ceases to amaze me how many people still ask me, “What’s the best way to close a sale?”

Other than cold calling and finding the pain, this is one of the biggest misconceptions in sales. It’s not a technique. It’s not a manipulation. It’s not something that you wait until the end of your presentation to do. It’s not something that requires intimate timing. You don’t have to be afraid of being rejected.

What you have to do is have an intelligent and engaging conversation with someone who is looking to buy you and your product or service – a conversation that involves value, a win for them, a visualized outcome, and an understanding that the sale is made emotionally and then justified logically.

That’s a far cry from “closing.”

MAJOR AHA! If the sale doesn’t start right, it will never end right.

“Close the sale” is the wrong thought process. The prospective customer is making his or her decision AS the sales call progresses.

If you’re really wanting to complete the sale – also known as getting the order and also known as creating an atmosphere in which the customer will buy, ­ there are questions you must answer for yourself in order to increase the chances the sale can be yours.

CAUTION: When you ask yourself these questions, and your own answers come up short of mastery, it’s an indication of why you lose sales. The better and stronger you answer each one, the more likely you are to make the sale.

Think about your last ten sales calls, and ask yourself…
• How prepared were you in terms of the customer?
• How ready were you to make a sale?
• How friendly were you?
• How enthusiastic were you?
• How emotionally engaging were you?
• How intellectually engaging were you?
• How self-confident were you?
• How relatable were you?
• How compelling was your presentation?
• How different were you perceived to be?
• How valuable were you perceived to be?
• How believable were you?
• How trustworthy were you perceived to be?

Close the sale? No! It’s not an action. It’s a culmination and sum total of the elements that makes a favorable decision possible.

The close of a sale is a delicate balance between your words and deeds, and their thoughts and perceptions. And a sale is ALWAYS made – either you sell them on yes, or they sell you on no.

SECRET: You give me a prepared, friendly, enthusiastic, emotionally-engaging, intellectually-engaging, unique, valuable, compelling, believable, self-confident, relatable, trustworthy salesperson… And I’LL GIVE YOU A SALE! No close needed.

It is NOT the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to engage the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to prove value to the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to prove differentiation to the prospect.

It is not the responsibility of the salesperson to CLOSE the sale. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to EARN the sale.

There have been more words written about closing the sale than any other aspect of the selling process or the sales cycle. Most of it is manipulative rubbish. Most of it centers on your ability to push the prospect into a corner and make them feel pressured to make a decision. That pressure will often result in a no, or some kind of stall that will ultimately result in a no.

I’ve just given you an accurate dose of just who is responsible for making a sale, and how it should be completed.

NOTE WELL: By using this approach to selling you have just eliminated all of the silly objections and stalls. Price too high, need to think it over, we all meet next week and will decide then, call me next Tuesday, send me a proposal, yada, yada, yada.

Yes, I too have written a ton of information on “closing the sale.” You can find it in The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, and various blog posts and webinars. All of that information is in harmony with my philosophy: zero manipulation and build a trusting relationship.

THE KEY: Be comfortable with yourself. If you’re in a selling situation and you aren’t feeling the love, or feeling the comfort, or feeling the relationship, or feeling the mutual communication then the best thing to do is back off, and be truthful. Truth will win you more sales than manipulation. All you have to do to change and improve your outcome is change your mindset from “close” to “earn.”

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

The Old Way or the New Way? It’s Really Not a Choice Anymore.

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesBy Jeffrey Gitomer

My sales perspective flies in the face of traditional selling. And it’s not just a disruption – it’s the new way of sales. What’s your perspective?

Last week (in part one) I discussed the worthlessness of the old way of selling – everything from cold calling and finding the pain to overcoming objections and closing the sale. I referred to “the old ways” as manipulative, insincere, and aggressive and cautioned that customers and prospects are not only against it, they’re insulted by it! Ouch.

Me? I prefer being assertive. And there is a huge difference between assertive and aggressive. Here are the four majors:
• Aggressive salespeople tell. Assertive salespeople ask.
• Aggressive salespeople try to “close.” Assertive salespeople use testimonial proof.
• Aggressive salespeople go for the sale. Assertive salespeople go for the customer.
• Aggressive salespeople think “quota.” Assertive salespeople think “relationship.”

Which one are you? It’s the difference between the old way and the new way.

Here’s my list of what’s happening NOW in sales. The New Way. UPDATE: Sales will be happening the new way for the foreseeable future:
Value attraction. A marketing approach that tells me how I win, not who you are.
Social attraction. A social presence that’s value-message based. Social messages that your prospective customer can find. NOTE: It’s time to rethink and revamp the so-called “law of attraction.” If you’re looking to identify and attract willing buyers, value attraction and social attraction are the new laws. Value attraction and social attraction are the new way of selling.
Find the pleasure. Things you both know about and like will make the sale easier and faster than painful things (that are likely none of your business) that make the prospect uncomfortable.
Ask emotionally engaging questions. Ask questions about them (the prospect or customer), that make them respond in terms of you. Uncover their experience, their wisdom, and their knowledge.
Discover the customer’s motive to buy. Why people buy his one billion times more powerful than how to sell.
Give perceived value beyond price. As a customer, I don’t need justification to make a purchase. I need a perception that the value you offer me in exchange for my money is greater than the price you’re charging. I need to know how I win, produce, and profit as a result of purchase. I already know what it is, I already know what it does, I already know how it works. I don’t need you to tell me you’re the greatest. I just need you to tell me how I win after I take ownership.
Confirm the urgency of your offer. Once you understand the customer’s motive to buy, their urgency becomes apparent. If you haven’t uncovered their motive, you will never know when they intend to purchase.
Provide “voice-of-customer” proof. Video testimonials are the new black. When you say it about yourself, it’s bragging. When a customer says it about you, it’s proof. Take advantage of your best salespeople – your loyal customers! Testimonial videos can be offered as sales proof during a presentation and can also be posted on every form of your social media outreach. One of the most interesting aspects of testimonials is they also reinforce the belief of salespeople in their own product.
Be both available and easy to do business with. 24.7.365 is the new 9-5. I want a friendly, intelligent, live human being to answer the phone when I call, and so does EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET.
Give “after the sale” value. Once I purchase, show me more and tell me more about how I can use, produce more, and profit more from what I own. Give me a weekly value message, not another sales message. Serve me, WOW me, and surprise me.
Earn customer loyalty. Loyalty is earned slowly over time. (Just like trust.) Loyalty is gained with quality of product, ease of doing business, availability of people, online alternatives to both purchasing and service, speed of response, and value received. Loyal customers purchase time and time again without regard to price. Loyalty is defined in two parts: Part one: Will the customer do business with you again?Part two: Will the customer refer you? If they do both, that’s loyalty. Any other measurement is bogus.
Earn referrals. Asking for referrals has been replaced by earning referrals and giving referrals. Think about the last time you GAVE a referral. Oh wait, maybe you never have! That’s because giving referrals requires work. I didn’t say the new way of selling was easy, I just said it was a new way. Ask before you tell. Give before you get. Earn before you ask.
Build online and word-of-mouth reputation. What are you known as? What are you known for? What is your image? What is your Google image? What is your social image? These five elements comprise your reputation. No asset is more valuable.
Build relationships. Everyone talks about being relationship oriented. But my findings show just the opposite. A quick review of the elements above will let you see exactly where you are on the “solid relationship” scale. I don’t want you to be relationship oriented, I want you to be relationship building. Every day.

Review this list and rate yourself between 1 and 10. Anywhere you score less than a seven in is telling you you’re not near the new way yet. Work at it!

The new way will pay.

FREE GITBIT. I’ll be writing more about the new way of selling, but for now if you would like to get both part one and part two that I’ve written, go to Gitomer.com and enter the words NEW WAY in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

You Cannot Ignore the Present. It’s Where Your Sales Are!

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesBy Jeffrey Gitomer

My sales perspective flies in the face of traditional selling. And it’s not just a disruption, it’s the new way of sales. What’s your perspective?

Here are seven realities to get your thinking started:
FIRST REALITY: Traditional selling is aggressive – telling, pitching, manipulating, and closing. This old-world approach to sales is over and has been for more than a decade.
SECOND REALITY: The first sale that’s made is the salesperson. If the prospective customer does not buy you, they’re not buying anything.
THIRD REALITY: The customer is as smart or smarter than you are. The internet has provided them with competitive savvy and social media has provided proof.
FOURTH REALITY: Your customers and prospects are busy with THEIR stuff and may have little or no time to be bothered by you and your stuff. It’s so much more powerful when they find you in time of need.
FIFTH REALITY: Customers and prospects want intellectual engagement about how THEY WIN, not a sales pitch! They do not care about your urgency to make quota. They only care about their urgency to make profit.
SIXTH REALITY: The prospective customer must perceive value in your sales offering, trust you as a person and as a company, perceive that they win as a result of purchase, and be able to visualize outcome after purchase (maybe with the help of your video testimonials).
SEVENTH REALITY: You better have a social presence and a social reputation that proves your worth to others, and provides peace of mind to the prospect.

Look at this list – carefully – and see if what you do, the actions you take, or any of the strategies about how you sell are contained here. If they are, you will consistently lose to the “new way.”
• Cold calling. If selling has a dark side, it’s the cold call. Total interruption of others (the prospect), and predominantly a waste of salespeople’s time. Higher than 90% rejection rate and the major cause of sales failure.
• Hunting and farming salespeople. This is basically a sales specialist making a sale and then running away. Leaving behind the service department, or inside sales, or the delivery guy, and the customer to feel deserted. Hunting and farming is the worst case for relationship building ever created.
• Find the pain. Perhaps the rudest of all sales processes, it’s “probing” to make prospects feel uncomfortable. This is an old-world tactic, where the salesperson miraculously proposes a solution to an issue that the prospect has. The solution is not the issue. The issue is that finding the pain is the focal point of the sale. No value, no engagement, no connection – simply manipulation. The only thing more idiotic (and more rude) than “finding the pain” is cold calling.
• Pitch the product. Telling your prospective customer stuff about your product that they could’ve found online in three seconds, or that you could’ve emailed them in advance of your meeting. Customers do not care what you’re selling, unless you’re showing them how they win as a result of purchase such as how they will produce more, and how they will profit more. Start there.
• Overcome objections. “Your price is too high.” Really? You still dealing with that? Where’s the value? Where’s the testimonial? Where’s the relationship? Where’s the trust? Where’s the social proof?
• Close the sale. Manipulative closing is a thing of the past. The sale is made emotionally, not manipulatively.
• Proposals and bidding. This part of selling will never go away, but can be significantly reduced with loyal relationships and proven quality.
• Insincere follow-up. Call looking for money.
• Customer satisfaction. J.D. Power and Associates gives “customer satisfaction” awards to airlines. Do I need to say anything more about how ridiculous customer satisfaction is?
• Ask for (beg for) referrals. If you ask for a referral once, and the customer does not give you one, and you call again reminding the customer that they promised to give you a referral, and the customer still does not give you one, they will never take your call again. Instead of asking for referrals, why don’t you give one?
• Low or no social media presence. Failure to understand the fact that social media is a combination of attraction, proof that you are you say you are, and a sales tool.
• Low or no social media awareness. Inability or refusal of salespeople to participate gives your competition an ability to use it and dominate.
• Low or no relationship. The quality of the relationship allows you to make multiple sales, earn more profit, earn referrals, and gain their testimonial proof. If you’re lacking in these four areas it’s your relationship report card, and loss of sales or profit, or both.

Me? I prefer to be assertive. Assertive salespeople ask. Aggressive salespeople tell. Assertive salespeople go for the customer. Aggressive salespeople go for the sale.

Which one are you? It’s the difference between the old way and the new way.

The “new way” is next week – stay tuned!

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

– See more at: http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3N5xUxDx4ftPQ%3D%3D#sthash.E1KSB9Ai.dpuf

Salespeople Have Questions. Jeffrey Has Answers.

Jeffrey Gitomer King of SalesBy Jeffrey Gitomer

I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, and (most important) your sales thought process right now.

Jeffrey, A company that installs gutter guards recently lost my business. I was solicited by their sales team twice. The second time I was in the market to buy. But their technique is different. They require both the husband and wife be home during their estimate. I do understand why they want both to be there (so they can eliminate any obstacles). However, my wife doesn’t care, nor does she want any involvement in these type of decisions. I told them if they require this, I will take my business elsewhere. They simply stated, “Thank you,” and hung up. They lost the sale, but I now have new gutter guards that were installed by another company. What is your take on this? Mike

Mike, Old-world salespeople are gonna die. In sales, it’s called a one-legged sale when only one of the two deciders is in the room. Companies don’t want to “waste their time” on someone who “can’t decide without talking to their spouse” because the objection they use is, “I’m going to talk this over with my …” The bottom line is that company is rude, stupid, and will lose people (just like they lost you).

First of all, men don’t decide anything, anyway! Only women decide. The woman will approve all decisions in any household. Don’t take my word for it, ask any husband.

HERE’S THE SECRET: If you’re in the business of sales, you’re also in the service business, you’re also in the people business, and you’re also in the friendly business. Anyone says, “I’m not going to give my sales presentation unless both decision makers are in the room,” doesn’t fully understand that concept. But that’s the bad news for them. The good news is you can call their competition and coach them on what to do correctly. Somebody obviously did. Best regards, Jeffrey

Dear Jeffrey, My company delivers mobile dictation and transcription service to field workers in IT and health care, saving these people time in reporting. Lately I have been promoting the service to sales professionals. I have written several 30-second commercials for this but keep running into all sorts of objections. Salespeople are difficult prospects and I’m constantly trying to find the right pitch. How would you approach the market of sales professionals and sales management? Do I need two different approaches? Gerhard

Gerhard, No. You need one approach. Every salesperson who has a CRM – SalesForce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, whatever it is – is required to put stuff into their computer on an everyday basis for every sales call they make and there’s one universal truth about it: they all can’t stand it.

But if you could get them to record something on their laptop immediately, like a two minute, this goes here, this goes here, and you could actually do their CRM entering for them… Oh baby! Their boss would buy it, they would buy it, their CEO would buy it, and their spouse would buy it. Everybody would buy it and they would pay double.

The problem is you’re trying to sell your service instead of giving them an answer that they’re looking for. Big mistake. Don’t tell me what you’ve got. Sell me what I perceive that I need and then I will buy. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I’m an independent commercial real estate lender and commercial real estate mortgage broker. I’m trying to link up with referral sources such as CPAs, commercial realtors, financial planners, etc. Do you have suggestions for a thought provoking question or line of conversation to help me connect with these folks and open the door to more meaningful dialogue? Dennis

Dennis, Dude, you’re providing them with money. You’re helping them get deals done. Why don’t you ask them questions like, “What do you think about when your deal doesn’t go through? Do you think that there’s another alternative way?” and then follow with, “My name’s Jeffrey, and I would love to be your secondary source for the deals that don’t make it. If I can prove myself on a couple of them, maybe I can earn my way to becoming your primary source. Fair enough?”

All the people you’re talking to in the real estate business only want to get a deal done. That is their primary objective. It doesn’t matter what the interest rate is. It doesn’t matter where they get the funding from. They only want to get the deal done. If you can be a person who can help them get the deal done, they will use you. Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey, I am a devoted reader of your weekly email magazine and a fellow Phillies fan. I’m not a salesperson by title, but as GM turned entrepreneur, selling is a vital skill, and your insightful information is greatly appreciated, not to mention it just makes sense. My strengths are more on the production and supply side, so I was wondering if you had any advice on how to find qualified salespeople in specific industries. I have several products that I’d like to develop sales channels for, but I’m not sure where to begin effectively. Rob, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer

Rob, Qualified salespeople are already working someplace else. You must attract them with reputation, range of salary and incentives, and social proof that you’re great. Look for people in related industries or directly at your competition. Ask your vendors. Ask your customers who they love to buy from. Search LinkedIn by keyword to see who may be “looking for career offers.” Go Phillies! Jeffrey

Jeffrey, My boss and I have drafted emails to different types of industries specifying how they can make money and profit from our service. The plan is to send out these brief descriptions through email and see who gets back to us. After reading almost all of your material, I know you don’t believe in cold calling, but in this case is it better to email the companies or call them on the phone? Ryan

Ryan, The answer is neither. What you need to be doing is blogging information about these companies that they would consider valuable. You have an email magazine. You post something on Twitter. And with their search for keywords about their own stuff, they will find you. If you only send out information about yourself… “We have this great service and it’s the greatest thing in the whole wide world” …delete, delete, delete! But if you put value messages out that they might be able to find, it will be delight, delight, delight! Best regards, Jeffrey

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His books are now available as online courses at www.GitomerVT.com. For information about training and seminars visit www.Gitomer.com or www.GitomerCertifiedAdvisors.com, or email Jeffrey personally at salesman@gitomer.com.

© 2014 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without
written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer, Inc • 704/333-1112

– See more at: http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3PVmNoUbpV4Zg%3D%3D#sthash.kXFsevKp.dpuf