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Started Great, Ended Poorly

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I was out shopping with my son the other evening.  The thought crossed his mind that we should stop at a local furniture store and look for a chair for his room. Despite the fact that we weren't seriously considering buying a chair that night I humoured him and said we could "look".

Great Start
We walked into the store and within less than a minute a guy walked up and said, "Welcome to Dodd's. There's a great selection right now and some even better pricing. I'll let you look around and if you need me my name is Bob and I'd be glad to help you". Wow, nice change from the usual, "hi, can I help you?" spiel. How often do we get greeted with the same old, same old? Your clients will likely meet many people on the same day they meet you. Do you stand out from the crowd with your greeting? Will they remember the interaction later in the day?
Point: Start strong. Be confident, warm, welcoming and inviting and you'll create a fantastic first impression that starts your sale off on the right foot.

Poor Ending
We looked around for a little bit and on our way out I overhead a sales person wrapping up a presentation. I heard him say to the customer standing at the counter with him, "This comes in green or black and the final price with delivery is $1,605.89 – now I imagine you want to think about it so I'll leave you with this information and my card". As I walked out the door I shook my head and thought to myself, "It's as if selling wasn't hard enough, here's this commissioned sales person giving the customer an objection just in case they couldn't think of one on their own!

Point: your closing sequence should not include an objection that you give to the client.

Can you imagine! Selling can be difficult at times. Why would you want to give the client an objection? They will think of enough objections on their own; they do not need you coming up with them. Why would this sales person do that? Well obviously I have no way of knowing but if I had to guess I'd say that he was untrained. He has had so many people say they want to think about it after he presents the final numbers that he feels he'll do the customer a favour and give the objection to them before they can give it to him.
So what should you do? Make sure to lead your client to a decision. The easiest way to do this is by asking a "Confirmation Question" close to the end of the presentation that checks your progress and sets up the close. If they say yes to the confirmation, ask them to buy. That's it - ask and be quiet. If they have an objection let them tell you. Resist the urge to give it to them no matter how many times you may have heard it in the past.
How could it sound? For the furniture sales person he could use the different color choices as the Confirmation Question. For example, "Which do you like better, the green or black?" Once the customer chose he could have just asked, when would you like to take delivery?"
What happened to our furniture sales person? He got lucky. The customer wanted no part of his objection. He was sold and told the sales person that he didn't need to think about it and he wanted to buy right then and there. Now before you go thinking "See, it all worked out, he didn't even have to ask for the sale", remember our goal in practicing good selling habits is to increase our odds of getting a yes.
Here's a test: who will sell more out of ten presentations?
The sales person that gives the client an objection as part of their close.
The sales person that asks a Confirmation Question and then asks for a decision without serving up an objection.
It only stands to reason that there are some people that will buy no matter what the sales person does (good or bad technique). There are some people that will not buy no matter what the sales person does (good or bad technique). It's the people in the middle that could go either way – those are the ones you want to make sure you are asking for the sale properly. It will make a difference in your sales.
Make certain you start strong with confidence and carry that right through to the end of the sale. If you really have helped the client find what they are looking for ask them to buy it. It will reinforce the confidence they have in you and your recommendation, as well as increase the odds of getting a "yes" and decrease the odds of getting an objection.

"Stopping at third base adds nothing to the score."

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Copyright © 2008 by Fusion Performance Group Inc.
Copyright © 2012 by Fusion Performance Group Inc. If you share this, print it out, or reproduce it in any way, please retain this copyright statement.