James Muir, author of “The Perfect Close” is a Stand Up Guy! If you’ve never had the chance to interact with him, read his posts or chat on the phone, you’re missing out. It’s not everyday that you get to interact with someone like James. His overall, ‘let me help you’ attitude is strongly portrayed in his book. You won’t be the least bit surprised that you find this book easy to read… And also enjoyable!
Sales is a tricky thing. Sales isn’t for everybody… but we’re continuously ‘selling’ people. Whatever job you have, whomever you interact with, someone is always selling someone something. Stop and think about that for a minute. “The Perfect Close” is talking majorly about B2B, B2C or C2C businesses so I’m going to hit on those types of sales.
“Genuine, honest intent leaves zero room for trickery and manipulation”1
Going into a prospective opportunity with the wrong intent in mind is only going to set yourself up for immediate and long term failure. Over promising and under-delivering is a HUGE issue in the current industry I’m in. The prospective client will buy the competition because they were promised something but then the company couldn’t deliver. Guess what… that prospect comes crawling back to me asking for help. That sales person does not have the client’s best interest in mind and that’s unfortunate.
I lost an opportunity in August because I was honest with the buyer. They wanted a stand-alone time & attendance solution and I educated them on why they didn’t want to do that. I gave them research, statistics and a case study… they refused to educate themselves and ending up opting out of viewing my solution… It burned a little, but at the end of the day, I know they would have increased their workload and I wouldn’t have solved any of their problems.
“If you want to show your client you want their business – tell them. Or, do something special for them. There are far better ways to show you want the business than insulting them with a closing gambit.”2
This goes will with the whole part of having the right content. Closing gambits can work… but put yourself in the buyers shoes. Buyers remorse is a real thing and you don’t want your buyers feeling like that. There’s no point in pressuring someone to make a decision; it’ll end up hurting you more in the long run. If you think I’m wrong, tell me why! I’d be curious what you have to say.
This first portion of the book is focused on intent and I strongly agree with James.
“So, in order for our intentions to be perceived as warmth, it’s vital that we emanate the related traits that science has identified from the warmth attribute. These include:
and morality (doing the right thing)
These are the signals we want our autonomic system to be sending.”3
What drives you to do what you do? Do you have the correct intent when you meet with new business? When you talk with current business, do you have the correct intent? When someone is in the market for a new product they often give me the same reasons… “We want to save money”, “we’ve been burned and don’t like our provider” or, “We’ve never outsourced this before”.
Becoming the trusted adviser is very important during the beginning conversations with any businesses. I recently took over a few accounts that were very upset. There was some internal issues and the client blamed my company because the new employee didn’t know how to use the solution. I went on sight, heard them out and came up with a plan of action. It wasn’t easy… what-so-ever! But, after two months, they’ve agreed to be a reference for me and my company. I didn’t make a single dollar off of helping them, but sometimes that happens when you’re doing the right thing.
Through out the sales cycle, there are multiple small ‘closes’. Setting the meeting, doing a discovery, showing them the product, negotiating price and talking about partnership. (Long story short). After you complete one, you have to ‘close’ for the next meeting.
“It is common for people to be confused about their ultimate goal and the goal of their most immediate next step. By stripping away the clutter that may exist between the two, we can achieve clarity that gives us perspective as well as the impulse to take the next best action.”4
The sales objective is the end goal… helping the client and closing the sale. The steps along the way, which are stand along goals and typically the most immediate next step. Sitting down with the prospective client and walking them through the process is important. They have to know what they’re signing up for by agreeing to go down your process. If they want to meet and then get pricing, they’ve got the wrong intent and you should walk away.
Ya ya ya… leaving money on the table is so hard to walk away from. But they’re probably not even entertaining the idea of switching… They’re just going to take your pricing back to their current vendor and get their price lowered. It happens and it sucks!
There’s definitely more from me to come!
The Perfect Close by James Muir