Top Ten Selling
Throughout my career I have made a science of learning how the very best sales people became successful and how they sustained their success. Sustained success is the key. We all know the “one-hit wonder” who sold a year’s supply of toilet paper to a hotel chain in January and made her quota for the entire year. I screened these people out and focused on those who had sustained performance.
Often I would bring groups of sales superstars together to listen to them talk about the fundamentals of their success. I remember a meeting that I held in Boca Raton, Fla. with 10 of the best salespeople at BellSouth Mobility. In this particular meeting, the dominant discussion topic was “Closing the Sale!”
One of the sales representatives said, “Closing, when the time is right, is the most important part of the sales process and is the secret to my success. Realizing that changed me from good to great in terms of sales results. I learned it one Saturday morning about three years ago. I had wanted a new BMW 325 for years. I had money in my savings account, all my bills were paid, I owned a nice house and I was financially comfortable. I had been to the BMW dealership every Saturday for a month. My sales representative called me on Friday and told me the exact car I wanted had arrived. I got up Saturday and was at the dealership before it opened, checkbook in my back pocket. I drove it, we negotiated the price and I was ready to sign. My salesperson pulled the paperwork together and asked me to come in and sit down. Suddenly, pen in hand, I was having second thoughts. I had the money. I wasn’t risking anything; it wasn’t a 7-series for crying out loud, it was just a little 325. I just froze and couldn’t take the next step and sign. Everything was right, I was just having second thoughts about spending that much money. I put the pen down and told my salesperson I needed to think about it.
“He said, ‘OK, I understand. Give me a call when you’ve decided.’
“The next day I decided that I would go back and buy the car. I called my salesperson and was horrified and extremely disappointed to hear that they had sold the car, my car, three hours after I had left the dealership the previous day.