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Practice Management > Building Your Business

'Always be closing' and other lame sales advice

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During my career of teaching salespeople how to improve their results and increase their sales, I have come across some lame sales advice and even more pathetic sales expressions. Here are just a few examples:

Always be closing. This approach may have worked in the 1980s, but pushing people hard and constantly asking them for the sale or to make a decision is completely ineffective in today’s business world. You may remember Alex Baldwin’s speech in “Glengarry Glen Ross” about coffee being for closers. In the world of professional sales, there is no need to keep “closing.”

“No one walks!” I used to work in consumer electronics, and many of our managers were famous for spouting out these words on a Saturday morning. Do you really think reciting this mantra prevents someone from leaving without making a purchase? And do you think it’s a realistic goal to sell something to everyone?

It takes seven no’s to get a yes. So, if I simply ask someone for a buying decision seven times, I’ll get the sale? Chances are I’ll get kicked out of a prospect’s office before I get a chance to ask seven times.

“What will it take to earn your business?” Uh, maybe you can do your job …

“What will it take to get you into …?” I’m buying a dishwasher; how will you possibly get me into that and why would I want to?

Ask questions prospects will say yes to, so they will say yes when you ask for the sale. You really think someone will say yes just because you have established a pattern of getting them to say yes? That’s as stupid as saying, “Never ask a question that someone can respond with ‘no.’”

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Kelley Robertson conducts sales training workshops and delivering keynote speeches at conferences, sales meetings and other events. You can contact Robertson at 905-633-7750 or[email protected].


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