How to close after a terrible presentation....and tonight's winning lotto numbers

Forgive the title, but I figured if I was going to promise something big, I should Go REALLY big!

In the last blog, I challenged the big, fat, lie about closing- which is that it is Only a numbers game, that if you aren't selling enough, you simply aren't closing enough.  Now, this may be partially true, but I submitted that what really is probably going on is that you are holding back.  You aren't closing enough because you aren't building trust, demonstrating value, and creating separation from your competitors- so your gut is telling you that you haven't earned the right to ask for their business!

So, how do you earn the right?  Well, you'll have to read the next Blog for that!  The feedback I got from the last blog tells me that you agreed, that's why you're not closing more often.  So, as promised, I'm going to help you with that scenario first - the "what if I screwed up already?" answer.

Let me answer with a story.  One of the greatest sales pitches ever should be your job interview for a sales job.  I mean, you're asking someone to hire you to SELL for a living, right?  Shouldn't you be talented at selling yourself?!?  You'd be surprised!  

So, I was interviewing candidates for a sales job, and came across a very pleasant lady.  We'll call her Rachel.  Rachel and I had nice conversation on many topics, but she never steered the conversation to why I should hire her!  I tossed her a bone and asked,

"Do you have any other questions?"  I call this a bone because I want the responder to ask me for the job, I'm making it easy.

Rachel asks a question about benefits. I answer it, then again ask, "anything else?"

She's shifting in her chair, eyes darting around, searching for the words to say.....

Pause

You've been there, right?  In a job interview, or a botched sale.  Rachel knows she hasn't added enough value yet, so she's uncomfortable CLOSING me!  Well, here's what she SHOULD have done:

1) take control - you have NOTHING to lose in a botched sale.  Stiffen your spine, and get confident!
2) get personal - nothing turns a corner better than connecting to the buyer/decision maker.  
3) ask a POWER question.  Read my blog on the topic, but a POWER question takes the buyer/decision maker mentally out of the room, and gives them something to ponder.

Rachel should have sat up straight, looked me in the eye and asked a question like:
"Stephen, you have obviously done a lot of interviews.  What would you say are the three main things you are looking for in this position?"  I would be forced to stop thinking about how poorly this was going, and immediately shift my attention to the 3 criteria.

Her followup would be to summarize her strengths against that criteria, THEN to close the very stunned version of me!

Here's another one that would have turned the tables:
"Stephen, I'm curious.  Would you mind thinking back to the interview of your very best salesperson, or the best salesperson that you actually did interview.  How did you know he/she would be a winner?  What did he/she say during that meeting?"

Boom.  I'm in nostalgia land, and chances are that I DIDN'T know my top salesperson would have been THAT good- not from the interview!  I tell Rachel the story, she compares and capitalizes on the similarities, and then she closes me.

There's 2 thought starters for you that can easily translate to selling.

Botched sale.  Awkward dialogue.  Buyer is about to leave.  You say: "I'm curious, take me back to when you bought your current residence.  What was it about it that made you realize that was the house?"  Conversation turns, you can close on the response.  

1) take control
2) get personal
3) ask a POWER question 

I won't tell you what happened with Rachel, because I'm not sure- she didn't get hired!  Don't make the same mistake!

Oh- As for the winning lotto numbers?  They are the ones announced on TV after the drawing! ;)

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