In the end, you must move the sale forward. To do so, it's critical to ask the right commitment questions the right way. At this point, you should have earned the right to move forward by clearly solving the customer's problem. Knowing how to ask for that commitment will ensure your success.
- If you listen to sales gurus from the '60s up through the '80s and '90s, you'll hear many similar themes around how to close your customer. Much of this philosophy actually created and reinforced the negative stereotype we have of sales today. In fact, there are movies that've become cold classics, like The Boiler Room, that appear to sensationalize this winner-take-all mindset, even at the expense of the customer. I'm sure you've heard the ABCs of selling, right? Always Be Closing? The truth is, the best sales professionals around the globe, regardless of industry, understand that this is actually counterproductive. Some folks may find short-term success for a season with this approach. But inevitably they find themselves struggling to find their next mark. And ultimately they go home at night not feeling really, very good about themselves. We know that people buy from people they trust. Nobody trusts someone who hard-closes them every five minutes and appears to only be interested in making the sale. In fact, I believe and now teach my clients that a true trusted advisor doesn't even actually close. Yes, you heard me correctly. If you are doing everything correctly in the customer conversation model that's been discussed throughout this course, you will create an environment of true partnership. Remember, you've earned the right to be a partner in this process now. And it's imperative that you respectfully lead the customer to the next steps in the process, whether that's agreeing to the terms and implementation of your solution, or if it means involving additional decision makers in the next step of the process. Either way, no decision is not an option for a Braintrust certified sales professional. Partnership agreements are simply an unofficial strategy that reminds the customer that you're there as an equal partner, and that you also have time, energy, and financial investment at stake and at risk. Junior level sales people fear this step more than any other as they feel that they're putting the customer in an uncomfortable, pressure situation. The reason they feel this way is twofold. First, they likely didn't execute the model effectively; therefore, they haven't differentiated themselves and communicated clear value. Or secondly, they've been trained to either not ask for the business, or to hard close the customer, and neither is an option. What I recommend instead is a simple question. Mr. And Mrs. Customer, based on the conversation we've had today it's clear that solving these issues together will be mutually beneficial. Now, we're going to have a great deal of time, money, and resources invested in delivering the solution, as will you and your company. But I believe it will be worth the effort of both our parts. So what would you like to do? Now, don't miss the power in this question's simplicity. You're essentially reminding the customer that you are partners, and as such, there is effort and resources on your part as well. And they need to remember and respect your role in this partnership. You are doing so very respectfully, however, and not making them feel sold. It comes down to respect. If you execute the techniques taught throughout this course effectively, you will create connection, credibility, and respect from your customer. They will see you as more than just a sales rep, and as such, will treat you accordingly. You've now shown the customer everything they need to see about you, your company, and how your solution actually solves their problem. Now, it's their choice. Powerfully simple, isn't it? Some argue that my technique is, in fact, closing. But the reality is, we're simply allowing the customer to make the choice to allow us to solve their problem. Any other tactic or technique breaks trust and puts the customer on the defense. Give it a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!