Always Be Closing
I had a closing kind of day.
There’s a scene in The Boiler Room where Ben Affleck talks about closing. He asks "Who’s going to close? You or him?". Alec Baldwin does it even better in Glengarry Glen Ross. Besides "Coffee is for closers", Baldwin says "Only one thing counts. Get them to sign on the line which is dotted."
Today, I sat across room from a potential customer and I didn’t leave the room until the deal was done. I walked through our proposal, answered every question. When we hit an objection in the contract, I had my laptop there, and we modified it together. We made sure the numbers were what he needed, and when we were done, we printed it together from my thumb drive and we did the deal.
We sat at the table and both signed.
Solution Providers are too often scared to ask for the deal. We hem and haw and email proposals and wait for them to get back to us. We accept break/fix work when we want a managed services contract, or we deal with a consultant when we want to talk to the decision makers.
And ultimately, we get scared to ask for the deal. We’re afraid they’re going to say no. So we string along and keep checking in to see if they decided and never get to the end.
The "No" isn’t something to be afraid of. The "No" is not a loss. You didn’t have the deal anyway. Walking in there, you have nothing. You don’t have the deal, so a "No" isn’t a loss. In fact, it’s a win. You get the time back you would have spent chasing the deal.
A "No" means you don’t spend time on a lead that won’t go anywhere.
However, before you got the "No", did you listen to all the questions? Questions aren’t objections, they’re opportunities to help your prospect match to what you have to offer. Questions are interest, and they show that the prospect is interested in what you have to offer them. Questions offer the insight into what the prospect is looking for.
You should view the questions as a chance to match to your prospect. Get to a point where you can answer those questions and work with the prospect.
I didn’t wait to "email the changes" or "we’ll think about it". We talked about what they needed, I answered their questions, when they wanted changes I made them, and we came to agreement. And we signed.
Always Be Closing.
Dave Sobel is CEO of Evolve Technologies, a Washington, D.C.-based solution provider, and is regular contributor to Channel Insider.