Closing the sale is arguably one of the most difficult and most misunderstood parts of the sales process. It’s true for many reasons, including missed steps prior to the close and wrong assumptions about whether or not the prospect is actually ready to close the deal. In this conversation you’ll hear two veteran sales professionals, James Muir and Anthony Iannarino pick each other’s brains about what it takes to have a truly effective sales conversation, the places where most sales professionals miss the mark, and why asking for a commitment is such a hard thing – when it shouldn’t be.
The sales process equals conversations and commitments.
Sales is intimidating to most people simply because they think of it in the wrong terms. It’s not about pushing or coercing people to do something they don’t want to do or can’t afford to do. It’s about helping people investigate their needs and discover the best solutions for them. That takes a conversation, or many of them, with the sales person being the one skilled at asking the right questions to make the needed discoveries. Sales is conversations followed by commitments, that’s it. In this conversation, James and Anthony chat about why asking for a commitment goes awry so often and what sales people can do to ensure their prospects are actually ready to make a commitment when the time comes.
Before closing, you’ve got to lead the customer to see WHY they need to change.
Most customers or prospects know they have problems that need solving. The sales professional wouldn’t be able to get a meeting with them in the first place if they didn’t know that. But the solutions that will solve those problems are going to require change on the part of many people within the company and that’s where people begin to resist in the sales process. The sales person needs to take the time, perhaps through many conversations, to help the prospect understand WHY they need to change, what’s at stake if they don’t. Anthony and his guest, James Muir chat about how a salesperson can effectively lead their customers to that realization and close the sale – on this episode.
No customer should ever feel they need to be defensive about the sales conversation.
Defensiveness flows from a feeling or belief that another person is critical of you or the decisions you’ve made. It’s what you feel when you’re being pushed to do something you don’t want to do. Effective sales people come alongside their prospects instead of pushing them forward from behind. They consult, they help, they answer questions, and they ask plenty of insightful questions of their own. No customer should EVER feel the need to be defensive when a sales professional is doing their job the right way. Join Anthony as he and James Muir recount what they’ve learned about closing the sale, on this episode of In The Arena.
Consultative selling is a collaborative, participatory process.
No sales professional wants to be perceived as pushy or coercive. They know being perceived that way will kill their career. What’s the alternative? Being consultative, learning how to become the trusted expert customers can learn from as they seek to address the needs within their business. But consultative selling is about more than being an expert, it’s about being a partner with the customer, getting on the same side of the table to explore solutions together. When you can become a participant in the prospect’s exploration of a solution to their problems, you become the trusted advisor you really want and need to be.
Outline of this great episode
- [1:45] Anthony’s introduction to his friend, James Muir.
- [3:06] The things that changed that prompted James to write his book.
- [6:43] Things sales people need to understand about what they are really doing when closing.
- [8:20] The critical misunderstanding closers make.
- [11:00] Underestimating the role of showing the customer how the sales process works.
- [13:52] The sales closing process is not a linear process: why it’s important to know.
- [15:55] Why sales people are horrified at the prospect of asking for a commitment from prospects.
- [23:58] Not securing a commitment to change is where sales people begin to miss the mark.
- [31:10] Consultative selling is a collaborative, participatory process.
- [32:29] How you can get James’ audio book.
Resources & Links mentioned in this episode
- James’ website: http://puremuir.com/
- www.PureMuir.com/TheLostArtOfClosing – get James’ audiobook for free
The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on Soundcloud
Connect with Anthony
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarino
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