Friday, May 23, 2008

Do you need to increase your closing %?

Okay, so your mind is on the weekend.

Or is it?

Are you ending your week wondering what happened to the sales you thought you had in the bag?

Before you pack it in for Memorial Day, take a look at this wisdom from Art Sobczak that came in my email.

(And you can keep checking back here, 'cause I'll have at least three new posts each day, all (long) weekend long!)

This Week's Tip:
How To Be Really Sure You Have the Sale


I arrived at the golf course to check in, and much
to my surprise, the pro shop attendant said, “We
don’t have a reservation for you or the other person
you mentioned.”

Shortly thereafter, my playing partner, Chuck (who
had indeed called earlier for reservations), straightened
things out.

Over a few cold ones in the clubhouse after the round
Chuck told me he had an inkling a mix-up would occur.
He said his call to the pro shop went like this:

Chuck: “Can you get two people on at 12:30?”

Attendant: “That shouldn’t be a problem. Come on down.”

Chuck: “So we have a confirmed time at 12:30?”

Attendant: “We’ll work it out. Come on in.”

Because the attendant was being somewhat evasive,
vague, or just plain lazy, he didn’t give a commitment
although Chuck asked for one, but stopped short of saying,

“Look, do you have my name written in the book at 12:30?”

We then related that situation to a similar fault some
salespeople suffer from: not being specific enough, and
accepting fuzzy answers.

For example, Chuck has several sales people working
for him, marketing mechanical contracting services. Chuck
will usually ask the reps after a major prospect meeting,
“How did it go? Are we going to get the job?”

Sometimes they’ll respond in a manner like the golf shop
attendant: “It looks pretty good. They were favorable toward us.”

He’ll then ask the rep, “Did you come right out and ask them
if they were going to use our bid in the overall contract?”

“Well, no . . . but I think they’re leaning in our direction.”

Well folks, Chuck’s company doesn’t send out work crews
(or invoices) based on someone who’s just leaning. They
need to know for sure. And that’s the way it is with my
company, and probably yours. When people speak in terms
of specifics, things happen. If prospects and customers
aren’t asked for a definite decision or course of action, it’s
easy for them to shelve the issue.

“Are we going to do this?”

“When will we see the purchase order?”

“How many do you want?”

And, oh, saying, "Can I send/fax/email the contract?" is not
a close. Because if they say yes, what are the odds you will
get it back?

You need to follow that question with, "And will you sign and
return it?"

Find out precisely where you stand. Leave no doubt as to
what is to happen after the call, and you’ll find that follow-
up files become less clogged, and your wallet gets fatter.

Of course, this Tip is all about questioning once we reach the
commitment part of the call. We also need to ask great questions
to get to this part of the call. The best questioners are the wealthiest
salespeople. Period. But, great questions don't just come to you
magically...they must be well thought, prepared, and practiced.
I have a resource where you will get 12 questions you can use,
and/or modify for your very next call. Check it out at

"Determining that you will have a great attitude does much
more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to
magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous
opportunities that were somehow absent before the



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