The Scorecard of Closing: Improve Your Sales Tools
The last article I wrote is called The Different Shades of Sales, and it’s a fact that sales have many different aspects and facets. Working in sales requires a person in their entirety, on both a personal and professional level. People in sales continue to learn and develop, filling their “toolbox” with the latest sales tools and staying up to date with how to deliver in a state of the art manner.
Only the best win—those who have gone through much practice, adjustment, rejection and hard to handle situations, as well as uplifting and motivating moments. However, what counts at the end of the day is to rise every morning, set your goals, draw your “roadmap,” and use as many sales tools out of your toolbox as necessary.
I am an avid golfer, and I like to compare the sales process with a round of golf. When preparing to go golfing, you clean your golf clubs, change into the attire, and go to the driving range. The driving range is the practice field. You get familiar with your clubs (your golfing tools), strengthen your abilities and work on weaker points, roleplay different scenarios, and boost confidence in what you are doing and who you are.
When salespeople attend different training seminars, listen to podcasts, watch sales-related videos, and stay informed on sales advances, they are on the driving range for sales. They get all the practice, information, theoretical knowledge, and tools that they need to be ready when they sit down with a new prospective customer.
The Real Game
Now, there comes the time where you stand at the first tee, a little bit nervous. You’re probably excited about the new chance to win and play a good, fair game. First, you look at a roadmap of the whole golf course with all the obstacles in it. While you are out playing, you have to figure out what will be an obstacle for you. The obstacles are different for everyone.
But, you have practiced before, and you have a general idea of your strengths and weaknesses. In your mind, you make up a plan and remember your preparation. You looked over the roadmap, and have practiced using your essential tools. You are ready.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”
—W. Clement Stone
Like with golf, the same rules apply to salespeople. Get as informed as possible about your prospective customer and the company. Be savvy and knowledgeable! Your customer is savvy as well and expects an equal partner. Have your toolbox well stocked. Make a plan that includes how to approach your customer, meet them where their needs are, and listen to what they are telling you.
Having a plan and being well equipped doesn’t mean that everything is set in stone, though. It means that you are prepared to react to every possible situation, that you always have a “plan B,” and that you’re flexible and open to what the customer needs. Don’t try to persuade your customer of something that is not a good fit for them. Instead, convince them to “think outside the box” and try something new, like your product or service. Open doors and inspire!
Being prepared also means that you know exactly who you are and what you are capable of. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert. If you are authentic and true to yourself and your capabilities, you have won half of the game. Be definite about yourself and your abilities, and you are 100 percent ready to achieve your goals!
Building trust is a crucial factor in the path to success. Building trust means that your prospective customer trusts in your abilities, your promises, and your knowledge about the product or service you are selling. It also means that you have their best interest in mind and will offer the best possible solution for their needs. Trust means that you create a win-win situation, and play a fair game.
“80 percent of success is just showing up.” —Woody Allen
Just as you book a tee time before you go on the golf course, you also have to show up at the time required when meeting with your prospects. Otherwise, you mess up everybody else’s game.
If you make an appointment, or if you schedule a call, promise to deliver a solution at a particular time—show up! Keep your promise! Follow up on time! Not only is this another critical factor in building trust, but it is also a proof that you are a reliable person.
Don’t Take Rejection Personally
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” —Babe Ruth
Rejection, failure, and sometimes loss are all part of the game. They teach you to do it differently next time, and they show you there is still room for improvement. The best way to solve a problem is not to complain about it, but rather to come up with better questions and solutions. So next time you’ll learn ask different questions. This starts during your preparation time, and then you can utilize them with your customer.
Every golfer, every athlete, every artist, and every successful business person has to practice every day, every moment, over and over again! Once, I played golf every single day for a whole week. 18 holes a day, for seven days in a row. With every round, I got better and better. On the eighth day, I got over-confident of my abilities. I went out on the golf course without warming up. Believe it or not, I didn’t hit one ball! I had to start practicing again.
I want to end with a quote from one of the best-known sales gurus, Zig Ziglar:
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Gain inspiration from SalesPOP! It will help you fill your toolbox with as many as different sales tools as possible.