In many of the conversations that I have had over the years with Sales Directors and Sales Managers they have asked me to train their sales people to close the sale and I have said “No”.
“Why not?” is often their reply and I say that it is like helping someone to plan a marriage proposal before they have even asked the person out on a date.
Often the reason that sales people are not closing enough business is not because they don’t know how to close the sale but because they are not following the earlier stages of the sales process successfully enough.
One of my sales gurus uses the phrase ‘courtship’ to describe the time from making first contact with a potential client or customer to winning them as a client. I really like this analogy because it is a process of:
- getting to know each other
- seeing how the chemistry works,
- identifying whether you are the type of person/organisation that they are looking for
- determining whether you can have a long-term relationship
Even if they don’t need to learn how to close the sale, they do usually need to learn, or refine, other sales skills such as:
- creating sales meetings
- making a good first impression
- structuring a sales conversation
- building rapport
- asking questions – identifying need
- understanding how they buy – the psychology of selling and buying
- adapting the sales approach to different personalities
- presenting products and solutions in a compelling way
- checking and asking for feedback
If you think that you or some of your sale people need to learn how to close the sale, take a further look before wasting your money on the wrong type of training or coaching.