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January 20, 2010

The real secret to sales success

You never get if you don't ask!

Closing techniques went out with selling hairbrushes and insurance door to door. Nobody falls for "your pen or mine" anymore, and they are increasingly cynical because of it.

For consultants the sales process is exactly that, a process. We live and die by the value of our last engagement. Our calling card is our track record and the brand we have created from it.

If it doesn't fit, then don't try to make it fit. You will just burn yourself out, burn out their patience and trust, and ensure a low likelihood of repeat work.

During your discussions with the person who pulls the trigger, at some stage you will have identified the opportunity where you could help, established your value in the mind of the client, and bought her to a place where she is comfortable in spending whatever is required to achieve that value.

Then you ask for the order.

"How can we bring this to a close?"

"What else is needed for us to proceed here?"

"What are the next steps here?"

At all times your intentions are clear. There is no hidden agenda. You are there to do business, this is not a charity after all.

You could get into the whole fencing thing with objections and countering statements. But that is more like forcing a sale than making a sale. In the end, your best results, and most likely chance at consulting repeat work, is to develop a process that allows for a win win situation.

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