Some may find the concept of salespeople not asking for the business, strange even ludicrous, given ‘the close’ has traditionally been a salesperson’s end-game.
Not asking for the business at the end of your sales-process is analogous to: a football player running down the sideline and struggling to avoid the clutches of would-be tacklers − to then just sit-down on their bum and scratch their head, an inch before the goal line. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense! Yet in sales, this type of conduct is surprisingly common.
Why do businesses spend enormous amounts of time, money, and resources investing in salespeople and developing (hopefully) effective sales initiatives, to then have salespeople balk and completely avoid the final step? Well, it comes down to two key areas: A lack of ‘confidence’ and ‘commitment’ in what are how they sell.
Not asking for the business is a symptom of a lack of confidence, and that is always a sub-symptom of a lack of commitment. To avoid disappointment of hearing yet another, “no,” or, “we’ll think about it” the salesperson simply chooses not to ask for the business, by doing so, preserving their ‘fragile’ ego from the pain of being rejected, yet again.
One of the most effective ways to harness your fear of rejection ― is to be fully committed to what you are doing. Much like jumping into the deep-end of a freezing cold swimming pool! You can stand on the edge of the pool frozen in anticipation of your reaction to the icy water. Alternatively, you can slowly lower yourself down into the water bit-by-excruciating-bit, screaming aloud as you go! Both these methods do little but enhance the pain and suffering.
The best way to get into an icy cold pool, if you’re Bold enough, is to enthusiastically jump into the air – clutch both your knees and bomb dive into the freezing water, with an almighty Splash!!! We all know that after a few seconds our body adjusts to the new temperature and we are then responsible for egging everyone else into the water to join us!
Asking for the business is much the same. When you are at the final stage in your sales – process your ability to be confident and committed in this moment will largely determine your success. Particularly if you have aligned all your steps up to this point correctly. At this point, you must see your customer’s reaction (if negative) as only a temporary response and that by jumping-in and asking for the business, you are then provided with information to more effectively address any concerns or objections the customer may have that prevent them from making the right decision.
Some salespeople find the chilly response of ‘silence’ too painful to bear, so they continue to speak after they ask for the business to avoid the uncomfortable sensation of silence. They forget silence is purposeful. If you are comfortable and confident in silence you demonstrate you are committed to your cause. If the customer is silent it shows they are genuinely considering their response. So don’t be too scared of silence when closing – it’s a supreme and necessary thing.
By refusing to take-on a customer’s (potential) chilly response, you are removing the capacity to create your desired outcome: to make the sale! By avoiding perceived short term pain you are also taking away long term gain. If you’re not asking for the business, you’ll never make it into the pool, let alone develop your swimming ability.
Tips to be more confident:
- Know your stuff!
- Follow a clear and consistent process
- Be passionate about what you do
- Dedicate yourself to never ending improvement
- Strive to carve out win-win outcomes
- Thrive on constructive criticism
- Use every opportunity, both positive and negative, to grow!
Remember: When you are fully committed to a cause: you become more confident and when you are confident: you instil confidence in others.
Commitment also requires a process and a way of doing things that enables you to develop your skills and confidence until you become exceptional at it!
Trent Leyshan Sales Training ∙ Sales Book ∙ Sales Coach