Some people say the A-B-C of selling is ‘Always Be Closing.’ Those people aren’t selling much in an economy that demands due diligence and with buyers who are very sophisticated. After a very competitive sales situation, this veteran discovered a new alphabet of selling:
A = Attitude
This week, a customer booked a competitor to come in on the same date and time as my appointment. My first reaction was disbelief and then I felt insulted. ‘Wait! – I thought to myself… this is a negative thought.’ Then, I pretended to be the buyer. I was going on the sales call with another team member, so I called her and said ‘if I was in their shoes, I’d shop around too.’ Then, we developed a plan to present our competitive advantages. You may be a novice or a veteran – but maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude is not a place you arrive at. It’s a state of mind that accepts a challenge with a ‘can do’ spirit.
B = Belief
If you really believe that your product is best, there is no limit to the hard work that will go into earning the business. When we arrived – I could hear the competition in the next room. My heart was beating – and yes, I was a little nervous. My colleague and I were both very determined and neither of us wanted to lose the business. When my buyer arrived, I looked him in the eye and said ‘I drove 6 hours to tell you that I want your business.’ Our research and preparation then kicked in as we showed how our solution would lower costs and improve staff efficiency. There was passion in our presentation – we believed.
C = Commitment
You have to show a customer your level of commitment before you can expect loyalty from the buyer.
• In our sales situation this week, it took a lot of hard work and travel to secure the business.
• Our internal support teams provided supporting information.
• Our management team provided some incentives for the customer.
• There were lots of little agreements that ultimately lead to getting the business.
We left the account and found a local restaurant for lunch. While eating, my team mate and I talked about how our momentum had changed when we focused on the customer’s point of view. It energized our efforts and unleashed our belief in the solutions offered. Our commitment lead to a positive, constructive agreement that everyone could live with. We earned the business and it was exhilarating!
Hours later, I arrived home after a 16 hour day. You’ll get no clichés out of me or fancy closing lines. Selling is hard work – period.