Posts

Jeffrey Gitomer

Don’t “close the sale” – all you have to do is ask for it.

Seems too simple. Just ask.

In most cases to get the sale – at some point you must ask for it. “Yes, Jeffrey,” you say, “but when do you ask? What’s the perfect time to ask?”

How do I know? No one knows that except you. I can only tell you it’s a delicate combination of the prospect’s buying signals, and your gut feeling.

How and what to ask are easier to define than when. Since the “ask” is a critical part of the sale, you’d better be prepared with a number of options for the how and what part.

Important note: Here’s what never to ask: “What will it take for me to get your business?” or “Where do I need to be to get your business?” Those are insult questions. Great salespeople figure out what it takes, and then do it.

More important note: Many salespeople are “ask reluctant.” If this is you, just realize the worst that can happen when you ask is that the prospect says “no” – which to any good salesperson means “not yet!” Big deal. Ask you chicken!

Here’s the WHAT and the HOW.

How do you ask for the sale? Here are 7.5 ways…

1. Ask – What’s the risk? When you ask the prospect what risks are associated in doing business with you, real objections may surface – or – (and here’s the best part) there are usually none that come to mind. You say – “Well, Mr. Johnson, when would you like to start not risking?” and the sale is yours.

2. Ask – When is the next job? If you’re making a sale where there are lots of opportunities (printer, supplies, temp help, construction, graphic design) you only need to get one job (order) to prove yourself.

3. Ask – for an indirect commitment. Could you arrange your schedule to be there at delivery? How many people will need to be trained? When can we set up training? (This is the assumptive position, explained in-depth in an earlier article.)

4. Ask – What’s preventing it? Is there anything preventing you from doing business with us? What’s in the way? What are the obstacles?

5. Ask – Is that the only reason you’re hesitant? If there’s an obstacle or objection ask – Is that the only reason? In other words, Mr. Johnson, if it wasn’t for (objection) then we could…

6. Ask – or communicate creatively – Go to the 5¢ & 10¢ store (pretty much dates me doesn’t it) and buy some plastic fence and a few plastic (rubber) people. Wire one person to the fence that most resembles (or would be non-offensive to) the prospect. Send it in a box to the prospect — and include a flyer declaring it’s “National Get Off the Fence Week.” Tell the prospect he’s been thinking about it long enough – and what better time to get off the fence, and place an order than during this special celebration week? Tell him he’ll be helping underprivileged salespeople all over the world by getting off the fence and placing an order. Create some laughter. Have some fun. Make some sales.

7. Create an offer so good that you can end by asking “fair enough?” “Mr. Johnson, I don’t know if we can help you or not – but if you bring your most important examples to lunch on Friday – if I can help you, I’ll tell you. And if I can’t help you, I’ll tell you that, too. Fair enough?” Here’s another – “Mr. Johnson, give me a trial order and let me earn your business. If it’s not everything I claim and more, you don’t have to pay for it. Fair enough?” (“Fair enough” should always be accompanied by a “can’t say no deal.”)

And when all else fails:

7.5 Ask – with humor – “Mr. Johnson, I finally figured out what it will take to get your business – all you have to do is say yes! The more adventurous salesperson will add – “When would you like to do that?”

Most important note: Ask for the sale when the mood is right. The worst possible place is in the prospect’s office. Best place is a business breakfast, lunch or dinner. Next best is your office. Next best is a trade show.

The rule of thumb is: ask early, and ask often. The best way to master the skill is – practice in front of someone who can say “yes.”

OK – That’s how and what to ask. When to ask is next week.

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Jeffrey Gitomer

The NEW TRUTH about closing the sale.

Every salesperson is looking for the fastest way, the best way, and the easiest way to ‘close’ a sale.

More than human nature, for salespeople, closing the sale is both a desire and a need. And the results are totally measurable. Either you win, or you lose. There is no second place in sales.

Many people think that ‘closing the sale’ is the fulcrum point of the process. All of those people are wrong. Closing the sale begins when the sales presentation begins.

A sale is not ‘closed.’ A sale is earned.

In my career I have learned two powerful words that complete the selling process. They allow me to complete the sale without a feeling of discomfort or hesitancy. When it’s time to deliver those words, I know in my heart of hearts the sale is mine.

The two words are: fair enough, and they are delivered to the prospect in the form of a question. “Fair enough?”

‘Fair enough’ are the most powerful words to affirm the prospect’s intention to buy. You may be erroneously referring to the prospect saying ‘yes’ as ‘closing a sale.’ Not good.

‘Fair enough’ asks for a commitment and validates the value and the fairness of your offer. If your offer is valuable, or perceived as valuable by the prospect, then the words ‘fair enough’ will always be followed by the prospect’s affirmative answer. And vice-versa.

The words ‘fair enough’ are also a self-test. Do you perceive that your offer is so valuable, that when you ask the prospect, “Is that fair enough?” you know in your mind and in your heart that in fact it IS fair enough. Always ask yourself the ‘fair enough’ question BEFORE you give a sales presentation. If you can answer ‘yes’ to your own offer, it’s likely the prospect will answer ‘yes’ as well.

The words ‘fair enough’ ask for a ‘yes’ and a confirmation to move forward. They are direct, completely understandable, and are non-manipulative. They don’t contain the phrases, “Can you see any reason not to move forward?” or worse, “Is there any reason you could not do this today?” Those are old-world, BS sales expressions of the worst order.

‘Fair enough’ is pointed, powerful, and positive. And you don’t have to wait until the end of your presentation to ask. You can slip it in once or twice as you’re presenting to make certain you and the prospect are in agreement and moving forward.

‘Fair enough’ gives you a transition from your presentation to earning the business.

THINK ABOUT THIS: If you have a bunch of presentation slides and offer to send some kind of proposal at the end of your presentation, you can never use the words ‘fair enough.’ Your job as a salesperson is to figure out how your presentation can culminate with the words ‘fair enough’ and that there’s enough perceived value in your presentation for the customer to say, “Yes, that’s fair enough.”

If the prospect says, “That sounds fair enough,” or gives you some form of yes, that’s not just a purchase, it’s also a report card that your offer was perceived as valuable enough to move forward.

START HERE: Review your entire sales presentation and see where the words ‘fair enough’ fit into it. If there’s no place for them, then your offer is most likely not fair enough, and will be met with some kind of resistance or stall.

This review process requires work on your part, and may mean you have to revise your sales presentation. This is a good thing! It will most likely mean you have to ask more questions, discover what the buying motive of the prospect is, and make certain you have value offerings that are in harmony with their true needs and motives to buy.

If you are able to give prospects the answers they’re hoping for, you will have created the ultimate buying experience. Asking the question ‘fair enough’ will become a joy. A financially rewarding joy.

I just provided you with a major secret of selling – a secret that, when mastered, has the potential to double your sales and increase your earnings significantly. All you have to do is create a strategy to incorporate it. Fair enough?

Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].