“One walks over the highest mountain one step at a time.” — John Wanamaker
How do you eat an elephant?
One step at a time.
Why anyone would want to eat an elephant confuses me, but you get the point.
BIG things are accomplished by breaking them down into small, actionable STEPS.
Our goal is steady progress.
Keep moving the ball down field.
I just read Anthony Iannarino’s new book, The Lost Art of Closing.
The book is fantastic.
Iannarino shows how taking a STEP BY STEP approach to CLOSING A SALE is a highly effective way to create new business.
Our job as sales professionals is to ask for and obtain commitments.
But when people hear the word CLOSING, they can get a negative vibe.
Alec Baldwin’s character, Blake, in Glengary, Glen Ross comes to mind.
Baldwin plays a shady, money hungry deal maker.
His world is all about getting the customer’s money.
Amazing one liners.
But total BS.
Blake’s “A.B.C.” (Always Be Closing) Method of selling went out of style a few weeks after parachute pants did in the 1980’s.
Modern day selling is about helping your customers succeed.
CLOSING A SALE can take multiple appointments, a number of stakeholders and months to achieve.
A good sales person knows where they are in the SALES process.
They understand the next STEP they need to take.
They know that CLOSING involves more than just asking for the business.
A sales professional knows that they need to secure a series of smaller commitments from the customer before they get anywhere near a sale.
This process can be smooth.
You just have take it STEP BY STEP:
Not all stakeholders will want to meet with you.
Many may not even respond to your emails and messages.
That’s a good thing.
This keeps all the AVERAGE sales people out.
The best way to deal with this is to get your advocates inside the customer to make the introduction.
This idea is killer.
THE NEXT MEETING
Secure the next appointment before you leave the current one.
The most effective way to keep the sales process alive is to stay in front of your customer.
It’s amazing how many sales “professionals” don’t do this.
TO BE INCLUDED IN THE PROCESS
Great sales people are considered TRUSTED ADVISORS.
They secure a commitment to be included in the customer’s decision making process.
They are sitting next to the customer in the conference room when they are deciding which path to take.
It sounds cliche, but it’s true.
Many sales people are afraid to ask for the order.
Sometime all you need is the COURAGE to ask.
“Would you like to move forward with an order?”
At worst you get a “No” and the real reason holding them back.
At best you get a new customer.
Ask and you shall receive.
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Be not afraid of going slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”
This is true in SALES.
It’s true in LIFE.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Just ask that elephant.