Sales Rule: Always (Don’t) Be Closing

So much has been written about sales. There is a sales rule for everything–cold calling, email etiquette, greeting cards, gifting, closing, touch points, pipeline management, lead generation, tracking, reporting… it goes on. One of the more popular ones is the “ABC’s of Selling.” ABC is a reminder to “Always Be Closing.” It’s pitched as the sales rule to stick by no matter what. It’s also bull crap. Nobody wants to be sold. The term sleazy salesman didn’t invent itself. It’s a description of sales people that are always closing. The fact is, “Always Be Closing” is a recipe for buyer’s remorse and a major annoyance to those you are trying to pitch. So, stop it! From now on Sales Rule #1 is, say it with me, “Always Don’t Be Closing.” Instead of closing, always get to know your prospects. While we’re at it, always know their name. Always, learn what motivates them. Always take time to understand their frustrations and pain points, as well as their goals. I came across this video not long ago. This sums up “sales” better than any rule. Watch it and think about what’s happening. Watch it now. I’ll wait… Did you watch it? Good. It starts with a small gesture. Then a rejection. Rather than quit, the mascot offered something more valuable. Also rejected. Then, a little bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Eventually, the girl let her guard down. The mascot earned her trust by being persistent and more amazing with each visit. The mascot earned her trust by giving without expecting anything in return. If he had started with the giant bear, what would her reaction have been? No doubt, she’d be embarrassed and creeped out. Possibly even angry or upset. That’s what happens when you’re “always closing.” Prospects are people, and people don’t like being creeped out or upset. Building trust takes time. It takes sincerity and genuine interest. It’s about the person, not the prospect. It’s about their goals–not yours. In short, the number one sales rule should be: Always put people first, and don’t try to close a sale until it is ready to be closed. Persist, and amaze!