I often ask my classes, “What business are you in?”Â The sales business, the people business, the relationship business and often the actual industry they are in be it real estate, lumber or car sales.
Admittedly, this is a trick question.Â I tell them, “Those are all subsets of the business we are in.Â We (as salespeople) are in the communication business.”Â The guy cutting lumber in the sawmills is in the lumber business.Â The better he makes lumber (in theory) the more money he makes.Â The same is true for communication for us as salespeople.Â The better we communicate, the more money we will make.
Why do I even make the point?Â Because they are a lot of us out there selling that haven’t updated our product (our communication) in a long time.Â What happens to a plant that doesn’t update its’ equipment?Â It falls behind.Â The same will happen to us if we don’t upgrade our communication and keep it fresh.Â We should learn to enjoy experimenting with new types of openings, questioning techniques, consultative approaches, aggressive approaches, Closes or any step in the sales (read – communication) process.
One of my favorite (most fun) Closes to use is the “And-that’s-exactly-why-you should-buy-it” Close.Â This Close is sometimes called the “Right-Angle” Close.Â Whatever objection our customer gives us after we make our proposal, we answer it by saying, “And that’s exactly why you should buy it.”Â After we say this we need to have a good reason that dovetails with our customer’s objection.
Sales Trainer:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “My tapes will increase your sales.Â They are $79.99.”
Customer:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “Oh, I couldn’t afford that!”
Sales Trainer:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “And that’s exactly why you need to buy these tapes; if you were selling more you could afford them.”
Lumber Seller:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “We’ve been selling 2×4 16’s at a great level, how many should we put on?”
Lumber Buyer:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “We’re not moving 2×4 right now; my cost is out of whack.”
Lumber Seller:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “And that’s exactly why we need to bring some of these in.Â Our cost will help you lower you cost, helping you to get more in line with the market and sell more.”
This is a fun Close to use, but we must be careful.Â If the reason we give after the “And that’s exactly why…” statement doesn’t make good business sense we will sound flip, argumentative, or like someone just trying to get an order.Â If our reason is does make sense, we are on the way to getting an order.
.Â Another reason I like this Close is because it is an idea shifter.Â As salespeople, part of our job is to get our customers to see things in a slightly different way.Â Their perception of us or our product may be off just enough (it doesn’t take much!) to keep them from buying from us instead of a competitor.Â The “And that’s exactly why…”Â Close will help our customers think about things in a different way.Â We are challenging their thought process directly.Â Many sellers are afraid of standing up to customers in any way.Â If the “And that’s exactly why…” is delivered in the right way it will create respect from the customer, not confrontation.
You’re a Hundred too High!
We find ourselves in tough markets.Â Buyers seem to have the dial turned to “Automatic No.”Â Sometimes we have to say something to shake them up.Â I’ve got a friend in the lumber business that opens a hundred dollars a thousand too high or too low.
Lumber Seller:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “John, I’ve got a fantastic deal on 2×10 Green Doug Fir.Â We can get that into you at $440/mbf.”
Lumber Buyer:Â “$440/MBF?Â You’re off by $100/MBF!”
Lumber Seller:Â “So you’re paying $330/MBF?”
Lumber Buyer:Â “That’s about right…
And the conversation continues from there.
The point is for us to communicate with our customers in new and more effective ways – upgrade our equipment.
If the way we are communicating is not bringing the kind of results we want, we must change up individual phrases in our sales lexicon, and in some cases our entire approach.Â (But that’s a discussion for another article.Â In the meantime, try the two above examples next week and see how they open communication and increase sales for you.)