Archive for the ‘Closing’ Category

Add a little drama

November 21st, 2013

You’re meeting with a prospect. You’ve asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect’s problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analyzing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, “No problem. I have exactly what you need.”

Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, “Thank goodness,” and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm’s version of the story, but not in the real world.


Prospects are skeptical of salespeople whose products or services are “exactly” what they need, especially if the salespeople are too quick to make the proclamation. At some level, prospects want to believe that their problems, concerns, and goals are not run of the mill, but rather, somewhat unique requiring solutions that are also somewhat unique.

So, even if your product or service is exactly what the prospect needs, don’t be so quick to make the announcement. Tell the prospect that you have addressed similar situations and with the proper focus, and fine-tuning (perhaps with his help), you can provide him with a competent solution. You still get your point across—that you have a solution. And, you acknowledge the uniqueness of his situation which will require more than a cookie-cutter solution.

A Proposal: To Send Or Not To Send

August 8th, 2011

By Carol Rosdobutko

Clients and prospects tell on a regular basis about how they spend 5 – 20 hours a week preparing proposals for business they are “hoping to get;” however, most of the time their efforts are unsuccessful. Why are we compelled to provide proposals when our ‘gut’ tells us we are wasting our time?

Let’s explore some of the reasons we feel inclined to provide proposals:
1. The prospect asked for it.
2. ‘If I don’t provide the proposal I definitely won’t have a chance at getting the business.’
3. ‘I can show the prospect all the other things that I or my company can do for them.’
4. My proposal will give all the details of how I would solve their problems.
5. ‘I’m not great at asking questions – the proposal will cover the things that I’ve missed.’ (more…)

Don’t Let Your Seagull Become an Albatross

May 31st, 2011

By Hamish Knox

Have you ever killed a sale by bringing up an irrelevant feature to your prospect? Something you, or probably your marketing department, thought you prospect should know about before they signed up?

At Sandler, this is known as “painting seagulls in your prospect’s picture.” Unfortunately, your seagull can quickly turn into an albatross.


Finding That Compelling Reason – Part Two

May 9th, 2011

By Carol Rosdobutko

Last time we discussed the tension of wanting to ‘rescue’ a prospect sales process. Now let’s look at the situation between the buyer and seller as objectively as possible: (more…)

Sandler Rule #32: Get an IOU For Everything You Do

April 1st, 2011

Sales Tips: Sandler Rule #16: Never Ask For The Order, Make The Prospect Give Up.

March 14th, 2011

Have You Earned the Right to Close?

February 25th, 2011

By Bill Bartlett

There are a lot of great movies that have been written about selling. In fact, Amazon lists the topten sales movies when you search the site, and, unfortunately, none of them present the sales profession is a very favorable light.Movies like Boiler Room, Used Cars, Tommy Boy, Wall Street, Tin Men and even The Godfather come to my mindwhen I do a quick scan.Yes, The Godfather! Who can forget the memorable sales pitch from the movie, “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.” (more…)

Are You Financially Independent?: Change Your Attitude Towards Price Negotiations

November 15th, 2010

Negotiating Prices MoneyBy Paul Lanigan

“How and when you discuss money during your sales process has a greater impact on selling success than your price”

A few years ago, I engaged the serivces of a Dublin based PR company to help me promote an event I was organising. I found the two partners of the firm to be pleasant hosts and experts in their field. After a few minutes our conversation moved from small talk to the business matter at hand. It was a fairly straight forward deal so we had almost concluded our meeting within an hour. There was just one important matter we hadn’t yet discussed – money. It didn’t look like they were going to bring the topic up, so I looked the two partners in the eye and said “we should probably talk about money now!”

Their response was intriguing. One of the partners shifted uncomfortably in his seat, the other went bright red, turned to her colleague and tellingly stuttered, “this is where I leave you guys to fight it out” and she left the room.

Both were clearly uncomfortable discussing money. Their attitude towards money was undoubtedly hurting their pocket and doing nothing to inspire confidence in me.

We all grow up with a conceptual view on money. Think about how money was discussed in your home. Perhaps it was rude to talk about money? Maybe you grew up with a belief that money was scarce (“money doesn’t grow on trees you know”).

If, like me, you studied The Merchant of Venice in school, perhaps you’ll recall the dark, money lending character Shylock who wanted his ‘pound of flesh’?

Recall the imagery from Yeat’s September 1913…..

“But fumble in a greasy till

And add the halfpence to the pence”

Consider some biblical references to money…..

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”……..

and my favourite……….”The love of money is the root of all evil”

It’s no wonder that we look forward to discussing money as much as a visit to the dentist.

The problem is that if you are uncomfortable because of these ‘hidden’ money messages, you will without doubt communicate your feelings to your prospect. The real problem is that your prospective customer doesn’t automatically associate the discomfort he observes with your childhood messages! It’s much more likely that he will interpret your discomfort as a lack of conviction and confidence. The minutest hesitency, sideways glance or voice inflection is liekly to trigger your prospects unconscious defense system resulting in stalls, think it overs and delays.

None of these options helps you close the sale.

Worse still, because we avoid discussing money, we fail to set the ground rules on how and when we are going to get paid. Merely putting your terms in an email or referring to them in your proposal or quotation, does not establish an agreed set of mutually acceptable ground rules.

The result is that we may end up putting ourselves under financial pressure and find ourselves chasing customers for payment. This invariably means we’ll incur avoidable overdraft fees and the overhead of credit controllers.

Far better to look your prospect in the eye and say “John, one of the conditions attached to my offer is that I get paid on time, in full, every time. I never want to have to chase you for payment. If you can’t make that commitment to me now, we can shake hands and part on friendly terms, but let’s not do business. Are you comfortable with that?”

You may of course fear that having such a frank money conversation may cause your prospective customer to back off?

Not if you have sold him on doing business with you. Let’s face it, if a prospect isn’t willing to commit to paying you on time, every time, when do you want to find that out?

So, if you want to avoid price pressure, discounting and tighter margins and you want to get paid on time, every time, adopt a different attitude towards money. Imagine you believed that you were ‘financially independent and you didn’t need the money’ what would you say and how would you sound?

Paul Lanigan is a Sandler Trainer based in Dublin, Ireland.

Illustration by Rob Green