Do you know something? You are not that good at selling. Honestly.
You can be as charismatic as Richard Branson. You can be as clever as Rupert Murdoch and you can be as passionate about your business as I am. But that doesn’t mean you are good at selling.
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All that means is you are good at opening doors, good at talking, good at marketing and good at getting people really excited about your business. That’s terrific.
But selling is a lot more than that, the main thing being able to close a deal. There is a specific art to closing a deal.
You have to talk money. And most entrepreneurs, after establishing a relationship, find it hard at the end to start the closing process.
The process may take a number of visits or can be done on the spot, but it involves asking about money.
Where is the money in an organisation? Are there different pots of money you can access? When are budgets set? How big are the budgets? How likely is the prospective client to spend? Do they have the authority to authorise the sale?
Often entrepreneurs who have developed a relationship with a prospective client are happy to leave the room without that conversation taking place.
And why not? The entrepreneur has asked lots of questions about the prospective client and understands the problems to be solved. She or he has explained how their company can solve them.
Everyone seems happy to proceed. Handshakes all around – but that is not a sale. Those hard questions have not been asked.
And what happens when you get back to the office? You make a note to follow up.
You find yourself having the same conversation with the prospective client again. Still no sale.
There are other reasons for hiring salespeople, especially those who excel at closing.
As an entrepreneur you are distracted by 100 things every day.
Closers have one focus – finding potential sales and closing those sales. They make the follow-up phone calls and they make sure the right people are at the right meeting.
They are very good at not leaving any pot of money untapped and they get that signature on the bottom line.