Always be selling leads to the infamous quote from the "Glengarry Glenn Ross" movie - 'ABC' - Always Be Closing! If you haven't seen the movie it is a harsh (lots of bad words) depiction of hard core selling. Many of you are not living in a harsh world of tough street selling but the one thing the movie makes me remember is that you must always be looking for new business and closing more of that business everyday. Recently I read Seth Godins blog on Girl Scout cookies - www.sethgodin.com and loved his analogy of selling. I was one of those Girl Scouts in the 60's that was a winning cookie 'girl' and my mom did not sell them for me. We would go door to door and sell based on my dad's sales coaching - his advice then and now is the same.
1. Ask open ended questions - as Seth as also saysl - don't ask 'do you want to buy some cookies? Ask your prospect what their favorite Girl Scout Cookie is. Engage, converse, and then sell the cookies.
2. Always Be Closing - If you can't sell the case at least sell 3 boxes. Never walk away without a sale.
Selling really never changes - even in the high speed world of technology where you can prospect easier than ever and in less time, you still need to connect personally and engage with clients.
Selling and new business development (prospecting) is a lifestyle commitment. It is like never missing a SPIN class or living a healthy lifestyle. Why is it so easy for those who preach away about their lifestyle to find prospecting so hard? Why do sales leaders constantly struggle with getting their sales people to search for new leads?
The answer is simple and relates to Girl Scout Cookies - If your mom always took your Girl Scout Cookies to sell them for you then you never learned how to do it yourself. If you work for an organization that is flooded with leads and sell in a transaction based world, you still don't know how to hunt for business. There is only one way to change the pattern and that is to mentally believe you work on straight commission - if you don't prospect, sell and close more business this year than you did last year you make very little money. It is amazing at how that gets the heat boiling under a person and they quickly get out of the comfort zone and hit the pavement.
Make no mistake about free enterprise. We all have the ability to work hard, make money and win the 'sales achievement award' if we try harder, work harder and make more sales calls. Sales is not about what is given to you but what you go out and make happen. So go ahead and sit back in your easy chair eating your Thin Mints while your competition is knocking on every door of every potential prospect and not giving up.