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15 Dec


Senior Associate Consultant

Intro: After a while, your sales, presentation, and closing skills fall into the same realm as mastery of the Martial Arts. When you master something, your actions almost no longer require conscious thought. Your offense and defense become reflexes. For those not familiar with the Martial Arts, another example is being really good at something because you have practiced and applied it over and over again.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” - Bruce Lee

Not everyone can do this, as many find out while attempting a career in sales.

If you do not master all 4, you will eventually fail in sales. Most people that attempt a career in sales will fail. Many are too scared to even attempt it.

Here are the 4 basics that you will need to master as the first step to reaching your closing and sales potential:

1. Be On Time: Always be on time. If you are late, you have already lost a lot of your power, if not all of it. Be early, but wait in an appropriate location until your appointment starts and arrive no earlier or later than 5 minutes before your appointment time.

Never reschedule an appointment. Always confirm the appointment. If you don’t get a confirmation, don’t go. Make sure the person/persons/group you are meeting with needs what you are selling and the people that you are meeting with are the decision makers.

Do your research and cancel the appointment if your preparation determines the customer/client does not meet your standards or you cannot help them.

2. Be Aware of What Is Going On: When you arrive and have greeted your “appointment.” Make sure that all the decision makers are present. All of the decision makers must be focused on you and your presentation if they are going to have any say in the purchase of what you are selling. Don’t make a presentation or start your presentation until this happens.

Make sure you have done your homework. Be ready to anticipate questions that they may ask and back them up with proof. If you start to get stupid or irrelevant questions, they are not going to buy, work with you, or are meeting with you for a reason other than yours. This usually happens less if you get rid of them in step 1 when you determine you cannot help them or they do not meet your criteria.

3. Be Honest: You have to have a good product or service to sell. It has to be at least one of the following: Best, fastest, or cheapest. Sometimes there are combinations of the two but never all three. Understand what you are and what your product or service is. If you are selling something that does not fit into these categories, quit and find another project/job as soon as possible.

Since you know what you do, you have to tell the “appointment” whether or not you can fix their problem or help them. You also have to know what you need from them to be successful at what you are doing for them.

Make your presentation as to how you will help them or how or why you or your product or service should be chosen. If you determine that you cannot help them, don’t try to, tell them you can’t and gracefully end the presentation. If you determine you are the best product for them, ask them to buy. If they don’t buy, and you know you are a match, you have done something wrong or don’t know something about them.

Before you leave, you must politely and tactfully find out an answer to this question: Why did I not get the sale? The answer might be something you cannot do anything about. If it is answerable, you should have the sale. At this point you may be physically and mentally tired, but keep going, don’t leave without gathering what you need. Your life is as important as theirs. This moment in the closing process is crucial, and is the difference between success and failure or life and death.

4. Be Able To Let Go: If you left without selling, you probably will not get the sale. Always send them a thank you email or note the same day or night. The next day or very soon thereafter, if they have not responded or contacted you via your thank you note, call them.

At this stage, you are usually just figuring out what went wrong because you should have had the sale in step 3. It is useful to follow up and gather intelligence as to why they did not buy you or from you, who they bought, or if they bought anything at all.

At some point, hearing their "reason" becomes less important. You will know, intuitively, the answer upon mental reevaluation of step 3 as to “what went wrong,” or why you did not close or get the client/customer.

This is the tough psychological part. You must not be attached to the outcome and be able to mentally let go of the fact that you have failed in the sales process, learn from your failure, and do it all over again, immediately, no matter how shitty you feel about it.

The coping with rejection process never goes away.

You will only survive long term in sales if you can get over being rejected, cheated, and lied to.

Furthermore, while swimming in the immorality of the world, you must remain honest and loyal.

Selling makes the world go round, good luck.


This post originally appeared on Linkedin. Written by John Meredith

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