Why Closing Doesn’t Matter in Sales
When you are looking to buy something, the last thing you need is someone manipulating you into a purchase that you don’t need. The vast majority of us naturally keep our distance from sales people, because this seems to be the common experience when dealing with a sales person. Why are we surprised when this happens? Virtually every sales trainer in the world is selling closing tactics. In fact, two of the most popular movie quotes for sales people are ABC “Always Be Closing” and “Coffee is for Closers”. Some of the funniest jokes I have heard told to struggling salespeople are “You couldn’t close a window” or my favorite “You’re like a casino, you never close”. It is embedded in us to a point that most sales professionals start with the close in mind. Focusing on the close first instantly makes a sales person’s job harder.
In 2006 I went to work for the largest used car retailer in the nation. I had high hopes and big dreams. After six months I quickly realized that I was not going to hit my goal, I wasn’t even going to come close. It wasn’t effort, and it wasn’t desire. I worked from open to close every day. I wrote my goals down, I pushed to meet them. I realized there wasn’t enough time to meet my goals, because I could only work with so many customers in a day. The only problem with my assessment was that there was another salesman hitting the numbers I wanted. He only worked, on average, 8 hours a day and he was even able to take a day off during the week! How could that be!? To make things worse, I would sell a car in half the time and I even took more customers than he did. This math would lead you to believe that I sold at least twice what he sold, some might say, I would have sold 5 times what he did just because of the extra opportunities. Wrong! I didn’t. In fact, in my first year I sold less than he did. The worst part was, after being there for 6 months, I still had to work longer and longer and his days seemed to get shorter and shorter. Then it hit me, the very thing I thought kept him from being a great salesman, was the very reason he was one. He spent his time building relationships, while I focused on selling cars. He took twice as long with his customers, but ended up selling one car to the current customer, and then one to that customer’s brother, cousin, sister, and co worker. He was getting referrals. He wasn’t selling anything, he was just hanging out with new friends, and sharing information he happened to have about cars, in which they happened to need at that time. It was a beautiful thing. I figured out that sales are about the relationship, not the salesmanship. I learned so much more once I started putting this into practice.
This new philosophy propelled me into the top 5% after my first three months later in my career selling advertising. After my first 6 months, I was ranked third in the entire company. This was in complete contrast to my previous experience. No sales training, no sales process, just a new way of thinking.
In 23 years of sales experience ranging from retail, marketing, online sales, collections, advertising, network marketing, and more; I have seen literally hundreds of sales systems that teach you sales skills, and virtually all of them fail to breakdown the most important aspect of sales which is building the relationship. In fact when I teach the ATTRACT Sales 360 Framework I make it a point that closing doesn’t matter, because friends don’t close friends, they help them!
An amazing phenomenon I have witnessed over and over again is something I call ATTRACT OR ATTACK. There are two types of successful sales professionals, both focused on very different things, both very successful in the moment. The difference is Attackers will make a living, and Attracters will make a fortune.
- Attackers – Sales professionals who master their sales process.
**Fewer Sales, More Customers**
- Attracters – Sales professionals who build relationships.
**More Sales, Less Customers**
How is this possible? It’s simple.
Attackers go head first, close in mind, moving through the process. They never take the time to understand the bigger picture. They find the need and fill it, leaving referrals, up sells, future sales, and so much more on the table. NEXT, is their attitude!
Attracters take a different approach. They spend time with the client building a relationship, getting to know them. Remember it’s about the relationship, not the salesmanship. They won’t have to sell the customer anything, because the customer will want to buy from them.
Attacking will build temporary trust with the customer that only lasts during the sales process. Attracting will gain the customer’s trust for the long term, along with the trust of all their closest friends and family. Building a relationship is crucial if you ever want to gain residual income from the sales field. Typically, you make a sale and take another customer. This is your chance to build a relationship, enjoy your work, and help someone out and for that relationship to branch out to many, many more.