What does always be closing in sales mean? We hear that phrase a lot. It’s considered the ABC of sales. But what does it really mean?
For some, the ABC of selling phrase makes you think of Alec Baldwin's character, Blake, in the the film Glengarry Glen Ross. For others, however, always be closing in sales means something completely different.
What Does Always Be Closing in Sales Really Mean?
Shane Gibson, B2B Sales and Social Selling Specialist once said, 'Always be closing…That doesn't mean you're always closing the deal, but it does mean that you need to be always closing on the next step in the process.' After spending more than 30 plus years in b2b sales and sales management, I totally agree!
Every step in the marketing and sales process should be designed to obtain mutual agreement with the prospect on the next step to take place, and more importantly when that step will take place. For example, for an email newsletter, there should be mutual agreement on what content it will contain and how often the newsletter will be sent.
In situations where direct sales contact is involved, the sales staff should be trained on the proper techniques on how to work with the prospect to determine the next step in sales process, when is the best time for it to happen, and whose responsibility it is to ensure it is completed. You also need to track and manage this in a properly designed CRM system that is organized by the date of next sales contact, not an alphabetically organized glorified phone book like most sales organizations use.
Your First Sale is the Next Appointment
A common concern I hear from sales representatives is that they have trouble booking appointments to present their recommendations to their prospects. Everything goes well in the needs analysis meetings. But when it comes time sit down and present the solutions, the prospect won't return their calls.
The reason for this is because of one of the biggest mistakes made by sales representatives. They finish a needs analysis meeting or fact find with a statement like, 'Thank you for your time, Mr. Prospect. I'll get back to you when my proposal is ready.'
Weeks of voicemail or email tag can go by before the next meeting is scheduled. And by then all of the momentum created in the sales process has long since been forgotten.
Always Closing on the Next Step in the Sales Process Eliminates Voicemail
A better way to end your fact find is with a statement like 'Thank you for the information today, Mr. Prospect. Based on our conversation, I believe that the use of our widgets can help you to acquire new customers and increase revenues. I would like to go back to my office and put my ideas on paper. I will then return next week to discuss them with you. Are you available Tuesday at 10:00, or do you prefer Wednesday at 2:00?'
A fact find interview is only considered a success if you and the prospect confirm that the sales process should continue to the next step and when that will take place. Eliminate voicemail. Always book the next appointment!
What Is Your Next Step To Close The Sale?
Once you have booked your presentation appointment, make sure that your proposal is written so that it keeps the sales process moving forward. Otherwise, it's just a waste of paper.
For a proven Proposal Template that will help you close more sales faster, download our webinar training video, Close More Sales by Making A Better Presentation! – How to present your product so that your customer actually buys.
The key to doing that is asking the right questions so you know exactly what is the next step to the sale. You also need to track those next steps in a well designed CRM system.
How to Design a CRM System
Always Close on the Next Step to the Sale
I go into great detail on how to do all of this in my book 'Action Plan for Sales Success'. Suffice it to say for our purposes here though, the key is for the sales representative to control the sales process by always closing on the next step to the sale.
As my mentor taught me, the only sale you need to make today is the next step in the process. Take care of that and your sales production will take care of itself.
Remember as Harvey Mackay once said, 'Failures don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.' More motivational quotes here.
“… what I can tell anyone, is simply this – If you want to learn and understand sales, talk to Susan.”
Do you have a question about sales? You’re not alone. Most salespeople have questions like this on how they can sell more. For the right answers, check out my book, Ask the Sales Coach-Practical Answers to the Questions Sales People Ask Most.