After a recent speaking engagement, one of the attendees, brand new to the profession of sales, confided in me that he felt he needed to get better at doing a “harder close.” I suggested that, instead of a harder close, it might be better for him to reframe it as a “helpful close.” (Of course, even better would be a helpful open but let’s take it one step at a time.) 🙂
Often, those who’ve never before held a professional sales position equate sales effectiveness with high-pressure closing. This couldn’t be any further from the truth.
“After all,” I asked, “do you tend to buy from someone who ‘hard-closes’ you with lots of self-serving pressure?”
“Absolutely not!” he replied.
“Why then,” I responded, “do you feel anyone would want to buy from you that way?”
I could see he was relieved, as a high-pressure, hard close was not in alignment with his personal value system. He had simply accepted the pre-conceived notion associated with sales being this way.
Keep in mind; people buy because they perceive a worthy enough benefit to owning your product or service and how it will meet their needs (fulfill a desire or solve a problem), not because you need the money or are pressuring them to make a decision they feel would be wrong.
Sure, every so often a high-pressure salesperson makes the sale, but he or she typically cannot maintain the relationships with their customers that earn them steady referrals. And that is one difference between the average and the super-successful salesperson.
Question for discussion: Have you ever known someone who progressed in sales after reframing their thoughts on sales itself? Did that happen with you? Please share with us. I think those kinds of stories are always encouraging.