Over the past few years, I’ve talked to you a lot about the most important skills in business. First and foremost – the capacity to READ. Second, and completely essential: the ability to work in numbers (data). Now in the current series we’re looking at the third most important: Every entrepreneur must be a good salesperson!
Some of you have pointed out that if an entrepreneur doesn’t have the ability to sell and market, no matter what other skills he or she might have, the business will sooner or later be doomed. Sadly, it’s really true. You must never be fearful or shy or apologetic about selling.
Let’s recap this series so far: Part 1) Intro: Every entrepreneur must be a good salesperson; Part 2) Presentation is extremely important: Always present with passion and excellence; Part 3) Study to show yourself approved: Accounting, finance, economics, sales and marketing are the foundational skills for any entrepreneur.
Now let’s get to Part 4: Close the deal!
A young real estate agent was showing a couple around a house.
“Why don’t we start in the main lounge,” he said.
As soon as they entered the room, the woman exclaimed in delight, “I really love this room! Wow, it’s amazing!”
“Let’s buy this house,” the woman said to her husband. “This is what I’m looking for!”
Excited, the young agent said, “Come, I’ll show you the rest of the house.”
Then he added, “I have houses even better than this to show you!”
He hurried them to see the rest of the house. After that he drove them to see some other houses, and encouraged them to call him the next day.
They didn’t call him, and he did not get the sale.
Explaining his disappointment to an older more experienced sales agent, he was totally surprised when the other man laughed at him:
“You should have closed the deal on the first house. When she said ‘I love this room,’ that’s the point where you start working to close a deal!”
Many people just don’t know how to close a sale. I see it all the time. I’m always watching the sales techniques of people I meet every day, even in shops.
You must know when you have made a sale, and move quickly to close. Don’t keep going in circles!
# The customer is the one who is choosing, not the seller. So there was no point in telling them he had other better houses.
There’s a story told about a businessman who was negotiating a multimillion dollar deal in a restaurant. As the negotiations proceeded late into the night, and got to a crucial stage, the waiter came to them and said, “We are about to close, sir.” The man looked around and realised that they were the only people left in the restaurant.
He got up and said to the waiter, “I want to see the manager immediately.”
Seeing the manager he asked, “How much do you make in one night?”
“Okay, I will give you $25,000, and one week’s wages for each of your staff if you keep things open.”
They shook hands. The man went back to the table and continued the negotiations, until he closed the sale.
# Close the deal! Tomorrow it may not be there. There are always things that can happen that can completely change the trajectory of a deal.
# A good salesperson knows when to seize the moment, and move to close.
To be continued. . .
Author: Strive Masiyiwa