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  • Hard Close Loses to Selling Ethically

    Salesperson photo from ShutterstockNegotiating the fine line of exuberance for the service you are selling, versus becoming too aggressive in the sales process, is critical for establishing a sound sales foundation and future business. Knowing your boundaries and communicating them well is essential before getting started in all transactions.

    For example, an executive was recently heard advising his sales team as follows: “You need to relay to your prospective clientele that if they choose to not purchase, a report indicating their unwillingness to move forward will be sent to headquarters.”

    Imagine the outrage the prospect will feel upon hearing those very words. Not only will the prospect dismiss any current purchase, but the outlook for future business is dimmed as well. Additionally, this tactic may potentially spread bad word of mouth virally. It would be your worst nightmare. Online negative postings have been known to literally take businesses down.

    The far better approach is to key in on the relationship at hand. It is best to always focus on the following insights:

    1. The reason you were called in for a meeting. Problems exist or growth is on the drawing board, and in either case, it is perceived you might be able to help.

    2. Problems at hand. Ask how the prospective client sees solutions for the problems currently experienced. Discover how these occurred and ramifications of not find a resolution. This conversation develops need.

    Once you get to the point that interests clients most, continue to ask questions as they arise. The more inside knowledge you are able to derive from the perspective client, the more likely they will be to purchase. As you finish up discussion of the must-have portion of the conversation, you are then entitled to gently suggest the more creative ideas that will enhance what was just discussed.

    3. Ask if your ideas will be considered. Zero in first on the ideas that interest the client-to-be most. Tie the creative with the must-have solutions for a well rounded proposal.

    You might ask if they have considered x, y, z. And upon hearing “no”, then suggest why a second look might be a good idea. Put your newest perspective on the matter as it relates best to your previous discussion. Your prospect will have a much better sense how it will improve their current and future status in the marketplace. The sale will build along with your client base.

    It’s the friendly and caring conversation that will lead to a more robust sale. A personal connection develops too. It is understanding, compassion and heart that moves the conversation forward and will grow current plus future sales. This is where good word of mouth comes alive in the format of testimonials and referrals.

    Reviewing the styles of hard close versus selling ethically, would you personally want to take the risk of being aggressive to the point of no return, or, take the time to build the relationship and future sales?

    Your personal brand and longevity depend upon your decision. Taking the high road leads to the Smooth Sale.

    Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, delivers inspirational keynotes at conferences and authored three books: The International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, and her second best-selling book, “HIRED!” stems from community service. Stutz' newest book, "The Wish: A 360 Business Development Process to Fuel Sales" provides readers with a comprehensive plan for building a global audience. Kred ranks Stutz as a Top 1% influencer; CEO World Magazine named Stutz as one of “The brightest sales minds to follow on Twitter”. She speaks and consults worldwide.

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