The Time Trap Close

retirement

Retirement Lifestyle

The Time Trap Close works best with larger ticket items such as retirement plans, or long-term investments. Your goal with it is to get people to admit they need to take action today to ensure the future of their dreams.

People are funny. That’s because we’re emotional beings. We have big dreams for our futures whether that future is the coming weekend or retirement in 25 years. We envision grand adventures, but few of us invest the time and effort required to make those grand plans a reality. Granted, it’s easier to make things happen for a weekend of fun or entertainment just because of our enthusiasm. It’s a bit harder to get and stay enthusiastic about something that may not happen until a much later stage of life.

Use the following words to help people gain perspective on the need to plan and act today in order to have the tomorrow’s of their dreams. [Read more…]

Automotive: The Profile of a Top Sales Person

If you’re not already the top sales person in your company, you may have some pre-conceived notions about what that person is like. When you hear the phrase, “Closing the Sale,” what comes to mind? Aggressive? Intimidating?  Persuasive? I feel “Closing the Sale” is helping people make decisions that are good for them.  The key words here are “good for them.” If you plan to be in the automotive business any length of time, you’d better get a handle on that point or your career will dead-end quicker than you can say, “lickety-split.”

We have a tendency to think that everybody closes sales in the same manner. This is not so. In fact, many salespeople who close sales are not even sure how they do it. Some earn tremendous incomes and can’t really pinpoint why they are so successful. I’ve visited with top salespeople in many fields and I’ve asked them, “Tell me how you close the sale?” They’ve replied, “Well, I just do,” or “It just happens.” That’s not true, but they’ve never sat down and analyzed what it is they do that has made them so successful.

I’m going to outline some tactics and strategies that have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to work for everyone when you adapt them to your personality, when you adapt them to the way you speak, and to your style of delivery.

The profile of great closing sales people

The very first thing is they have committed themselves to become students of techniques. What does that mean? It means they commit to selling and make it a part of their lives so that every day they are students. They constantly search for new techniques by attending seminars, reading books, listening to audio programs and then striving to incorporate at least one new technique or concept they have learned into each selling situation.

Another part of closing sales is that you must have the ability to get people to like you and trust you. If they like you and trust you, they won’t fight the sales process. However, if they don’t like you and trust you, not only will the strategies not work, they’ll backfire and your clients will feel you are getting pushy. Radiate empathy, but also have the ability to call for a decision and close the sale.

Top salespeople have confidence. Have you ever lacked confidence? Have you ever been wary of meeting new people? Sure! Everyone has. We overcome this by learning certain phrases, learning to ask the right questions and by doing this we can build our confidence–just by using the words and making them our own.

Do you know what the greatest closing tool of all is? It’s one word and that word is Enthusiasm–enthusiasm for what you do. I don’t mean the type of enthusiasm that is outward, bubbly, ranting and raving–but the enthusiasm that you have inside that people feel you have for your industry, your product and your career.

To build your enthusiasm, commit to living by the four P’s.

  • The first one is Preplan. Preplan every presentation.  Before you meet your clients, preplan. Before you demonstrate a vehicle, preplan. Before you handle an ad call, preplan. All professionals preplan–they don’t wing it! They don’t just get in front of a qualified decision-maker and start talking.  They know exactly where they are going and have their strategies and techniques planned out in advance.
  • The second P is Practice. What were all of us taught? Practice makes perfect. I’d like to change that to Perfect practice makes Perfect. There are many people who practice what doesn’t work.  They watch an incompetent salesperson, not recognizing the incompetence, and they start doing the same thing. The key is to find a professional who has done what you want to do, set your goal to practice what he or she does and then perfect it.
  • You must always work to Perfect what you do. If ever you feel you know it all, you are in trouble.  The more you know, the more you need to know. It’s just like your income. As you sell more vehicles and therefore, increase your income and expand your clientele, you’re going to need to increase your knowledge level. Remember, there is always a better way of saying it–and a better way of doing it. Don’t allow yourself to plateau.
  • The fourth P is Performance. You are putting on a performance with every client contact. This doesn’t mean you are phony. It means you are saying the right words the right way to get the end result that is in the best interest of your clients. So, when you talk on the phone, when you meet people in the showroom, when you go on a test drive, it’s a performance. Everything you say and do is part of your performance.

Become a student of selling, study the four P’s I have listed above. Watch what the top people in your dealership are doing, and search for new techniques and you’ll start closing more sales!

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

How to Be Ready When It’s Time to Close

The actual closing of the sale is by far the most important step in the selling process. That’s why it’s critical that you know how to be ready when it’s time to close. Without that final commitment, you haven’t sold anything, have you? When you’re a pro, closing should be the most natural part of the process. Everything else you do leads to that point.

I teach lots of techniques for prospecting, meeting people, qualifying, presenting, demonstrating, and addressing concerns—and they’re all important. But, unless you can close, you’re like a football team that ca4.1.1n’t sustain a drive long enough to score.

The biggest complaint I hear from most salespeople is that they don’t know when to start closing. Those people just don’t understand the simple fact that a true Champion salesperson is closing all the time. He or she is constantly trying test closes and will go into the final closing sequence anytime they sniff the sweet smell of success (such as when they hear the client start talking as if they already own the product or when the client relaxes his or her body language or even when they begin asking more questions).

The problem with too many salespeople is they get so wrapped up in the steps in their selling sequence that if the prospect wants to go ahead with the purchase before they’re finished presenting, they lose their momentum and go tripping awkwardly into the close, which can cause tension and make the buyer hesitate or decide to re-think their decision.Believe it or not, there are buyers out there who will get sold fast. If you keep talking instead of closing, you’ll run the risk of un-selling them just as fast. So, during every step of the selling cycle, you must keep one eye on the prospect at all times watching for cues as to their readiness to go ahead.

Okay. They’re ready. Where are your closing materials?

To become a top professional in selling, you must always have your closing materials with you. You must be ready to close anywhere and at any time. I’m sure you’ve heard of sales being closed at lunch, on the golf course, or at the health club. I even have a student who closed a sale in a barn while the farmer was milking cows.

The salespeople who closed those sales and kept them closed were ready, willing, and able when the client was. They were able to change gears and move to their paperwork smoothly. The salespeople who lost those sales didn’t have their closing materials, or tried to manipulate the ideal closing setting and the client cooled off by the time they were ready to take the order.

Why make things so hard on yourself? A supply of closing materials should take up permanent residence in your briefcase, club locker, car trunk, home and office desk. Keep these forms handy everywhere you go.

Careful thought must be given to the how and when you’ll produce your closing materials. Many prospects will tighten up and try to change gears if they see you pulling out forms or reaching for your tablet. Don’t risk upsetting the emotional balance that’s tipped in your favor. Keep a clean, crisp form under a few pages of your presentation binder, notebook, or time planner at all times. It will be easily accessible and not require a lot of motion on your part to get it out. Nothing should distract your attention from the client’s every word or movement when you can see that they’re ready to close.

If at all possible, get into the habit of writing brief notes during every presentation. Your prospect will get used to seeing you writing and not be put off when you begin writing on the actual agreement.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

How to Sell to Couples

In consumer sales, you will often have the opportunity to sell to couples the opportunity of owning your product or service. In many cases, they will close each other on the sale. That’s my favorite time! When one or the other spouse is favorable to the decision, don’t jump right in to close. Wait to see how they work through the decision.

There will, however, more likely be  times when they’ll both sit on the fence. When that happens, I suggest trying The Best Things in Life Close. What you do when using this close is to compare this buying decision to other decisions they have made and have been happy with. It’s especially helpful when they’ve admitted they want the product, but they’re just struggling with saying “yes.”

Here’s what I recommend you say: “Isn’t it true that the only time you have ever really benefited from anything in your life has been when you said ‘yes’ instead of ‘no?’ You said ‘yes’ to your marriage (optional — and I can see how happy you are). You said ‘yes’ to your job, your home, your car — all the things that I’m sure you truly enjoy. You see, when you say ‘yes’ to me, it’s not really me you are saying ‘yes’ to, but all of the benefits that we offer. Those are the things you really want for your family, aren’t they?”

Of course, you would not use the optional phrase of “and I can see how happy you are” if the air is charged with disagreement. However, if they do come across as a happy couple…a united front, give it a try. These words have been proven to change the mood of the sale quickly and help buyers say ‘yes.’

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

The Money or Nothing Sales Close

Credit CardOf all the sales closing questions I teach, the “Money or Nothing” sales close works well with long term purchases. By that I mean, that they will enjoy the benefits of the purchase for a long time. These would be for things such as homes, furniture, special vacations, education, vehicles, and so on.

The point of the close is to increase the value of gaining the benefits beyond the perceived value onto the money the buyer would exchange for those benefits. As with all selling and closing strategies, sincerity is critical. You must first truly believe, based on your conversations with the buyer, that your product is good for them. You also must have received some positive feedback from them. They may just be hesitant to make the commitment.

Here is an example of how to help them perceive the value of the benefits as greater than their money:

Carol, from what you’ve told me, you are excited about the benefits you will gain from this product. (Do a brief benefit summary here to build their emotions toward the purchase.) Nearly everything we purchase seems to depreciate in value, doesn’t it? Because of that, we all have to consider the same point when making purchasing decisions. The primary consideration is: Do we want to retain our money, and potentially watch it depreciate in value or do we want to invest some of it now for things we  would enjoy long term?

When you’ve done everything else right leading up to this point: establishing rapport, qualifying, presenting and addressing specific concerns, and determine that you have a good solution for their needs, it becomes your obligation to ask for the business (aka close the sale) in order for them to gain those benefits.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

Learn more ways to ask for the business than clients know how to refuse >>

Low Profile Selling

35312closed saleWhat do salespeople really do when they close sales?

When I wrote the book Low Profile Selling, I wanted to get away from the term “closing” because it’s considered by some as too hard-sell. So, I decided to use the word “consummate” instead. In the dictionary, the word “consummate” means “perfect ending.” I like the sound of that and the image it brings to mind. It’s the perfect ending. Everyone is happy. The new client is happy with the benefits they’ll receive. You’re happy because you now have a new client. Your manager will be happy because you moved product. Everyone is happy. [Read more…]

Closing the Sale Doesn’t Have to Create Conflict by Weldon Long

Zig Ziglar once wrote that if you can’t close, you are just a brilliant conversationalist. I would add to that if you can’t close, you are just an unpaid consultant.

Closing does not have to include conflict, stress or beating your prospect into submission. If you have extended yourself emotionally and professionally to your prospect and laid all the appropriate groundwork in the early stages of the sales process, closing will be a natural part of the conversation.

It’s just like the dynamic of a man and a woman dating, which we discussed in a previous chapter. If you rush things at the beginning you’ll scare off your date. But if you take your time, show genuine interest and focus on building the relationship there will come a time when there is an expectation of a commitment.

If you have made the investment to serve your prospect, there will come a time when there is an expectation that you will ask for a commitment – you will close the deal. That does not mean the answer will always be yes, it just means there will come a point when it seems natural to bring the conversation to a conclusion – one way or the other. And remember, yes is best but no is a perfectly acceptable answer.

In the old days of selling, it was about the “ABC’s” – Always Be Closing (Think Glengarry Glen Ross. How can we forget “coffee is for…CLOSERS!”). The basic strategy was to spend 10% of your time acting like you were interested in your prospect, and then 90% of your time closing, closing, closing.

I prefer to do just the opposite. I recommend investing 90% of your time and energy into serving and you’ll find yourself spending only 10% of your time and energy closing.

This does not mean you can ask for the order one time and give up.

Remember human nature dictates that when given the choice of spending money today or spending it next Tuesday, we will choose next Tuesday. It is critical to know that even if your prospect likes you; even if your prospect loves your company; even if your prospect wants and needs your product and service; even if your prospect thinks the price is fair and that your offer has tremendous value, he would still prefer to postpone spending his money. It’s in our DNA.

So even though closing is less conflicted if you have done your job up front, you will still need to ask for the order several times.

Listen, most of us have learned everything we need to know about closing from our children. When children want something from you it is, indeed, a lesson in persistence and closing to behold. It’s a thing of beauty when you can step back and analyze it without wanting to strangle your child. They are relentless. They are focused. And they are often successful.

It’s not that you don’t want your child to have Lucky Charms. It’s not that you don’t love your children. And it’s not that you can’t afford Lucky Charms. It is simply a matter of not wanting someone else telling you how and when to spend your money.

So it goes with your prospect. They can love you and your company, want and need your product and service, have the money to afford it and believe it’s a great value, yet they will have a tendency to say “no” just because it’s there money and they will spend it how and when they darn well please.

So, you may have to ask a few times before your prospect says “yes”. If you ask several times and they say “no”, that’s okay too. The only answer that will destroy your income and sales career is “I don’t know. Call me on Tuesday.” No is a perfectly acceptable answer. Tuesday never comes.

Arouse Emotions in Auto Sales

What is the emotional process that leads to the purchase of a new vehicle? It begins with a new development in the buyer’s self-image. That is, the buyers see themselves in a new way — as the owners of that new car, truck, van, or SUV and all the status it affords them.

If the projected vehicle purchase is small in relation to the buyer’s income, the self-image change need only be small. But if the purchase is a large one, the change in self-image that makes the purchase possible will be large. Such a change can come about very quickly. It can take place within a few minutes, or even within a few seconds.

Champion automotive salespeople are adept at spotting these changes in self-image as they occur during sales presentations. They are quick to reinforce the buyers’ realization that they can have, enjoy, deserve, need, and are worthy of the marvelous new vehicle they like. Do that, and they won’t just like it; they’ll want it, need it, and realize they can’t get along without it — then they’ll buy it. [Read more…]

Sales Close for “I just don’t have the time.”

When someone says they don’t have time for your opportunity, to book a party, or even just to meet with you, with sincerity say, “I understand, Mary. We all have 24 hours in a day, don’t we? Most people work eight hours. Then, they sleep about eight hours. That leaves eight hours every day of what we can call discretionary time. That means, we get to choose how to spend those hours. I like to call it ‘opportunity time.’ What I do with my opportunity time makes all the difference in the amount of success I achieve in my life, don’t you see? A lot of people who take advantage of the benefits our business has to offer only invest a couple of hours a day in the business. They still find that they have plenty of quality time left for family and other obligations. Why not at least consider the potential gain you can get with a relatively small investment of time?”

By asking questions as part of your response to “I just don’t have the time.” you are getting them started agreeing with you. Of course, they’ll agree there are eight hours of discretionary time. It’s simple math. They’ll agree about whatyoudo with your time and once the ‘yes’ momentum is going, more often than not they’ll agree to take a more serious look at your opportunity.

For a free e-book titled, “Helping New People Get Comfortable with Network Marketing,” CLICK HERE.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. For reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

Selling Fundamentals

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