So, I listened to him present and close the deal. He actually did a nice job of it. He got a, “Yeah, let’s do this” kind of response. He was really excited and it showed. A big smile crossed his face and I was hoping he didn’t shout, “woo hoo” while we were sitting there. He was clearly ready to celebrate his victory.
He took out his paperwork and began to gather information. He got the data he needed and also got his prospect to sign on the line that was dotted. After the formality of the paperwork was completed he tucked the agreement into his folio and he gulped out a very weak question:
“We’ll need to come back in a few days and visit with your front office staff and the employees in the back. We will need about 20 – 25 minutes with each of them. Is that going to be okay?”
There was no strength or importance placed on this very unstable request. It came across as an after thought, one that our prospect could agree to or not at his convenience. The prospect—the co-owner of the small business—looked at our salesperson and responded, “Sure, but can we do that next week or the week after—and you’re gonna’ see them during their lunch break or after work, right?”
The trainee I was observing squirmed. He did just about everything he was supposed to do up to the point the prospect responded positively. But then, he got all jazzed up, went all brain-dead and left out the most critical piece of the sale in our process.
He didn’t make a strong sale AFTER the sale immediately after the prospect said, “yeah, let’s do this.” He’d blown it.
There was no turning back. Any emotional leverage he once had faded into oblivion. FDL—facts, data and logic (the left brain) took over during the twenty minutes it took our salesperson to complete the paperwork. Our salesperson’s ability to gain the simple agreements he needed to have a profitable case were going to be a lot tougher to obtain from this point forward.
I watched this happen—knew it was going to happen and I let it happen. Sometimes, as a trainer and leader, you have to let people fail for the lesson to sink in.
This specific trainee had been getting terrible working conditions with his supposed new clients after the “YES” and while myself and his direct report worked with him in the office—role playing and talking through it—there is nothing like the real thing to serve as a classroom. As much as we trained him to and implored him to, our trainee wasn’t yet disciplined enough to stop, take a deep breath and make the sale AFTER the sale. This sale is most often more critical than getting the initial “YES” and certainly the determining factor in creating a profitable and successful working relationship for both parties.
Think about it. Almost every sales process requires your prospect to DO SOMETHING for you after they say, “YES”.
Allow me to give you a few examples… If you are selling solar, you need the prospect to schedule the date and time for the installation and they are going to be inconvenienced to some degree. If you are a mortgage banker and you’ve convinced a prospect to allow you to fund their loan, you will need them to supply you with gobs of highly personal information. If you are a realtor and you have just obtained a listing agreement from a couple selling their house, you will need that couple to stage their home in a certain way and give you (and a whole lot of lookie-loos) access to it. If you are building a network marketing business and you’ve just sponsored a new distributor, you must have that person’s agreement to take some training and also offer you access into their center of influence. If you sell voluntary insurance products to small businesses, you need the prospect to allow you the time to educate their employees about the voluntary plans being offered.
So, it doesn’t seem to matter what you are selling or who you’re selling it to, there is almost always something else you need them to do for you. So, let’s take a few minutes and discuss the 5 steps you should take to ensure you get the WORKING CONDITIONS you need.
- Recognize what ACTIONS you need them to take
Regardless of what you are selling or who you are selling your products to, identify the actions you wish for your new client to take after they have said, “YES”. Make sure you are clear on what you want them to do for you to create great working conditions in the new relationship. Example: If you sell voluntary insurance products to employees, recognize that the sale after the sale is selling the employer on allowing you the time to see, educate and enroll each employee.
- INTEGRATE the sale after the sale into the body of your presentation
If you are a realtor and you need your new client to allow you to stage their home and allow for a specific number of open house showings, build some front talk into the presentation and gain their minor agreement that any successful listing and expeditious sale would require these factors.
Example: “Robert and Julie, as I am sure you know, homes that are properly staged sell much, much faster than homes that aren’t and the traffic and buzz that is created by a well run open house can create some very nice results and make all of the difference.”
- After you get a “Yes” REVISIT the actions you want them to take
Review both the logical and emotional reasons that they should take the actions you want them to take. Make sure you show them the WIIFM. (What’s In It For Me?)
Example: “John, as we agreed earlier, if we just run back in the shop and yell out, ‘hey, anybody wanna’ buy any insurance?’ I think both of us know what the answer would be. So, some education is necessary, but if you’re like most of the business owners we work with you can’t just shut down your flow of operations. Is it okay if I tell you what we need to educate your employees so that they truly appreciate what you’re doing for them, but at the same time, not disrupt your business operations?”
Make sure you incorporate both right and left brain triggers when you revisit the actions you want then to take—logic + emotion.
- CONFIRM that they are on-board with the working conditions needed
After you cement in their mind both the logical and emotional reasons that the working conditions are critical to mutual success in the relationship, gain a summary agreement on the actions.
Example: “Cindy, thanks so much for placing your trust in me to handle the funding of your loan. As we discussed, I’m going to deliver the package of document requirements to you this week and can I have your promise that you’ll let me help you with any piece of documentation that’s challenging to you?”
- Be willing to WALK AWAY
Lastly, simply know that you aren’t always going to get the perfect working conditions. If you are close, then great—be flexible and make the best of it. However, if your prospect isn’t of the mind to allow you to do your job, and if you think that their lack of cooperation will either cost you money or have a negative effect on your reputation or the reputation of your company, then simply take a pass. It’s better to walk away than create a mess.
Making the sale after the sale is critical to your success. It takes discipline and a little bit of strength. It’s important for you to recognize that; if they took the appointment with you in the first place, they liked something about you. Then, if they said, “YES” they have some level of trust in you and that means they want you to take control of the process.
They actually want to be told what works and what doesn’t. You simply have to be strong enough to deliver on that.
You are the expert.
Don’t blow all of your hard work to get the appointment and make a solid presentation. Make the sale after the sale and watch your working conditions and production improve!
If you haven’t had a chance to read my book, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales, please click on the link below. It’s now available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1CdFi2t
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com