In past blogs we’ve talked a lot about mindset and beliefs as it relates to your sales efforts. One place where these beliefs can culminate is at the close. What is your immediate reaction when you get to the end of your presentation and you hear the response for the first time? What are your “closing triggers” when someone shuts you down or declines your offer?
Were you looking to take on the role of a consultant? Or generate some business through that transaction? When someone gives you the “No, thank you”, “I am not interested”, “send me the information”, “I already have someone who works for me in this area”, all the standard resistance and objections you might hear, how do you think initially? How do you respond in that moment?
One thing that I like you to consider is meeting sales resistance or negativity with optimism and enthusiasm, and I know that this can seem counterintuitive when you hear that. But this is a shift in paradigm that can be a true game-changer. How do you respond in that split second?
Controlling the Line of Scrimmage
In football, there’s a saying that “the game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage.” That refers to that immediate point of impact where the shoulder pads of players are knocking up against one another, and is generally considered whoever can control that line will control the game.
I would like you to look at the same thing in regards to how you immediately respond to that push back or sales resistance. When someone says “no, thank you” do you just say “okay?” or shy away or get discouraged and then just leave it alone? What if instead you reacted with gratitude and enthusiasm and you said something along the line of “Okay, thank you. Got it, totally understood”, “I hear where you are coming from”, “if I was in your shoes I would probably feel the same way”, “ I am sure you get call from other people who are doing this”, “you may have worked with someone regarding this in the past”, “ I hear you”.
Instead of just closing off the conversation or accepting the rejection right away, I just need to greet that with enthusiasm and optimism, which is reflected by the beliefs and mindset that would foster that. The idea is not to chase someone and go beyond the line of diminishing return but to have fun with their resistance, to be expecting it.
I promise you when the lineman hits the opposing player he is expecting it. That is the part of his job and it may look violent or intense but he is actually enjoying that, right? It’s a pleasant challenge.
Your Response Has Everything to Do With Your Mindset
When you run into opposition at the close, please remember something that relates to your beliefs.
You want to get along well with people and you want to establish great rapport and you want to be likable and respected. You are not here just to send people information, you are not here just to be a chat buddy, you are here to have a consultative-based dialogue on how they can improve their practices and energy consumption and/or find better rates in the market. Maybe even in spite of themselves.
What if you were committed, dedicated, and passionate about improving human condition through energy consultancy? What if this person’s business, their position within the company, their liquidity, the choices they have, depended on your expertise? How enthusiastic would you be? What if your own liquidity, your livelihood, your business, the freedom and choices you have financially depended on it? How enthusiastic would you be? I want you to consider that.
Eliminate “But” and “However” from Your Vocabulary When Addressing Concerns
One selling skill I want to share with you today regarding this, is that there are two words you want to avoid like the plague when it comes to addressing someone else’s opinions, because people’s opinion can be a delicate territory. Those two words are “but” and “however”.
How does this statement sound? “You know I really like you but…”
“You’re a great guy, however…”
Now, these are more personal examples, but when it comes to someone’s opinion it can be personal. When people hear those words their defenses immediately go up without even realizing it. It’s like a subconscious trigger that causes you to take a defensive position when you hear those words
“I understand you are already working with someone else but…”,
“I understand you just want me to send you some information, however…”
You can have the most amazing things to say after that, and it might not matter if suddenly they’re thinking defensively.
The word I want you to begin to replace is the word “and”.
“So listen, I understand what you are saying, and I think there’s still a way I can help.”
“I can understand you are feeling that way, I might have felt the same way as well if approached with this and…” and then you continue on with what you want to discuss with that person.
Can you see the difference? That is exactly why you want to explore this. The great thing about using the word “and” is not that you want to be disagreeable but you can disagree with someone and they won’t even know it. Sometimes it doesn’t even sound like you are making a counter point, you are just giving them a new way to look at things.
When it comes to addressing concerns at the close, it’s essential you go into it with the right mindset. Small adjustments to the way you look at the situation, or the way you speak can make a tremendous difference, and can open the door to new and creative ways to provide service and close deals.