A year ago I made the decision that I wanted — no, I needed — new carpet in my home. Believe me, it was time. So that very day I started the process. I found a few hours in my insanely busy schedule and got to work shopping for carpet. I started online, but that was just too hard. There was no way to see and feel the carpet or really ask questions. So I headed to the carpet stores; two I had chosen through my online shopping. Now, let me reiterate: I was ready, more than ready, to buy carpet. In my mind the deal was done, the sale was closed, and the price was really not, or at least not the major issue.
I visited both stores. Both had a great selection, knowledgeable sales people, and a variety of carpet styles, colors etc., from which to choose. So much so that I left a little overwhelmed. Both shops and their sales people were very helpful. They encouraged me to take a few samples home, test them out, see what I like, and then give them a call back.
Well, can you guess what happened next? See, like you, I am busy as heck. Once I got home and put the carpet samples in the rooms, my busy life again took over. For the next six months, those carpet samples lay on the floor in the three rooms in which I wanted carpet. Every week or so, I would make a plan to head back to the store, give a call or something, but I never did; my life just got in the way. Again, I was ready to buy. The nice people from both carpet stores would call me and follow up, and ask if I was ready to buy. I would assure them that as soon as I had time I would head on over. Even with all that encouragement and support, I just never made it back to buy carpet, and they never closed the sale.
Then, as luck would have it, I ran into a friend of mine at a party, and I was talking, okay really whining, about the fact that I needed new carpet, but just could not find the time to get over to the store and pick it out. She suggested I call her “carpet guy.” She said Tom was great, he’d come to my home, bring his samples, and schedule a time right there, that night, to set it up and get started. She added that he was completely trustworthy, all her neighbors used him, so I would not even have to be there at installation if time was an issue. I was stoked; this was perfect! She even told me he would meet me after-hours or on weekends, whatever worked for me.
Perfect. Bingo. I got his number, called Tom, and in one night we selected the carpet, I paid the deposit and within two weeks, my six-month carpet drama came to an end. Now, I will have to tell you, Tom was more expensive than either carpet store, and I am not even sure if his selection was nearly as vast or wide, but he had the one thing I needed and wanted; the one thing that would make sure this sale would close: he was easy, and I mean easy to do business with.
If you want a sale to close, if you want to seal the deal, in today’s economy, the Trust & Value Economy, you have to be easy to do business with. More often than not, sales don’t close, not because of what you the sales person or business professional are doing, but because the priorities for some reason have shifted with your prospect. People are busy today. So busy, they barely have time for their must-do’s. So unless you are selling something that is life-saving, there is a good chance you need a new approach to ensure that your sales move to close. You need to follow these three steps to ensure you are easy to do business with.
1. Understand the Obstacle – Take note: if your sales aren’t closing, there is reason, and your job as a professional sales person is to dig in and figure out why. Often your prospect doesn’t even clearly understand why. People, especially prospects and clients, communicate volumes through their language and actions. Pay attention, and you will learn a lot.
2. Provide The Solution– Once you understand the obstacle, then ask: What is the solution? How can you take the one reason your client is not buying and turn it into a reason they will buy?
3. Take Action To Make It Happen – as Nike says – Just Do It! Once you understand the obstacle and identify the solution, then I promise that if you take action, if you make the change, you will close more sales and seal more deals.
Take it from Tom, a man who has been in business 30 years, and has built a business and a career by being easy to do business with. He understood the obstacle, provided the solution and took action. Tom pays attention to his target market, notices how and why his clients change, and then adjusts his selling style to better meet their needs. If you want to succeed in the Trust & Value Economy, if you want to close more sales, then you need to make sure you are easy to do business with.
Meridith Elliott Powell is an internationally certified coach, speaker, and business development expert. Founder and owner of MotionFirst, she helps executives and business owners build cultures that make sales fun, easy and incredibly productive. An award-winning business owner, Meridith’s unique background includes high-level leadership and executive positions in sales, marketing and finance. Her signature style and her ability to rapidly connect with people make her a sought-after speaker, coach and strategist. Honors include the Athena Leadership Award, inclusion in Verve Magazine’s “Top 20 Professional Women to Watch” (2010) and selection as “Best Business Coach” by the WNC Business Journal in 2008. She also just signed on with a major online radio network to host her own weekly show starting in June.
Global Professional Publishing is a new international book publisher, publishing a wide range of titles covering finance, management, marketing, banking & financial services, dictionaries, and, in particular, risk. The books are written for professionals and students working and studying in the global business environment.