What Alec Baldwin Would Never Tell You

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While “Always be closing” makes for some interesting drama, it’s a recipe for disaster in this economy. Real sales strategies don’t come from Hollywood –  so, how about a plan that you can actually use?

Every sales person, every Alec Baldwin fan, maybe everybody who can read and write, knows the slogan, “Always be closing”. That was the message from his character, Blake, in the classic movie, “Glengarry Glen Ross”.

As much as I enjoy Alec Baldwin as a performer, “Always be Closing” is a recipe for disaster in the current economy. I’m seeing a lot of individuals “go for the close” (and fail) when what they really need to know is: how to really connect with the customer.  While Web 2.0 tools have opened up new ways of communicating and marketing to customers, there’s still a need to get face to face to close a deal.

But times have changed. Who wants to be sold? And “closed”? Better change the conversation, if you want to change your results.

Here’s a little secret that is the one common characteristic of every successful sales engagement, and every successful sales person. The one most important characteristic of sales success isn’t the killer close, or mental toughness, or a strong forceful personality, or…or whatever.

The best salesperson is ALWAYS the one who is in front of a customer who wants to buy what they are selling. Think about it. Finding a customer that’s buying is the secret ingredient. It’s not some slick closing strategy or verbal kung-fu that forces a sale.

If you have the talents of a monkey, and a customer that wants to buy what you’ve got, you are going to close a deal… and, since you are a monkey, you can pick up objects with your feet. Cool!

Qualifying an opportunity has never been more important.

Based on my experience, the number one thing you can do to help grow your business -especially if your business is the “business of YOU“: learn how to “always be QUALIFYING”, and the transaction will take care of itself.

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You still have to ask for the business. But closing is just the final step in the qualifying process. First, make sure that you’ve got a qualified customer that’s come forward with some real clear needs, and you are almost home. With all due respect to Alec Baldwin, remember to “always be qualifying”…

Unless, of course, all you want to end up with is a set of steak knives.

Are you a “closer”? Does the idea of qualifying strengthen or weaken your approach, and why?

Alec Baldwin photo (Credit: Joe Seer via Shutterstock)
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