Monday, April 5, 2010

The excitement of the close.

"So, is everything in order," you ask, heart pounding in your chest?  "Yep, we are good to go," you hear like musical echos in your ears.  "Okay, just shoot us the PO and we'll be rocking and rolling," you reply almost out of breath.  "On its way," you hear.

The PO is on it's way.  Music to the sales-man ears.  So, how did you get here?  What did it take to 'slay' this close?  Why all the excitement?  The reason is simple: it is hard to sell somebody something.  It takes time, patience, confidence, and most importantly persistence.  In many cases, the transaction is directly tied to your compensation.  I argue, its not the paycheck that has your heart-rate up... it's the possibility of failure and the relief of success.

Here are some tips from my recent professional career (VP Sales & Business Development for a very cool Headphone Company):
1. Don't push, make sure everything is in order instead.
2. Be sure everyone involved is "sold" on the need for your product/service...  Hint: it should start with: You need us because we are X which is different than Y, and we both agreed will help you to do Z.
3. Begin with understanding.  Start by learning your customers needs, wants, and desires... if this is a reseller, put yourself in the resellers shoes... they want to look good right?  help them.
4. Don't compromise for the sale.  Even if you have carte-blanch to do what is best... set some parameters for  what is fair and stick to it!
5. Be open about the margins.  Anyone can figure out how much it costs to make something... be open about the margins you need and the margins you are willing to share/extend... a little research helps a lot here.
6. During the close.. remember to breathe!
7. Don't announce the close till you get the PO!  (SOOOOO tempting)
8. Your fear of failure is real.  Acknowledge it and focus on the consequences of a lost account today... it's probably NOT the end of the world like your heart is telling you.

Now, go out there and close!
Make no compromise.
Get it done!

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