Opening > Closing ?

One of the better things about working with “newer” people is you get to rethink both positive and negative moments.  Analyzing a situation and the steps create a refresher course for me and have even helped open my eyes to missed, unnecessary and better steps that can benefit all of us;

This post on closing vs. opening has continued to come up.  Sometimes it comes out as ” Just go make some new friends and see what happens…”  other times as ” Just see how you can help them..”  or “See if he/she is going to that event and if not invite them”

I get it, closing a sale gets you paid.  Sure it does. It pays you today or whenever your commission comes.  But, haven’t you had the experience when someone is pushing you through a sales script and you catch on a few steps in?  It just feels icky to me.  I’m not sure what the other word is, or even if it is one word, but here are a few things that have come up;

  • A sure sign you have “done your job” which is essentially translating verbal trust to the moment when a payment comes, is when the person is handing you payment information and not exactly sure of the payment amount.
  • A similar moment to this is when you feel them “closing” themselves.  You know you can skip some steps and get to the point.
  • When a long time customer relays a heartfelt message to a co-worker who then transcribes it for you to read.  That right there is as important as a close.  Why? Because it goes beyond the transaction.

When you close a sale, by definition, it means an end.  A process has come to a close.  Is that really what you want?  Do you want this new person to simply be closed?  Do you really think your silly take out a piece of paper and ask them to take out their phone to give you referrals(insert vomiting noise here) is as good on a closed person or better on an open one?  Yes, this forgets your tactic is past its time.

What if you were instead always keeping an eye on what could be next?  What opportunities could be opened by this transaction/interaction/sale/relationship start, etc?


Just Help Me MORE

The  big difference between this in 2012 and today is the level is higher

Don’t sell me……….Help me buy

I’m not about to say “selling is dead” or something silly like that.  What I am saying is being a resource beats being a salesperson.  Do you know things that can help the person buy today?  YOU BETTER.  How about so things look better in 6,12, 18 months and beyond?  I REALLY HOPE SO.  Are you willing to let them go now because your sale today actually doesn’t help the person you are taking money from?  YES

Don’t build to a close………build a relationship

I’ve had a few people working with me for a bit now.  Over the last few weeks I’ve been warning them that how we do business will have a positive but also some negative impacts in the rest of their lives.  What does that mean?  Essentially that they know how we like to to treat people.  When you recognize this in others you get excited.  But, most of the times you’ll recognize their sales flow and that you are just another sale.  I’m used to it but it doesn’t mean I like it.  Every interaction is a chance to make a new acquaintance who can become a friend and beyond.  Making a sale is nice, almost easy.  Making a sale and a friend at the same time is much nicer and just as easy.

Don’t “Ben Franklin” close me?………help me by showing the why

Most sales techniques and tactics are rooted in some very basic human psychology.  It is what it is.  Two or more humans are engaging and our DNA  is wired a certain way. Consider just having a conversation.  We prefer to act like the licensed professionals we are, not “producers.”  A problem is presented and we fix the known and the unknown.  Sure, you can list them out but, at least in insurance, this time and effort is better spent elsewhere.

No fear of loss…….stick to why you are a good person to buy from 

This can be a tricky one.  It is a conversation I have with one of our team once a week.  We have a perpetual machine that steadily drips more people to work with. We also have tools and ways to continually find more people to work with.  Knowing you have this, takes a lot of the “pressure” off selling everyone you are talking to.  But, some of the philosophy and lines that go with this are in conflict;  ” We don’t need you….”  “Sure, we’d be happy to work with you….” But you know you have a backlog of people that may be easier to work with  Knowing that there is no person/business/account that can make your business but some can really hinder things.  It’s more of a “If you want to work with us, great.  If not, no big deal.  Keep in touch…..”

Don’t close me………..make me open to a new relationship

ALWAYS.  Sure, technically getting the yes and taking a payment can and is “a close” but if that is all you are after, that is all you’ll get.  That is not a good use of my time and I do not view it as a good use of my team’s time either.  On the other hand, helping someone buy  insurance, helping them feel good about the transaction, giving them reasons to want to share me/us with others, etc.  That is a much better use of time