We all remember the old Glengarry Glen Ross scene where Alec Baldwin portrays an “aggressive” sales manager, making a desperate attempt to motivate four real estate salesman. Over just about seven minutes, he delivers a profane and venomous monologue, one that has, over the past near two and a half decades, developed into the American Sales DNA. It is a brutal scene. It’s monumental. It’s unforgettable. But should it be our Mantra?
To be honest, I feel that Always Be Closing is down right disrespectful, not only to our clients, but to ourselves as well. The philosophy behind it is about focusing on just getting a sell without truly understanding the client’s needs. When we lose focus on understanding our clients, taking the time to get to know them, we lose focus on our advisory roles. When we lose our advisory focus, it becomes that much harder for clients to trust us, and even that much harder to be referable. Yes, I understand that we are all in a sales focused industry, but to me, selling is about matching the needs and desires of the people we serve and aligning them with the benefits of the products and services we offer. We need to be client focused and not product focused. We need to focus on building strong relationships and not strong closes. By doing so, it allows us to better align the features of our products/services to the benefits the client feels, not what we tell them. In return, closings are much easier. Take a look at the below figure. Which side do you think plays an advisory role? Let’s take it a step further. Which funnel do you feel receives more referrals? Which funnel do you feel takes in more revenue?
Should we need to have acronyms let’s use the following:
ABA: Always Be Asking. (Asking open ended questions helps us get to know a client’s needs)
STAR: Service, Transparency, Accessibility, Retention: (Increase the client service experience, Being transparent with clients develops trust, Have multiple ways for clients to reach out to you, Having Repeat Clients, People stay with businesses they value so by shifting the focus to them and not the sale will increase retention.)
So let’s bury this outdated mantra, start focusing on building a relationship with our prospects/clients, and become great at what we do in the eyes of those we serve!