When it comes to sales, many people will be familiar with the phrase “Always Be Closing”. For many years, salespeople have been advised to live and work by the mantra. The idea behind it was to encourage the sales person to constantly look for opportunities to get a customer interested and then move them along each step of the sales cycle in order to close the sale.
As a salesperson, I like to think I am quite tenacious when I see an opportunity. I have never been afraid to ask for the order and I will happily follow up with customers in order to get the sale over the line when I know the fit is right. However, I am not a fan of the saying "Always Be Closing".
For me, it implies the sale is more important than the client. I don’t believe in the idea of getting the sale to the determinant of the customer relationship. So, when I came across the saying “Always Be Communicating”, I immediately preferred it.
Customer’s attitudes have evolved over the years, which has forced us to change the way we sell. They don’t like the hard and pushy sales approach. They know what they want, they are more informed, better educated and can access information more easily.
I often hear people using the expression “people buy from people” and I believe it has never sounded more apt. Customers like to know what they are buying is the right fit for them. Getting to know the customer, learning about what is important to them in order to identify their true needs is key to any successful relationship.
By working in partnership and constantly communicating, everyone has their best interests at heart. There are no hidden agendas and everyone gets what they want from the relationship. So, its win-win all round and everyone is kept motivated to do their best.
In essence, I believe there are 7 points by which we need to live by in order to be great salespeople and think in terms of “Always Be Communicating”.
- Work in partnership – see things through the customer’s eyes by putting yourself in their shoes
- Learn about your customers business – find out what is important to them so you can give them the best advice
- Focus on what’s important to the customer – not what you like and talk in terms of benefits
- Be courteous and listen, but be prepared to speak up when the you feel the customer needs something different
- Go at the pace of the customer – find out when it’s right for them to buy
- Be prepared to walk away from a “sale” when it’s not right for them (you can't win them all)
- And last but not least, keep in touch with customers and keep communicating…