Good Closers Are Bad Salespeople – by Jim Keenan

Yup, I said it. Good closers are bad sales people. The better a “closer” is, as defined by traditional definitions, the shittier the salesperson they are.

Why?

A good “closer” is someone who is unable to bring the client along and close them during each step of the sales cycle, and therefore they have to “close” the whole deal in one step.

Closing in the traditional sense is the idea that a salesperson gets to the end of the sale, has shown their wares, pitched their story and now needs to get the prospect or client to make a decision. It’s very linear. Really good closers have developed their craft over years and years of coaxing clients into a decision at a single point in the selling process and therefore have forgotten how to sell.

Real closers recognized that buying is a process. It’s a series of little sales that bring the prospect to a decision point overtime.

When buyers buy, they have a number of criteria in their head, both overt and subliminal. As buyers we process this criteria in a way that allows us to determine which decisions are in our best interest and help us meet our goals. Rarely can we process all of these little decisions at once. We need to address them one at a time, the most important to the least important. It’s only after going through this decision process do we ultimately end up at the close. A close we have determined for ourselves.

The job of salespeople is to facilitate the decision process. It’s to assist buyers in managing their decision criteria. It’s through the facilitation of each of the buyers individual decisions that the “close” really happens. Each time an individual decision is made in support of the sale, a small part of the close has taken place. When all the individual decisions have been made, the BIG decision, by default has been made and a “close” is not required.

In spite of what we’ve been taught, closing isn’t a point at the end of the sale requiring a specific skill or talent. Closing is the thread running through the entire selling process. To close without being a “closer” requires finess, awareness and commitment to the buyer and not the “close.”

If you feel you need to “close,” the sale is in trouble. It means not enough work was done to satisfy the buyers needs and now a “close” is required to make up for it. If you feel you need to close, look back, find out what you missed. Find out where you went wrong and try to correct it. Going for the close is messy, you’re a better salesperson than that.

Good closers are bad sales people, that’s how they became good closers.

 

Jim Keenan’s bio: 20 years of experience selling, teaching people how to sell, finding the Elephant in the room, being an agitator, making his number, helping people make their numbers, solving customer problems (not just customer problems, but all problems). He’s a Dad, Husband, PSIA Level 2 Certified Ski Instructor at Vail, and Senior Partner and Founder of A Sales Guy Consulting.  If that’s not enough, he says, he’s in trouble.  You’ll find him at his website, asalesguyconsulting.com, or his blog, asalesguy.com.