Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Closing Time

60% of all ideas fail to sell in North America because the seller fails to ask "so we're going to do business, right?" A prof at BCIT laid that stat on me almost 10 years ago and it stuck with me throughout my varying careers as journalist, marketer and salesperson.

Think of that stat like this. If 5 Honda Civics are available at a car dealership, and each is worth $20,000, 3 of those cars (and $60,000 in revenue) will not sell because the dealership's salespeople don't ask, "so when would you like to take delivery?"

Shocking, no?

Let's go away from a traditional sales situation. Imagine you are sitting across from a colleague. You are in your organization's conference room, both of you have notebooks, you have extra papers that explain the idea you want to sell to your colleague. You explain how you came up with your idea and why you feel it would be beneficial for your organization. Your colleague asks questions, you provide answers. You feel your colleague has "bought in" to your idea so you end the meeting and leave feeling satisfied. 

Now you're presenting your idea at a group meeting. Again you explain your idea and the benefits you perceive your idea will bring to your organization. Your colleagues put your idea under scrutiny so you look to your colleague mentioned above for support. To your dismay, that colleague picks your idea apart further! If you had only asked, "is this an idea you would support?" in your first meeting.

If your ideas are good enough to present, make sure you close the deal, batting .400 is only good in baseball.

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