Why do you think most businesses have a problem with doing a one-call close, which is getting the money or getting the deposit in that first call instead of some kind of 15-minute call– a discovery call?
I think the reality of why this is so common is pretty much because I think sales has become a bad word. It’s become a curse word somehow as if it’s some bad or negative thing.
And I think there’s something to do with the media and how that has constructed the mindset. Like how movies portrayed salespeople as slimeballs selling by any means necessary, not really caring about the prospect. You’ll have a movie scene of some guy saying, “You really need this” and he’s like, all ears, smiling grid to grin. It gets the money paid. And like the next scene is like all those stupid idiots counting the money. And I think that’s created this weird experience that people have taken this full, authentic experience. That’s like the only way salespeople are. And then they had one bad experience with a used car salesman or someone like that, or a solar person that was super aggressive or someone that is doing an HVAC deal at your home and they want to add on $10,000 to your products for no reason. And I think it’s just become a bad word.
So it has been Alex Schlinsky’s Master of Sales Mission statement in coaching not to make “Sales” a bad word, but making a recognition of what it truly is, which is a service –a service of helping someone overcome a problem that they have and it’s not a service of essentially having a prospect paying you because no matter how good you are at sales, you’re not gonna close every deal. That’s not how it works, but at the very least, if you can help someone create clarity on what their problem is, and even point them in the right direction of their solution, even if that’s not working with you, that in and of itself is a service.
And that’s what Alex has been trying to strive for– to remove that Slizz Ball, the slimy style that people think sales is, and move it into a position of abundance, gratitude, excitement, and ultimately a service of really the highest need. It’s the most important thing in life. Being able to sell and convince someone of your product or solution in order to help them with their problem.
There are a lot of people that talk about how you sell and talk about what you say but when I saw Alex role-play with other people how it’s done and everyone in the audience was like, “wow”, my jaw just dropped and that is why I brought Alex onboard this episode to teach the most powerful and effective way of Closing:
1. Provide an Offer that’s a conservative estimate of what you provide
Never offer a stand-alone service such as video marketing. There has to be a result for it. If there’s no result for it, then you’re never gonna really be able to sell it because they don’t understand what you’re doing.
2. Understand Risk Mitigation
Have you heard of the “burn before” Objection?
If you look at it on a kind of a continuum of risk mitigation, there’s no risk mitigation in most of the scenarios as it is always been the prospect that assumes all the risk. There is nothing wrong with having no guarantee either however it’s just harder in today’s day and age, especially in the agency space unless you are already established for several years and have several dozen clients with immense results that get to back you up as your guarantee.
So having no risk mitigations doesn’t mean you can’t sell, but it’s unlikely.
Then on the other end of the continuum is the money-back guarantee. I’m a big staunch believer in not ever providing a money-back guarantee.
3. Handle Objection
“I’ve been burned before“
Burn-before is a really common objection but before we dive into the burn-before objection, let’s touch on Skepticism.
Skepticism is a really important thing to bring up and overcome prior to your customers saying it. What you should have is the inherent belief that any person that you speak to is likely highly skeptical of any offer you’re going to make mostly because of protecting themselves. Not even because they’ve been burned before, but because of the authentic experience that others have been burned before, thus, they don’t want to be that person that bought the lemon from the used car salesman, even though they’ve never bought a lemon before.
And it’s really easy to overcome skepticism through proof and transparency. If you showcase like this:
Now inherently there’s skepticism on proof too.
People think proof by itself is enough that, “Oh, just showing the proof. Now skepticism’s gone”. No, there’s skepticism about the proof too. Some people might say, “Oh, that’s cherry-picked!”
So what do you do on the 1st call?
You always want to commend your client for still doing the call with you, because inherently being burned before means I’ve had this problem but I still want it solved. So it looks something like this:
“There are so many people that are cheaper“
Make sure you don’t say “cheap” versus “inexpensive”
If we use the word “cheap” there’s a difference between those two words and a very stark difference, particularly in marketing and service-based businesses. “Cheap” is lower quality and “Inexpensive” means less expensive.
“I thought maybe you could give me a good friend discount because we know each other.“
Charge them double because:
*They’re inherently one believing that you’re automatically price gouging them, so inherently you should have less profit for some reason, which is totally unreasonable because if they were really your real friend or family, they want you to make as much money as possible. Just like they wanna make as much money as possible.
*They have more things they can use to blackmail you because they know you personally, not just professionally.
* Their expectation level is five times greater than anyone else.
So either they pay double or they don’t pay at all. So you can use this phrase:
“You’re welcome for not charging you double, but there are no friends and family discounts. The price that we have is more than fair and full price is the fair price.”
“How do I know you’re gonna take good care of me because you have so many other clients?“
Assure your client of how capable you are. Here’s how:
“I know you’re a young growing agency and you guys have huge plans to grow. What if in exchange for you doing the services at a discount, I’m willing to be a testimonial for you.“
“The $3,000 a month seems like a good thing. But I only have $2,000 in my budget right now. So I was hoping, can you give it to me for $2,000?”
“I’d love to work with you. Can you send me a proposal so then I can review it with my co-founder?“
Ask exactly what they are hoping to see in the proposal so you can deliver appropriately.
“I just want my co-founder to be able to see the proposal because I always make decisions. We make decisions together.“
The partner objection is actually usually the first stop-gap to potentially working together. Obviously, the partner is not at the meeting currently, so there are two questions that you can ask:
- Would you be open to having your partner jump on a meeting with me so I can do the service that I did for you and provide him with insight of what we’re providing today?
- Would you prefer only to speak to him?
And if they say that they want to do it because he is trusted then ask. “What happens if your partner says no?” and if they say that they just need to get confirmation from their partner, ask them to put down a $500 refundable deposit. Here’s what you can say as the reason why:
- “I’m gonna hold your spot in line. You’re gonna be the exclusive partner we work with within your area. We will not work with anyone else and we’ll hold your spot.”
- “I can get everything set up, and send you this proposal.”
- “We’ll have everything prepared for a kickoff call.”
If the deposit feels like some weird lock-in for you. The reality of why we should ask for the deposit is really twofold, most of the time, when someone asks for a proposal or wants to speak to their partner, they want to do it, but they need more time to consider it because at the end of the day, thinking things through is a really normal human condition. Making decisions on the fly is very rare.
It’s why most people resonate very strongly with, “Hey, babe, what do you wanna do for dinner?” “I don’t know” It’s not because restaurants open up every day or because you move every single week. It’s just because it’s easier for someone else to make the decision for you.
You can say:
“At the end of the day, the reason we do this is I don’t want you leaving this call and hammering yourself on all the reasons that you shouldn’t do this, which is a very normal thing to do. The crazy thing is as soon as a $500 deposit is made, that changes your mind about all the reasons you should move forward.”
That’s the sales tactic in reality.
4. Avoid stupid objections by Framing How long the call is going to be
Stupid Objections like, “How much time do we have left? I got to run.”
And that’s really annoying and that’s usually because you didn’t frame how long the call’s gonna be and if you are a natural talker, it usually ends up happening.
And it’s bound to happen especially with attorneys, cause they’re really hard to get on the phone.
5. Be clear about the goal of the Call
You have the ones that realize that they have no idea why they are on the call with you. Of course, they wouldn’t say it like that, but you could see it in their face and they’ll be like, “I have reached out to you on LinkedIn and I don’t know, I just thought it would be good to get on” or “I saw your ad and I just thought it would be interesting.”
Like they don’t actually have a purpose for why they got on the call and for those people, you have to dig into that purpose immediately. Otherwise, you should get off the call because the chances of closing that person is essentially zero. They have no urgency or purpose of why they got on the call.
6. Stop asking, “What do you think?” at the end of the call
Instead of saying “What do you think”, say instead, “Look, this is a no-brainer for you. It’s exactly why you got on this call. This is exactly what you need. You should do this.”
The classic close usually is “What do you think? Do you want this implemented?” And why this is not effective is because nobody cares what the prospect thinks. You’re not on the call with them to get their thoughts. They’re on the call because you are in the position of an expert that can potentially provide for them. If at the end of the call, you’re going to ask them what they think instead of selling them, you did not do your job.
This is the part that people have a hard time with because they think it’s sleazy or aggressive or a sales tactic, especially if they ever get that response that “It seems like a sales tactic”, then they’ll never do it again.
7. Be Confident
When you’re worried about coming off as aggressive versus confident, being confident is the number one thing, not fake confidence but authentic, real conviction. That’s what we need and that’s the thing that’s impossible to role-play.
But in general, if you have real confidence in the offer you make, you can say it with real fire, brimstone confidence.
It’s crazy because people think about how they come across. In the end, the end result is realizing you have no control over how perception works. You don’t control how someone perceives something. That’s not how life works. So if you’re worried about coming off as aggressive or confident, what ends up happening is just you’re seeding doubt and by seeding doubt, especially to a seasoned buyer, they are like sharks. It’s like blood in the water. They can smell it, they can hear it, they can see it, they can see it in your face, they can hear it in your tone. You will never appear confident when deep inside you are seeding doubts. And if you are not confident, they can’t buy.
8. Stop “asking” someone to buy from you and start “telling” them to buy instead
The most important thing in sales is telling someone to buy, not asking.
I know that a lot of people get really uncomfortable with it. Just try and do it with conviction. Don’t think about it as a sleazy sales tactic. Just think of it as an opportunity to really pitch someone on how confident you are, that your product is awesome.
And this is where most salespeople fail, cause they don’t feel confident enough to say, “You should do this.”
So instead they’ll go the gimmicky route of asking, “what do you think, do you want this?”
That model just doesn’t work as its just show how you are not sure of yourself.
So, what steps will you do toward Confidence moving forward?
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.