A Simple Lesson From the NFL to Close More Business
By Mike Brooks, http://mrinsidesales.com/
Learn the top strategies, ideas, ways and examples on how to increase sales qualified leads with the top open ended sales probing discovery questions for qualifying prospective clients.
Ahhhhh….. The NFL is back! Teams have played a couple of games, and coaches are watching game film and teaching players how to improve every week. I once read a piece by Peter King from SI.com about his conversation with Ellis Hobbs—former cornerback with the New England Patriots. He was talking about how much respect he had for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Ellis said, “Early in my career, Bill called me into his office, and we sat there, for a long time, studying game film. He taught me to look for the simple things, and not to make football so complicated. I got better. I was with one of the best coaches of all time, and he helped me become a better player.”
In inside sales, too, you can become a better sales producer if you concentrate on the simple things and doing them better. Here are two things you can do starting today to increase your closing ratio and make more money:
#1: Keep a record of the reasons your prospects don’t close and then concentrate on qualifying on these issues up front with your next prospects. This was one of the simplest and most effective habits I developed early on to get better.
I kept a notebook with all my prospects in it and every time they didn’t buy, I’d put in red ink the reason why not. I even boiled it down to three codes: NI, for No Interest; NM for No Money; and NC for Not Cooperative.
And then throughout the days and weeks I’d go back through my notebook and look for patterns and ask myself, “What do I need to focus on during the qualification stage?”
If too many prospects were not buying because they simply weren’t ready to buy right then, then “No Interest” needed to be addressed during the qualifying call. I’d start by asking more direct questions like:
“_______, if you find that this would work for you, what is your time frame for moving ahead with it?”
And so on. Bottom line—if you don’t get it right during the qualifying call then you’ll never increase your closing ratio.
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#2: Ask for bigger orders on every close. Oh, I know, you’ve heard this before, right? But how often do you actually do it?
So many sales reps are afraid to ask for too much and are just happy to get a minimum order. I know because I used to be that way…
But my career turned around when I began asking for bigger orders on every single call. And what I learned is that you never know how much a person or company can handle. You can always go down (in price, quantity, etc.), but you can never go up.
The truth is, it’s all the same amount of work anyway, so why not ask for two times, or three times the minimum order and see what you get? If only two in ten of your prospects buy the increased amount, how much more money would that mean to you?
In addition, the good part about consistently asking for more is that you’ll end up getting more—and every time you do, you reinforce the habit to do it. And as soon as you get a taste of closing bigger deals, you begin looking for and expecting them. Try it and you’ll see for yourself. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to make a lot more money.
So there you have it—two simple ways of closing more business and making more money. Just remember, as you’re reading this, NFL players and coaches are working on the simple things to improve.
You should be doing so, too!