#534. Closing Starts at the Beginning of a Deal. With Anthony Iannarino.
Anthony Iannarino, best-selling author of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, and author of the new book, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments that Drive Sales, joins me for the fourth time on this episode of #Accelerate!
[4:24] Anthony says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps is changing their mindset. Instead of a talking about how great the seller’s company is, start by sharing something of value the buyer hasn’t considered about the buyer’s company.
[6:28] Information parity offers no value for the buyer. The salesperson is in discovery mode, but they should concurrently help the buyer discover the value of a decision.
[7:17] Anthony speaks of the commitments needed of the buyer. The sales world has changed since the 1960’s, but not the close. Now, commitments along the way form the close.
[10:31] Closing is integral to the full sales process, as a series of commitments from the buyer, from the initial contact through the final decision. The final commitment is the clear result of earlier ones. The process is fluid.
[12:48] Exit criteria set by the seller, ignore the buyer. The buyer may not be ready to exit a stage when the seller thinks. Customer verifiable outcome conversations are awkward. Anthony explains of process maps and compasses.
[15:48] The buying process (if any) and the sales process run in parallel. Anthony covers how the salesperson can help the buyer discover their buying process, including stakeholders. The sales rep must learn how to serve them where they are.
[17:39] It’s always been hard to get in front of the people you need to contact. It is easier to find them today, from data available anywhere. Expectations on salespeople are higher.
[20:49] Col. John Boyd repeatedly said, “People, ideas, technology.” Now we say, “Technology, ideas, people.” We’re getting it backwards. The tech cannot cover up all the places where salespeople need to invest in their development.
[21:41] We create an environment full of excuses. Cold calling still works. Content creators are content marketers, not social sellers. Content you do share should help the buyer think what they should be doing differently.
[26:06] ABM is going back to ‘bell-bottoms.’ Fundamentally good ideas get recycled over time. Close rates don’t seem to get better.
[27:40] Shiny objects are not moving the needle. Develop people to be consultative, with a point of view, and understand how to help buyers create change within their company. Those reps, with ideas and tools, will be successful.
[29:04] AI does more repetitive tasks, that have nothing to do with creating value for the buyer. People in power have always had trusted advisors. Be the advisor. Don’t be a catalog. Learn to control the process to provide value for the buyer.