Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest James Muir, sales trainer, speaker, coach, and author of The Perfect Close. Among the many topics that James and I discuss are why bad sales practices still abound, essential questions to help advance your buyer along their buying process and how facilitating the buying process builds trust.
[2:38] James wrote this book to help sales professionals that are uncomfortable asking for commitments in manipulative ways.
[5:11] A majority of meetings with prospects conclude without the sales professional asking for a commitment. You need to go into any encounter with an idea of what you want the outcome to be. Use advancing questions, such as, “Does it make sense to X?”
[7:28] Andy makes the connection to Neil Rackham’s Spin Selling, and asks if the prospect today still needs to be prodded from stage to stage.
[10:14] Asking, “What’s a good next step?” may reveal internal procedures that need to occur before anything external. That tells you where they’re at in their buying process.
[11:51] 50–60% of qualified opportunities end in no decision because sales professionals make assumptions without making a compelling case to change the status quo.
[13:10] Advancing questions show at each step if more justification is needed before going forward. Complex sales, particularly, may slow from insufficient justification.
[19:29] Endowed progress means that the closer one is to achieving a goal, the more one accelerates toward the goal.
[20:28] Commitment consistency is a propensity to sustain commitments, based on the psychological need to maintain internal coherence. Robert Cialdini addresses this in Influence.
[24:39] James tells about a client who refused to work with a sales rep ‘with commission breath.’ Closers who serve themselves are not serving the customer. Be a facilitator.