If you have ever seen the movie Glenngarry, Glenn Ross, especially the first scene of the infamous sales meeting, you are well familiar with the saying ABC, Always Be Closing.
Alec Baldwin delivers a passionate performance as the slick, high pressure, brutally confident sales guy. (warning, there is a lot of offensive language in that scene, don’t watch it with the kids in the room)
The attitude and technique he preaches is to always be using pressure to get people to buy, and that anyone who is talking to you is obviously interested. All they need is your bullying tactics of “Closing” to be sold.
I completely disagree with that approach. I will go further and state that if you have to resort to high pressure closing tactics to convince people to buy, you either have a bad product, you are a lousy salesperson, or possibly both. The coffee isn’t for “closers” after all.
A better sales movie to watch is Moneyball, with Brad Pitt, which is the true story of Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland A’s and his approach that changed baseball, based on the math of repeated opportunity being the magic ingredient of success.
In sales, that means increasing the amount of times you present (opportunities) in order to increase the odds that a prospect buys (success).
I propose another, better acronym, ABV.
Always Bring Value.
It is easy and obvious to bring value to your sales presentations. If you are doing it correctly, you’ve had time to do research, a needs assessment, and are having a business conversation that lends itself to your being able to offer value. My suggestion is that you up the ante on yourself and also focus on ALWAYS BRINGING VALUE, not just when you present.
Your prospect is far more likely to spend time with you, take your calls, and generally respond positively if they perceive value every time you contact them. Always Bring Value, even if it doesn’t relate to you, your product or service.
That means every time you make a call or a drop in on a prospect, be it to try and set an appointment, or to follow up on a proposal, you need to have a compelling reason for calling. A compelling reason for them, not just for you!
Stop calling to “check in”. You are not at an airport. Bring value to the prospect when you call, each and every time, so they see value in your calls, no matter where they are in your pipeline.
Some of the ways you can do that:
- Share articles about their industry or marketing in general
- Point out things they need to fix (Broken links on their website, unclaimed FB or google pages, semi related service issues)
- Celebrate good news (Congratulate them on winning awards, or getting great reviews)
- Give them an idea (share success story from another client of yours, even if not related to your product/service)
Every time you call, have something in your pocket that adds value. Make yourself a compelling person to talk to, not just another sales person calling. Be valuable. Value begets value.