“The art of the sale is the art of closing the deal. Everything else is just foreplay.”

~ John Carlton

It All Starts with Your Introduction...

Let’s first assume that you know who you want to talk to and you put yourself in situations where you are actually conversing with these people (that may seem to obvious to mention, but I’ve lost count of the people who are actually saying the ‘right’ things to the ‘wrong’ people and whose sales sky-rocketed when they simply shifted locations).

When you introduce yourself to genuine prospects do they…

  • Wait patiently for you to finish so they can launch into their own spiel?
  • Interrupt you before you have a chance to explain things properly?
  • Get excited and start firing relevant questions at you?
  • Fall asleep (metaphorically speaking)?

Your introduction matters, because if you don’t attract their interest and fascinate them quickly, you may never get to the point where they are interested in continuing the conversation and allowing you to nurture them.

How Well Do You Know Your Prospect?

Many sales people make the mistake of thinking that their prospects are as fascinated by the product or service they are offering as they are themselves. The real question isn’t why you believe they should buy (or at least show an interest), it’s why they believe they should pursue your offer. An effective introduction plays on your prospects’ inner desires and goals and wakes them up out of their dreamy indifference… But you can’t do that until you know what they really want and need.

Your prospect actually wants to say, “No” as quickly and decisively as they can most of the time, so it’s your job to make that impossible for them to say until they have heard more.

Does that sound like too big a challenge? If you have the right introduction and you’re talking to your ideal prospect, then continuing your conversation until you have the opportunity to make an offer should be a no-brainer.

Do They Care about Your Offer?

Again, if you know your prospect, you can predict what they really want and if your whole conversation has helped you understand them better, you can make an offer that they care about… An offer that gives them hope that you can solve their problems and turn their life around.

Maybe your offer isn’t a direct sale… you may still be in the nurture phase if your product is complex or expensive, but you still need them to be excited about the possibility or else they will turn you down as quickly as they can.

Think about it… Do you wake up each day thinking…

  • I want another study program to work through?
  • I would love to talk to someone who has a program to sell for 15-30 minutes during my lunch break?
  • I desperately need another free report or gizmo?
  • What can I buy today that I hadn’t previously considered spending money on?
  • I need to receive more emails because I love it when my inbox is overflowing?

I bet you don’t… And nor do your prospects!

Like most of us, your prospects are thinking…

  • How can I cut clutter and free up time and space for things that matter?
  • What unnecessary expenses can I eliminate?
  • Is this worth my time and effort?

So… Even if you’re not asking for any money (yet), your offer needs to provide a rational and emotional pull that suppresses that strong desire to just say “No!”

Don’t Run Away… Close with Confidence!

I was talking with a business woman a few years ago. To be honest, it had taken me several meetings to figure out that her services could actually help my business grow because her pitch was terrible… But we sat down one day with her proposal, went through it… And then as she got up to leave, she said, “I don’t suppose you’re interested, but if you want to go ahead let me know.”

I just about had to run out of the office after her to get the contract and sign it (and I was happy that I did so). But… that’s no way to close sales unless you’re extremely lucky!

The difference between a struggling sales team (or business) and a wildly successful one that exceeds expectations on every measure is the ability to close with confidence when you know you have an interested prospect who can benefit from your product or service. It’s the simplicity and dignity of being able to say, “You’ve heard what I have and what it does. Would you like to work with me and reap the benefits or not?” Then waiting quietly for a response.

How is Your Elevator Pitch?

Does your Elevator Pitch leave prospects wondering how quickly they can get away from you? Does it make you squirm? …or do you simply make up your introduction on the fly every time you meet someone?

Preparing your path from introduction to a confident close is the theme of my Live One-Day Sales Masterclass. Learn more and sign up HERE

“Most of the time, the solution to sluggish sales isn’t more time, it’s more productive time so you start with analysis and move onto strategy and action.”

~ Chandell Labbozzetta

What’s Working in Your Sales and Marketing?

As a sales trainer and coach I spend a lot of time working with individuals, teams, and groups and the same questions come up quite regularly even from high performing business owners, sales professionals, and others.

As you know if you’ve been following me for any period of time, I’m not a fan of pushy sales techniques or forcing people to buy things they don’t need just so that you can meet your sales targets. My strategy is to help you get in front of people who do need what you are offering and showing them why it’s a good decision to buy… Or not to buy after all, if that’s what you see.

The problem is that if you can’t answer the question, “What’s working in your sales and marketing?” then you don’t know where to start.

How Do You Know That?

If you didn’t answer the question above with some cold, hard numbers about your sales then you don’t have the information you need to make strategic sales and marketing decisions.

Let’s take an example from one of my clients for last year:

  • 23 appointments, 17 clients and $294,600 from referrals
  • 31 appointments, 8 clients and $187,000 from networking
  • 11 appointments, 5 clients and $201,000 from public speaking
  • 28 appointments, 3 clients and $93,000 from book and course sales
  • 40 appointments, 7 clients and $59,000 from articles, social media, and podcasts
  • … etc.

Most of the time, when you run the numbers, you’ll discover that you’re getting about 80% of your sales from 20% of your activity… But often it’s not the 20% you were expecting.

The client I referenced above had assumed that articles, social media, and podcasts were a great investment of time because they created a lot of activity, but when we ran these numbers he realised that it wasn’t delivering the results he had expected.

What Are You Focusing On?

The reality is that we’re all busy people, faced with competing demands on our time and energy. Since I don’t know anyone who has managed to add more than 24 hours to their day, we need to look at how to use what we have more effectively because there’s only so many hours of sleep and recreation you can cut back on.

The fastest and easiest way to get more done in less time is to focus on two things:

  • Determine which activities deliver the greatest return on time and energy invested and do more of those; and
  • Decide what you can do to streamline qualification processes so you can get more sales from less time and energy intense processes.

What Will You Change Now?

My client from the example identified several ways to leverage his time and energy including:

  • Identifying low-profit buyers and funneling them into a more automated qualifying process;
  • Refining his elevator pitch so that he elicited greater interest from qualified buyers;
  • Improving his sales conversation skills and rapport-building so that his appointment close rate for qualified prospects was over 86%;
  • Developing his prospect qualification process so that he rarely met with prospects who couldn’t or wouldn’t buy;
  • Refining his “New Client Welcome Kit” so that he spent less time answering generic questions.

Some of these initiatives are still in the making, but overall his profits increased dramatically and he was able to spend more time with his family and training his staff.


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