Tomorrow night I am giving a presentation to other virtual tour providers entitled “The Elegant Art of Sales”. I have logged hundreds of hours training thousands of salespeople all over the country. I am well qualified to speak on the art of sales but I did not choose the title of the presentation. Had I chosen the title, the presentation would have been called, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
I learned sales from someone who was a Master in the art. In fact, he was so good at selling that I never could tell when it was that he actually made the sale. I learned more from him about life and business than I have from anyone in my life but he made it look so easy that I really thought that I could never do what he did. It wasn’t until I went on several training appointments with the WORST salesperson in the world that I was able to understand the components of the sale. By seeing WHAT NOT TO DO, I was better able to understand the process of making sales in any business and especially the virtual tour and hotel photography business.
Here are 8 things I learned on how to guarantee that you never close a sale:
BLOW YOUR PROSPECT AWAY With Your Technical Brilliance — Make sure that they know that you know way more about what you are discussing than they do. People respond so very well to condescension and just love to be lectured to. It helps if you can periodically insult them so that they can know that they are not on your level. It’s not as if you are trying to form a relationship…After all, YOU are the expert and they must respect you!
KEEP TALKING Until You Are Sure That They Are Catatonic — It isn’t enough to just see their eyes glaze over, you need to make sure that you have droned on until you hear them snore or see them start to drool. This is when you know that you have said enough. Which leads me to number 5…
DO NOT Let Them Get a Word in Edgewise — You are the expert and they need to know that. Again, this is another great time to insult them if they try to bring up a point or objection! You don’t want them to think that you are actually listening and interested in what they have to say!!
OVERLOAD Them With Information…BEFORE THEY ASK — This goes right along with #1. Always make sure that you tell your prospects everything they could ever want to know about your product or services. Do not make the mistake of leaving a question unanswered — even if it doesn’t apply to them. Make sure to tell them everything.
WAIT UNTIL YOU KNOW IT ALL Before Making a Sales Call — I have trained literally hundreds of salespeople and I can guarantee that the ones who are best at NOT making money, are those who understand this vital rule. The best thing is to stay in your office and close the door and study all the possible information you can before you ever ask anyone to do business with you. After all, it’s imperative that you know it all if you are going to bury them alive with your knowledge. Remember that information is constantly changing so you may be in your office for years.
FOCUS ON ACTIVITIES Instead of Results — Some great suggestions of how to look really busy without actually producing any results are to gather business cards, create endless lists and databases. Another great idea is to preach to the choir…if you can find someone in your field who also isn’t out producing results, the two of you can spend endless hours imagining scenarios of what might happen if you ever do make a sales call.
Keep Talking AFTER They Say Yes — It is possible that you may accidentally close a sale even if you follow all of these steps, but do not worry…you can easily change their minds if you just keep on talking after they have told you that they want to buy from you. You want to provide enough information that they become paralyzed and tell you they will need to get back with you later.
DO NOT FOLLOW UP — This may be the single most important thing to making sure that you never close a sale. Always accept NO for an answer when you finally are quiet enough to let them speak. Do not ever assume that NO might mean NOT NOW. Assume that everyone gets and reads your very first email so if they don’t respond immediately, just assume that they are not interested.
Staying busy is so much easier than actually closing business. It saves you time and money because you never have to actually deliver your product or service or deal with trivial technicalities like depositing checks in the bank and making money. Sales is the greatest job in the world as long as you never have to deal with those pesky customers!
If you have other suggestions on how to drive prospective customers away, then please leave comments so we can all learn from each other.