If there is one thing that I wrote in The Lost Art of Closing that causes people to ask questions, it is the idea that you must control the process. Some have asked me if that means they need to deploy high pressure, hard sell tactics. First, there is no reason to do anything that subtracts from trust. Ever. More still, to do so would go against the approach and the methodology that makes up the rest of the book.
A few have asked me if controlling the process means holding their prospect to their sales process. This is also not the idea I am presenting in the book. While it is helpful to have a sales process, all the things you need to accomplish between target and close, often too much is missing. The Lost Art of Closing closes this gap. Let me share more.
How often does your dream client change providers? Is it once every ten years? Is it once every three years? Unless you sell something with little or no switching costs, where one provider is as good as the other, and switching comes with little to no risk, the odds are high that they haven’t made the decision more than a couple times in their life. This means that the people on your dream client’s team don’t have a lot of experience buying what it is that you sell. They don’t know what they don’t know, and they don’t have some well-designed process for thinking through their decision unless they have an RFP, which is a process that is so technical in nature that it makes it even more unlikely that they make a good decision.
You, on the other hand, have helped a lot of companies explore change, collaborate on the right solution, get the consensus of their team, make the right investment decision, and resolve their concerns (a few of the 10 commitments in the Lost Art of Closing). Because you have greater experience, it only makes sense that you should be guiding the process to ensure that the company makes a good decision and that they achieve the outcomes they need. This is what makes you consultative, a trusted advisor, a value creator.
If you want to make a difference and help people produce better results, you have to control the process. This is the opposite of controlling the outcome, which is what a high pressure, hard sell approach would require. To control the process, you need skillful means for having the right conversations, even when they are difficult.
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