As a sales person, no matter if your job title is comfort consultant, service technician or customer service representative, you should have an expectation to close the deal—at least some acceptable percentage of the time. When that expectation is not translating into results, you experience frustration. Sometimes, that frustration is exactly what you need.
Take a moment to evaluate your expectations about the outcome of your own sales process. Dispense with the niceties and colloquialisms. Be real, and answer honestly. As you’re about to meet with a customer to pitch your product or service, what do you believe will happen?
You probably expect to do right by the customer. To be fair and honest, but not pressuring or misleading. And you may even tell yourself “I’m going to bring my best work, but it’s up to the customer to decide what to do.” That’s great. Keep that, and consider the following expectation that may not be your list: “I expect to sell to every customer, every time. 100% closing rate.”
Most of us don’t set this expectation.
I’ve learned from my time in the field, and in working with other sales professionals, that the best sales people go in with the mindset that they will sell on every call they go to. They ask themselves, “If I don’t expect to sell, why am I going? What in the world am I doing there, expecting myself to fail?”
If you offer great products and services, backed by one of the best companies in your market, and you’re a genuinely decent person offering the right solution, the only reasonable result is that the customer should buy from you. There is just no reason to believe anything else.
If your customer had all the same information you have, wouldn’t they buy from you? That begs another question: If the customer didn’t buy, what information did they not have? More personally, what information did you not communicate well? As soon as the customer doesn’t buy, you should be reflecting on what did not get communicated well enough. This should be frustrating to you, and drive you crazy. That crazy feeling will push you harder to refine and perfect your sales process.
I have personally knocked on thousands of doors, cold-call-selling a service people were generally unaware of before my unannounced and mostly unwelcome visit. I knocked on 157 doors before I closed my first sale. I was so frustrated! Six weeks later, I was closing one in five. On cold calls! I believed in my service, and was convinced that if my potential customers knew what I knew, they would buy.
Frustration exists when you do something, expecting one result but experiencing another. You could respond to that frustration by lowering your expectations. That’s a complacent, excuse-making, easy way out in my opinion. Or, could you choose to respond to that frustration by making changes. Do something different until you experience a different result. Leverage the frustration.
Let me be clear: I’m not recommending you beat yourself up about every missed sale and snowball this feeling until you’re wondering why you’re even in sales. However, in a healthy way, you should be frustrated that the customer did not buy from you. And let that frustration drive you to improve your process. Change something you’re doing. Test the changes. Rinse and repeat. You will close more sales if you think this way.
Will every customer buy? No. Is it realistic to expect 100% from every call? No. But will you expect a 100% closing rate? Yes! Having trouble aligning the obvious conflict of those thoughts? Reduce it to one call at at time: “I can’t predict what will happen on the next call, but I’m definitely going to close this one.” Take that mindset into every call.
Raise your expectations. Leverage your frustration. Experience greater results. Happy selling!