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Are You Making the Same Mistake Over and Over?

We’ve all heard it.  ABC – Always Be Closing.  With his amazing performance in Glengary Glen Ross Alec Baldwin has immortalized one of the most dysfunctional axioms in selling.  “Always Be Closing”  It just rolls off the tongue.  And it’s so easy to remember.  It must be true right?

It’s not.

What Science Tells Us About “Always Be Closing”

In his first study Neil Rackham discovered that beyond the first attempt there is a negative  correlation between closing frequency and sales call success.  He found that in “high close calls” (calls that averaged 5.8 closing behaviors) there was an average success rate of 37%.  (still better that I would expect actually)  Yet on “low close calls” (calls that averaged 1.4 closing behaviors) there was a much higher success rate – 70%.

Low Close Calls 33% More Effective

Low Close Calls 33% More Effective

So “Always Be Closing” is actually 33% less effective.  Or said another way – closing less doubles your success rate.

So there’s the data.  But did we really need the data?  Stop and do a “gut check”.  How would you feel if you badgered a customer over and over to buy?  What is your feeling?  What would the customer be feeling?

Our instincts serve us well here.  Our internal compass tells us we don’t want to be the recipient of that behavior and that doing so damages trust and rapport.  Go watch the YouTube clip of the Always Be Closing segment of Glengary Glen Ross right now and ask yourself if you would like to have Alec Baldwin as your salesperson.

If you are “always closing” you are being self-focused rather than client-focused.  The latest science shows that customers can detect this within seconds of the first meeting and that telegraphing your selfish intent is the surest way to turn off customers and make them become guarded.

Selling is Serving

Selling is serving.  We are helping facilitate a decision that brings the customer closer to their desired outcome.  And when clients achieve their outcome it becomes mutually beneficial for both us and them.

The data is there – but trust your gut.  

To learn more about science in this article check out the free sample chapters of The Perfect Close available here.

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