getAbstract of the week The Lost Art of Closing

View Latest News Publish Date: 18-Jul-2018

getAbstract of the week The Lost Art of Closing

One of the abiding memories that I have of being head of HR for the sales and marketing division of a global hi-tech company is a discussion with the vice president of sales (VP) about a long-standing sales person.

We were reviewing the sales persons’ figures and performance ahead of their annual review.

“All the team really enjoy working with them,” said the VP, “And, customers all think he is great!”.

Then there was a pause.

The sort of pause that experience had taught me not to interrupt. After what seemed like more time than usual the silence was broken by the VP. Exasperated he blurted out “But, they can’t close a door, let alone a sale!”

That summed up this sales person exactly.

Everyone, colleagues and customers loved them.

The reason was simple, they focused on building relationships with people on the basis that they had been taught that people buy from people.

Unfortunately, as I explained to the VP of sales, this, be nice to everyone approach to relationship selling, ultimately fails because it is ultimately fake.


Well, because it fails to recognise that for a relationship to be productive both parties must recognise that they want different things, and inevitably there will be friction.

Simply being nice does not address the need of the potential customer to achieve some sort of value at each stage of the buying process.

Alright, they may accumulate a collection of corporate merchandise and have been well entertained, but at the end of the day that is not going to help them make a purchasing decision, that they can justify to their superiors.

With advances in technology the role of business to business sales people is changing.

If the human team fails to add value by building relationships a company might as well focus on generating on-line sales.

Unfortunately, as sales impresario Anthony Iannarino explains inThe Lost Art of Closing many salespeople don’t know how to have productive conversations with their clients, even though sellers’ words make or break sales.

The typical salesperson might say, “What’s it going to take to get you to sign this contract?”

In contrast, the salesperson could say, “Can you share your concerns with me, so that I can make sure this works for you?”

This question focuses on the client’s needs and should result in useful information that leads to a sale.

In Iannarino’s bestseller, The Lost Art of Closing he outlines his well-developed closing strategies, offers pertinent advice for Business to Business salespeople. You can download a free summary of The Lost Art of Closing here

Members of the Work Place Learning Centre team are available to provide journalists and media organisations with expert comment on all aspects of learning at work.

View our editorial policy click here.