The word guts, when it comes to closing a sale, has a lot to do with having “intestinal fortitude.” In other words, being fearless. You not only can’t be afraid to ask for the order, you almost need to have a swagger about it. You have to have such a level of confidence that you can ask for the order anywhere, any time, and to anybody. I’m not talking about being cocky or arrogant about it. What you need to do is take that confidence and have conviction for the reason behind asking for the order.
I know what you’re probably thinking (or mumbling under your breath), “Come on Mike, how much conviction can I have selling a furnace?” The product or service that you’re selling may not get you juiced. But the bigger purpose behind your work should be tied to your personal or professional goals.
I was reminded of this the other day. I just released a contractor training video and asked my 22 year-old sister-in-law to take a look. I can’t remember the exact words she used, but in a nut shell, she said it was boring. After putting my ego aside, I can see her point. How interesting can the topic of selling to homeowners be to her? How interesting can it be to anyone?
It’s not the most exciting of topics, yet I still do it with conviction and guts. Why? Because it’s directly tied into my passions — to educate in-home sales professionals and to help customers make better buying decisions. The people I train believe in what I’m teaching because I believe in it. My customers believe in what I’m selling because they see my passion with helping them decide on the best option for them. This has a direct effect on my closing rate.
Do you have passion when you’re selling? If you’re not sure, here are some self-evaluation questions:
Are your personal goals in line with your professional goals? Write your personal goals and career goals down on paper. Review them to see if they are in harmony. Will your career goals help you achieve your personal goals? Or are they conflicting with each other?
What to do if your goals conflict with each other? If they are in conflict, you may need to make some changes. It’s healthy to make adjustments every once in a while, especially if your goals aren’t making you excited any more. Decide how they can be in better harmony and make those changes.
Who are you spending time with? Are you spending time with people that have goals? You want positive and supportive people around you and you want to seek out people who will help you achieve your goals.
Are you sharpening the saw? This is one of Stephen Covey’s habits in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It has to do with your daily self-renewal. Exercise, read positive literature, and continue education and training of things you enjoy in your life. Don’t stop fine-tuning yourself and learning more about the things that drive you.
Staying focused on the things that drive you will give you passion. In sales you must have passion. If you have passion, your customers will believe in what you’re selling and you’ll have the guts to ask for the order all the time.
Michael O’Grady’s book, Selling at the Kitchen Table: A Contractor’s Guide to Closing the Deal, is available at www.SellingattheKitchenTable.com.
Publication date: 02/06/2012