“We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado.
Second prize is a set of steak knives.
Third prize is you’re fired.”
For anyone who has seen Glengarry Glen Ross, the classic 1992 film starring a host of acting greats, then you know that this quote comes from the amazing seven minute speech by Blake (Alec Baldwin) as he addresses his underperforming sales team.
[If you have not seen the speech watch it here and be warned: not safe for work (NSFW) due to language]
And not unlike the group that incurs Blake’s wrath, today there are so many wholesalers simply going through the motions.
Blah, blah, 5 year return.
Blah, blah, out performed in the last market dip.
Blah, blah strong renewal rate history.
And then they move on to verbally assault the next warm body, while ignoring their ABC’s.
Always Be Closing
We talk to wholesalers everyday that are just not comfortable asking for the business.
And in some ways it’s understandable, as the very word ‘closing’ has so many negative connotations.
Which is why we prefer to simply, and importantly, reframe the concept and seek to move the sales process forward in every appointment.
Here are 14 ways to move the sales process forward with closes that lead to small commitments, which lead bigger commitments, which leads to tickets:
- Close for an illustration, a hypothetical, a Zephyr. Get a commitment to analyze their existing models and/or run a real client scenario that you or your internal partner can revisit and discuss before, or during, your next appointment.
- Close to further discuss the importance of using your PVP-Peerless Value Proposition® knowledge to help their practice.
- Close for a Product Specialist call.
- Close for a Portfolio Manager conference call.
- Close for an upcoming road show.
- Close to have them receive literature or white paper analysis.
- Close for a marketing event eg. seminar or client appreciation dinner.
- Close for a staff training.
- Close for a social outing. Golf, dinner, ballgame, fishing, hunting, quilting – any social outing. Find a way to get closer to the advisor in question.
- Close for a technology lesson to:
- take the advisor through their proprietary system and show them where to find all the data on your firm and/or
- how to sort their book for your product’s best prospects and/or
- how to process a trade for your product.
- Close for the next appointment.
[If you have not read the post Advanced Wholesaler Technique: The Benefits of Forward Scheduling then we recommend you do.]
- Close for an at bat. Ask the advisor for a commitment to show your product to a live prospect over the next 2 weeks and let them know you will be back in touch in 2 weeks and 1 day to help answer any questions and/or celebrate their success. Oh, and make damn sure you call on the 15th day.
- Close for a ranking in your region. “Melinda, I’d like to boast to your peers that you are a Top 10 producer for Foonman Funds. My Top 10 starts at $5 million -are you up to that challenge?”
- Close for a firm dollar commitment. “Vinny, I need you to tell me what our partnership needs to be like to earn $1 million from you over the next six months”.
Remember that to Always Be Closing means that you are seeking out incremental commitments along the sales path – moving the sales process forward – that will lead to the outcomes that you have in mind for that client or prospect.