Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
I think every salesperson and maybe even every entrepreneur has read at least one book written by Zig Ziglar. We can easily call him a guru in his field. Even in his final years, he continued to travel the world and teach the art of selling to, always integrating his Christian side into his speeches. Secrets of Closing the Sale is not the kind of book that you just read and put back on the shelf. It’s the kind of book that you can learn something from every day.
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Secrets of Closing the Sale has 37 chapters filled with “keys” that could help you close the sale. It’s also split into 7 big parts, so it’ll be easy to remember the information in a more structured way.
I think it’s a very enjoyable and easy read, because Zig Ziglar writes with humor and paints vivid pictures when explaining situations.
RESOURCEFUL / SECRETS OF CLOSING THE SALE
“People forget price but they’ll never forget poor quality or a poor choice.”
What I like a lot is that he uses personal examples from his marriage to illustrate how everyone can be a great salesperson. This was also one of my favorite techniques of closing. When he and his wife wanted to buy a house, they found one that was way over their budget, but that had a great potential.
“What we want and what we can get are sometimes worlds apart.”
Instead of arguing with him, his wife convinced Ziglar that in the long term, the house was a great investment. Simply by breaking down the extra price by months, weeks and days, she showed him that for a few extra dollars a day, they could have their dream house.
This is a method that Ziglar used a lot in his future sales pitches, especially when he was selling cooking pots.
One of the most difficult aspects of being a salesperson is that, most of the time, people are going to say no even though they were convinced by your presentation. This is because you may convinced them, but after that you need to persuade them:
“Perhaps the most frustrating experience a salesperson has is to gain agreement from the customer that yes, the product is good; yes, it will save money; yes, he does need it; yes, he would like to have it; yes, he really could afford the payments; but no, he is not going to buy.”
In order to get people to buy you need to invest in yourself. Ziglar tells us to keep in mind that even the small things matter when it comes to closing a sale. The first impression makes a huge difference – the way you dress, the way you talk, the way you present: “the little things communicate to your prospect that you do believe in what you’re doing, that you are interested in serving him, and that you do feel you’re offering the best product or service at the best price which will do the most for him and his needs.”
It’s important to understand the difference between being a salesperson because you want to offer people great products, and a salesperson who’s in it just for the money: “If, in your heart, you really feel the sales process is something you do to the prospect, then you are a manipulator.”
In order to get the customer to buy, you first need to understand all the reasons why he’s reluctant to do it: “There are five basic reasons people will not buy from you. These are: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust.”
If you take these reasons and work through all of them by asking questions, proving the quality of your product, offering additional information about the value that it could bring to the potential customer, the outcome can be different: “People are going to buy, in most cases, what they really want— not necessarily what they need. It is your opportunity and responsibility to sell the legitimate benefits of your goods and services in a legitimate manner so your prospect will want to buy from you, again and again.”
What do you do when the prospect refuses to buy? In most cases, offering a significant price reduction is just not possible. What you can do is to shift the perspective.
Offer them new information about the product that could bring additional value. Explain that in the long term, the product will be a great investment due to its high quality.
Instead of buying a cheaper option that’ll have to be replaced in a few months, your product will last for years, maybe even a lifetime, and function properly: “Prospects, regardless of the product you sell, always buy the benefits your product has for them. In short, when you convince the prospect that your product scratches where he itches, he will buy.”
Another great lesson that you’ll learn from this book is that closing isn’t the most important part of the process. All phases are important because they lead up to it. If you think you did everything perfect but you can’t close the sale, it means somewhere along the road you didn’t convince the customer: “I insist that the close is no more important than any other phase of the sales process; however, without the close the rest of the process is wasted.”
Ziglar tells us that if we want to persuade people to buy our products, we should strongly believe in the quality and value that our products bring to the table. More importantly, you should own the products that you sell.
This isn’t always possible when we are talking about big items or about specialized merchandise, but if you sell water filters, shoes, make-up, you need to make sure that you own the product and you understand its value. Otherwise why should a prospect buy from you, if you’re not impressed with what you are selling?
“Believe in your product and your company. Transfer that belief to the prospect and not only will you sell more, you will sell it more easily, and those customers will get you other customers. That’s career-building selling.”
This book has so many great tips for salespeople that it’s considered a bible in its field. I don’t work in sales, yet I found myself telling people of the “keys”, about interesting stories and approaches from Secrets of Closing the Sale.
I think it changes the misconceptions we have about salespeople and we, as prospects, could become more open to the opportunities they present.
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