This is a guest blog post by Mike Kaplan
Closing in sales is a topic that all business owners and CEOs are concerned with as as successful sales team can be the make-break of their company. There are actually three types of salespeople.
- Order Takers
These three types of salespeople are determined by their ABILITY TO CONTROL OR DIRECT their prospects and persuade or convince them to buy.
Before reading further, take a second to look at a clock or your watch and note the time. Go ahead, do this now and then continue reading.
Just like you can control or direct your own body or control the driving of a car, you can also control or direct another person’s attention. If you had looked at the time when I asked, I was then able to control or direct your attention to a clock. As a result, I made you aware of the time. A salesperson does the same thing when he controls and directs a prospect’s attention to the various features of his product or service and makes her aware of how it will solve her problem. He does this on a step-by-step basis, directing the prospect through each step of a sale until the prospect desires and wants the product or service.
Closing In Sales Is About Control
THE MORE ABLE AND WILLING YOU ARE TO CONTROL OR DIRECT YOUR PROSPECT IN A POSITIVE MANNER THROUGH EACH STEP OF A SALE, THE MORE SALES AND MONEY YOU WILL EARN.
Let’s examine the three types of salespeople and the differences in the amount of control or direction used by each.
Order Takers, as the name suggests, only take orders (requests for purchases). Their job is to process an order that a prospect originates.
Order Takers are typically not involved in persuading or convincing someone to buy something. They may answer questions and point out various choices regarding their product line or services, if asked, but Order Takers do not proactively cause a sale to occur. The prospect, typically induced by advertising or other means, has decided on her own to make the purchase. The Order Taker exercises very little to no control or direction of the prospect on any step of the sale.
Examples of How Each Operate
Examples of Order Takers include counter clerks in department stores and telephone operators who take calls from prospects who want to buy a product they saw in a TV infomercial or in a catalogue. Order Takers are very useful and important to a business, particularly businesses that use effective marketing and advertising that does all of the work to persuade or convince someone to buy.
Presenters, again as the name suggests, specialize in presenting their product or service to prospects. They typically use their presentation (the giving of information) to inform and enlighten prospects about the features of their products or services. They can control or direct the prospect’s attention to the features of their product or service, but lack control and direction of the prospect on the other vital steps of a sale.
At their best, Presenters are confident, know every detail about their product or service, and can answer any question asked by a prospect. They can be very articulate, knowledgeable, methodical, and thorough. They can also be very caring and sincerely interested. Presenters, however, rely solely on their presentation (and product knowledge) in hopes that it will create enough interest in what they are selling for a prospect to buy.
Presenters include those who work trade shows presenting to several prospects at the same time, and salespeople on the home shopping TV channels. Like Order Takers, they provide a valuable service for many businesses.
What The Closer Is
A Closer, as the name implies, specializes in closing (or completing) sales.
A CLOSER KNOWS HOW TO CONTROL AND DIRECT THE PROSPECT’S ATTENTION THROUGHOUT EACH STEP OF THE SALE AND IS WILLING TO DO SO.
Closers are in full control of each step. They are 100% involved and leave nothing to chance. They are highly skilled in persuading or convincing someone to buy their products, services, or ideas. They have all the skills of the best presenter and much, much more. They don’t rely solely on presentations to make sales, but use them as one of their many tools.
Closers know the precise steps required to get someone to buy and have the know-how, certainty and confidence to get each step fully done. They know where the sale is going at all times and follow the precise steps to the close. They do not hope for sales to occur, but actively cause them.
A scale for the three types of salespeople according to their ability to cause or determine sales at will looks like this:
CLOSER: Full Control – Systematically causes sales to occur at will.
PRESENTER: Some Control – Occasionally causes sales to occur.
ORDER TAKER: No or Little Control – Rarely causes sales to occur.
Order Takers are at the bottom of the scale as they do little or nothing to CAUSE a sale to happen. They are, in actuality, the EFFECT of a sale occurring. Presenters are a bit higher up on the scale as they are causing the presentation, which they hope will bring the prospect up to interest resulting in a sale.
CLOSERS, AT THE TOP OF THE SCALE, CAUSE EACH REQUIRED STEP THAT LEADS TO A SALE OCCURRING.
They use various tools and techniques to bring this about. They leave nothing to chance and don’t just hope for sales to close, they CAUSE them.
By understanding and following a road map that details every step needed to close a sale, Closers know exactly where to go and how to get there.
Using the analogy of flying an airplane, Presenters may know how to get the airplane to take off but, once airborne, they don’t know their final destination and, even if they did, don’t know the shortest guaranteed route to get there before running out of fuel.
Closers, on the other hand, can take off, know exactly where they are flying at all times, can read the navigation instruments, get through any turbulence (prospect objections), stay on course, and make safe landings.
Closers know how to take a sale from point A to point B. They not only know that a straight path exists, but also know how to get on that path and stay on it all the way to the close. They are always directing and steering the sale from A to B as a fast as possible, knowing that the faster they do so, the more sales they make in the time they have, and the more money they earn.
Closing In Sales & Michael Jordan
What made Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player who ever lived, and what put him above all the other talented players? To start, his obvious ability to score more points than most anyone else. We know MJ was a great shooter but, in order for a great shooter to score points he must have opportunities to shoot the ball. What separated MJ from all others was his ability to create or cause opportunities to shoot when none existed! He didn’t wait or hope for opportunities to present themselves. He proactively caused them. Where a split second earlier there was no open lane or open shot, MJ could make one appear (perhaps with a head fake or spin). Once he created the opportunity, he didn’t hesitate or let it slip by. He caused the opportunities and acted on them—just like a Closer does with sales.
Closers in sales, like Michael Jordan, focus their efforts on three things:
KNOWING HOW TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO CLOSE KNOWING WHEN TO CLOSE KNOWING HOW TO CLOSE
A person can be successful being an Order Taker or Presenter if that’s what the sales position calls for. If it calls for anything more, then a salesperson needs to be the best Closer they can be. Every salesperson ranks somewhere on the above scale. The higher you are on this scale, the more sales you can cause to occur.
To learn how to reach the highest point on the Closer scale possible, I invite you, and any of your sales team to go to my website, www.secretsofamastercloser.com and try out the first 2 lessons of my state-of-art online course, Secrets of a Master Closer, for FREE. In 2012, Mike Kaplan authored the best-selling book, ‘Secrets of a Master Closer’ which is based on his proprietary 8-Step sales system used to build 3 multi-million dollar sales companies and also train thousands of salespeople. In 2013, he released an on-line sales training course based on his book to train individual salespeople and full sales teams. His goal is to provide business owners with a proven, cost effective system to train master closers.