Your sales mojo is the energy you show up with during every meeting with a prospect. Developing your mojo goes beyond the basics of learning selling strategies.
Your sales mojo encapsulates the inner game of selling, which is who you are and how you come across when speaking with others. It’s that allure, charisma, or vibe you radiate that every one of your prospect’s feel from you.
While an experienced, certified sales coach can assist you in uncovering and developing your authentic sales mojo, the consequences of not doing so can be severe. Just take a look at some of these limiting beliefs that prevent the natural flow of your mojo.
• “You can’t close someone in our business. They have to be ready to buy. And when they’re ready, they’ll call me.”
• “I’m not good at closing. I hate putting pressure on people.”
• “I’ve tried some closing tools before and they didn’t work for me.”
• “I had a horrible experience when I attempted to get the prospect to make a decision.”
“I hate when people try to close me.”
Whatever the reason, whatever the story, every salesperson, manager and business owner has their own opinion on what it means to close a sale and why they can or cannot do so successfully.
A Little Personal History
It was shortly after I decided to become a coach. Now, at this point, I’ve been coaching for about 16 years now. I was one of the first sales and business coaches to hang my shingle, a true pioneer in the coaching profession, if you will and one of the first Master Certified Coaches to get credentialized. (Okay, enough shameless plugs; for now.)
As you can imagine, I was certainly ahead of the curve. Being an innovator and a leader in this now rapidly growing profession of life and business coaching, I had to create my own road to achieve success, as there was no other proven path to follow. Being a leader in such a young industry certainly had its advantages. However, it also came with some tall challenges that needed to be eliminated.
At this point, I had sold my business (of course, with the unwavering support of my wife, as nervous as she may have been.) So, here I was, with no income stream coming in as I launched full steam into an unproven and unknown profession with only my experience in managing and owning several other businesses to help guide me.
One thing was for certain. I had a very strong sales and marketing background. After all, when I owned my other businesses, I was the one responsible for the recruiting, hiring, training, managing and coaching of all our employees.
In an attempt to apply my wisdom, I came up with some best practices and developed what was to be my first of several attempts to put my new selling strategy together.
I started doing what I knew how to do, that was to pick up the phone and start making cold calls. And to my surprise, I was very successful at getting through the door and into an appointment with the decision maker. Without minimizing my efforts and results, what I had encountered when meeting with these prospects was that most of the time they wanted to meet with me out of sheer curiosity. After all, at this point, no one had ever heard of coaching outside athletic or sport coaching. So, I had the advantage of positioning business and life coaching as something new and unique.
A month later, I wasn’t even making enough money to stay broke. Pitch after pitch, presentation after presentation, I kept hearing the same thing. “It sounds really interesting Keith but I just can’t see how we can apply this to what we’re doing right now. Lets stay in touch and maybe some time in the future we can look at this again. But hey, it sounds real cool what you’re doing now. Good luck!”
With all of the prospects that I had generated over the last month and the results I’ve experienced from my lackluster selling efforts, it was time to re-evaluate. So, I did what any new, intelligent, humble and highly evolved coach would do. I called my coach for help.
And after I shared with her what I’ve gone through, do you know what she told me in all of her years of wisdom? “Keith, you have to stop presenting and just give value.”
“What the heck does that mean?” I thought. I had no clue what she was talking about. Give value? Well, I took her coaching and put forth my best effort in deciphering what I thought she meant. I started thinking about how I could, as my omnipotent coach said, “give value.”
A funny thing happened. I stopped talking and started listening more. I stopped pitching and presenting and started asking better questions. Since my coach didn’t share with me a strategy to give value, by default, I had to figure out and uncover what value meant to each prospect I spoke with. And the only way to uncover each prospect’s perception and definition of value, I needed to ask more questions.
Talk about one of those “Aha!” moments! My coach knew exactly what she was doing. Rather than deliver the same presentation or a revised presentation to every prospect, she opened up a new possibility for me to find out what value looked like from the eyes of every prospect rather than from my own. What evolved was a process of inquiry and a defined set of questions I used when meeting with each prospect.
You see, the gem I discovered very quickly when it came to selling my training and coaching services was totally counterintuitive. That is, you can’t sell coaching. Or at least not in the traditional sense of selling. Talk about your paradoxes.
Let me say this another way. Because coaching is about the investment in yourself and your own personal or professional development, the client has to be ready and willing to be coached.
Either you are ready to generate substantial unprecedented results both in your life and your career and are willing to be accountable, honest and do what is necessary (in your integrity of course) to achieve your goals or you are not.
Luckily, none of my early closing techniques worked on any of the prospects I saw thus far. Because if they did, then you can bet I would not only be working with less clients but clients that I would probably be much better off without. (If I didn’t ask questions, then how would I know if there’s a good fit?) Discovering this inspired me to develop an entirely different model that went against traditional selling.
I stopped trying to close and I started opening. The point I want to drive home is this; I’ve never had to close another sale again.
Excerpt from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Closing the Sale by Keith Rosen. Reprinted with permission by Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Release Date, January, 2007.
Photo credit: Jesslee Cuizon