The Most Important Skill Before The Close


(By Loyd Ford) So much in sales focuses on closing. Are you a great closer? How are your closing skills?

We’re looking for a closer.

Coffee is for closers.

But what about Sun Tzu? “The race is often won before the first shot is fired.”

Let’s talk about opening relationships.

The real prospectors know that one of the true master keys to selling well starts with your skills in opening relationships.

I was in a conversation with former Cumulus Media Dallas director of sales and now sales consultant Alec Drake this week when he began talking about how the really good prospectors today get in front of a prospect 18 – 20 times, but he also shared that it is incredibly important that your content is correct should they want to hear your story.

This isn’t old school leave a voice mail and check that off as a contact. This is the skill of appearing valuable rapidly and staying consistent in your approach so that you capture the valuable attention of the decision-maker. Anyone in sales knows this has become more challenging across time – not less.

If you want to be a seller that is closing more sales today, you must become more highly skilled at differentiation. If you read my columns, you know I talk about the value of positively separating yourself from ‘the others’ often. That’s because doing this effectively will mean you will walk through more open doors to generate those relationship openings. That means you will have the opportunity to close more accounts than your clever competition.

If you want to open more relationships, you want more self-discipline. If you want to open more relationships, set aside the time, the attention, and the energy to prospect every single day.

How Smart Sellers Do It
Smart sellers know the health of their pipeline depends on their consistent care and feeding of their pipeline so that they grow their sphere of influence.

Everyone wants respect. In today’s world, that means getting to the point of communication rapidly, and bringing content that is interesting by explaining how you can create value for the prospect and their organization now.

As we have previously discussed in articles, the consultative approach is highly recommended by us because this approach generates the most potential trust. Always bring value. This should be well thought out and true in any related contact you have with a prospect. Some of that value you must learn to give away and some of that value must be held to sell your clients.

The better your relationship planning is, the better the results will follow. This often means using more time to prep than you might to do the actual selling.

Think of opening and closing as the most critical moments in your selling. It’s kind of like flying. Staying on a path up in the air is easier and less dangerous than achieving flight and landing safely. If you learn how to do both relationship opening and closing better, you will be amazed at how your sales will soar.

Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. If you’re on the Clubhouse app, you can join Loyd’s radio pro encouragement group “The Encouragers.” Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected].


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