The Floodgates of Sales

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The floodgates of sales are not what you will probably think that they are.
Like the floodgates of eloquence, where they -- the gates -- are opened and the viewer is overwhelmed by ...
a stream of words.
In sales you do not need a stream of words.
It is myth that only "the extraverted" are the best in closing a sale.
Why would it? Do you think that you can only persuade a prospect by a stream of words, by a constant flow of one-liners? No, in fact, the best sales is done by a continuous conversation, where you as the sales rep.
talks as much as the client does.
But what about the floodgates? Sales is a bidirectional process.
"You are not someone who is giving information behind a desk," was what I remembered a sales coach telling once.
In the sales process, on your way to closing the sale, you need a continuous check whether your (potential) client is still with you or lost in the stream of words.
The ultimate goal in a sales conversation (or presentation, demonstration, etc) is to convince a client to buy a product or service.
But before this, there are many steps in between that serve as a guide on your way.
And behind each step you should close "the floodgate," because for those minor contributions to the end-goal you want to be sure that you both agree.
You close a floodgate when you agree with a client about a certain preference.
For example, you can ask the prospect -- "Would you take a normal train to Madrid, or the high speed train that will require only half the time?" If you cannot agree on this issue, there is no point in continuing to the end.
But if there is you can close one floodgate and shake hands.
On your way in closing a sales there are many of these stages in which you need to stop the dialogue and show the client the panorama.
You know that there are still some floodgates to come, but if you do not have these continuous checks agreed by the prospect you will never make it to the finish.
Floodgates prevent that your sale escapes the very last moment and that you have to start all over again.
© 2006 Hans Bool
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