Sales Coach: Always Be Helping

365px-john_woodenI’ve closed a number of deals, sales, customers, etc. over my career, but I’ve rarely “closed” anyone.

Instead of worrying about closing, I work hard to be abundantly helpful, transparent, and responsive.

Closing puts the sales rep at the center of the process. Helping puts the prospect at the center of the process, where she should be.

If you run a clean sales process, provide value to the prospect, and establish a relationship built on trust, then deals will close (or not) as a function of the process and the product.

Sometimes you might need to give prospects a little nudge or an incentive, but only at very specific steps and never with oppressive “closing” pressure.

If your sales process were graphed as a time series, it might look like this:

Helping is always at 100. Closing happens at very specific stages of the process in order to move it forward:

  • You’ll need to sell the prospect on the demo, but then frame the demo around her problems and process.
  • You absolutely should ask for the sale, but then help the prospect get the deal pushed through.
  • And then you might need to nudge a time or two to get the deal signed.

Always be helping.  If you’re always closing, then you might be doing it wrong.


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