Increasing Sales Performance Means Asking the Question to Close
There was a famous sales study from the 1970s done by Mutual of Omaha that you may have heard about. The set-up was this: they went to their home market in Omaha and targeted some folks who would be good customers for them. They picked about 1,000 people and said they’d give them insurance premiums (up to $500,000) for a year, but potential customers had to meet with Mutual’s salespeople in order to get this offer.
At the same time, they told 150 salespeople that there were 1,000 available leads. The whole transaction was contingent on the salespeople asking a specific closing question. Unless that question was asked, nothing was triggered. There would be no close. So, out of these 1,000 really good, vetted leads, what percentage do you think closed?
Around 7 percent. Only seventy out of 1,000 people!
Why? Because the salespeople weren’t asking a closing question. They left about 930 leads on the table simply because they didn’t land the plane. The fact is there’s no skill in closing. The sale has to come to a freaking end. The dice might not roll in your favor. You might get a no. But if you did your job and followed the Sales Playbook along the way, it’s just a matter of landing the airplane.
Always ask the prospect if they are in or out. I call this the Nike Close: just do it.
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