The ABCs of Cold Calling from Glengarry Glen Ross?
In one of the most memorable scenes in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Blake from Downtown reviews some cold calling basics, namely the ABC’s.
While Blake’s delivery is impressive, and the advice solid, he doesn’t actually give us a road map on how to Always Be Closing!
What does Always Be Closing actually mean and how can you implement this mind set in your own prospecting and sales?
What Does Always Be Closing Mean?
You might think that this cryptic sale phrase implies that a sales person should go around asking everyone they meet, as soon as they meet them, to close and just keep asking them to close during their entire presentation.
Of course, this view is entirely misguided and if anyone actually followed this wrong-headed idea they would smell of desperation and scare away all their prospects. Always be closing means that a cold calling agent or salesman should be thinking about closing a prospect with every move they make. This means that if you have the, always be closing, mindset then you will carefully select your clothes, car, presentation materials etc… The idea is to project the image of success and close a buyer on you!
In other words, a good salesman will always close prospects with their image and persona as it’s often said that people buy from people they like, and they buy the salesperson not the product.
Always Be Closing in Your Presentation
However, there is a deeper meaning to this sales slogan that apples to the way sales presentations are delivered whether over the phone or in a face-to-face meeting. The idea here is that a salesperson should be thinking and meditating about closing the sale starting from the presentation and moving all the way through the sales cycle.
A better way to understand this is to think about playing a game of chess. While a good chess player starts out with a closing or checkmate strategy at the opening of the game they may change directions several times throughout the game as it develops. In addition, a master chess player always stays focused on the end game plan but also keeps an eye out for the possibility of an unforeseen quick path to checkmate.
This means that the proper way to display the, always be closing, attitude is to remain flexible with your long-term closing strategy and keep an eye out for any urgent buying signs your prospect may reveal. You can also utilize trial closing statements at critical points during your presentation and throughout the entire sales cycle. This is the way to remain vigilant about the possibility of that a quick path to closing could develop at any time time that would allow you to short circuit the long-term sales cycle.
The Core Meaning of Always Be Closing!
Ultimately, this idea is simply meant to remind cold callers and salespeople to always remember to ask a prospect to buy! The buying cycle can go on forever as an inside sales rep can stay on the line with a prospect far too long or a salesman can continue following up on their sales leads endlessly if they never ask the prospect point blank to buy.
The truth is that it does take brass balls to ask a decision maker to close the deal, NOW! This difficulty probably comes from the simple fear of rejection or the fear of failure that most people exhibit. Also, prospects will rarely close themselves as they are looking for salespeople to take control of the sales process and show their confidence in their product or service by closing. Therefore, you must remember to tie off a sale by confidently asking them to sign on the line which is dotted and expecting them to say YES!
The tough motivational talk delivered by Blake in this iconic movie clip from Glengarry Glen Ross is still relevant today because the prospecting and sales game hasn’t change. So, it’s important to remember to A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing and Always Be Closing. You can display this strong closing mentality by making sure to sell yourself, look for any closing opportunity and always remember to ask for the order and close the sale! The sales game is a tough racquet and if you don’t want to be caught complaining about how you used to be a salesman then remember the ABC’s of cold calling and sales!