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Should salespeople be able to close most prospects?

I had a long showing today that didn't end up in a sale. I showed everything I had that matched what they wanted and they liked almost everything I showed them but nothing "grabbed" them.

Stepping back and looking at this objectively should I view this as (a.) I missed out on a sales because I lacked the skill to get them to buy one of the homes I showed them
(b.) I did everything I could to increase the chances of them buying - by realtor
Did they express any objections ? - by TonyB
Although you believe you showed them everything that "matched" what they wanted, did you find out what they were looking for that would "grab" them?

Have a "Fanta$tic" Future!
Stan Billue, CSP - by Stan Billue
I had a long showing today that didn't end up in a sale. I showed everything I had that matched what they wanted and they liked almost everything I showed them but nothing "grabbed" them.

Stepping back and looking at this objectively should I view this as (a.) I missed out on a sales because I lacked the skill to get them to buy one of the homes I showed them
(b.) I did everything I could to increase the chances of them buying
The real question here is were they 'really serious buyers' or were they 'serious lookers'.

Unless you uncovered why they needed to buy, and when they were going to make the decision so they could be IN their new house by a specific date, and what would happen if they did not achieve that....ALONG with everything the house needed to have that would get them to be "grabbed" --- maybe you only had a 'serious looker', not a buyer.

What were the problems that they were facing that caused 'needing to buy a house' in the first place? If they were not resolved, what would happen. - by Paulette Halpern
I showed everything I had that matched what they wanted and they liked almost everything I showed them but nothing "grabbed" them.
Two points you might seriously take time to consider, based on your statement above:

1) They can't buy everything you have.

2) They wanted something that would "grab" them. If that's the condition, it's your job to find out what it is that would grab them. You did not match what they wanted. They wanted to be grabbed. There is no evidence that you lacked the skill to get them to buy. Apparently you lacked the skill to find out what they really wanted. When you can do that, "closing" is so easy that it becomes almost invisible. - by Ace Coldiron
I had a long showing today that didn't end up in a sale. I showed everything I had that matched what they wanted and they liked almost everything I showed them but nothing "grabbed" them.

Stepping back and looking at this objectively should I view this as (a.) I missed out on a sales because I lacked the skill to get them to buy one of the homes I showed them
(b.) I did everything I could to increase the chances of them buying
Now whose word is "grabbed" them? Theirs or yours?

Did they say they were done shopping?

What kind of questions did you ask them to both qualify them and match up what they want with what you have?

I don't see this as a lost sale at all. It just may be taking it's natural course in their buying style. - by patweber
In a way, I look at sales as a doctor. Just because patients don't take my suggested course of remedy, I didn't fail as a doctor.

Just because prospects don't want what I offer, I don't fail. It's just part of life, I think.

Maybe you can develop a better system to qualify prospects, so you meet only wildly committed prospects (as opposed to mildly interested ones).

Thoughts?

BD - by Bald Dog
Realtor, it seems to me that your expectations are out of whack. After all, even a "superstar SR" will never close every prospect (and probably wouldn't imagine it could happen for them).

To put my commentary into perspective:
1. I've been in B2B sales and sales management for 30 + yrs:
2. My wife has been extremely successful in selling real estate for shy of 20 yrs.

Your observation is telling: "Stepping back and looking at this objectively should I view this as
(a.) I missed out on a sales because I lacked the skill to get them to buy one of the homes I showed them
(b.) I did everything I could to increase the chances of them buying"

Firstly, you shouldn't assume that there is a skill, "to get them to buy one of the homes I showed them". Rather, you need to focus on identifying the client's wish-list (ie. what are the absolute, drop-dead features which will motivate you to buy?), their timing, their financial situation, etc. Without this in-hand (agreed upon by the parties), clearly, you weren't in a position to ask for their business.

Secondly, it should be pointed out that you probably didn't "miss out on a sale" because without some real effort spent qualifying, you're probably dealing with tire-kickers (suspects).

It appears evident that you need to adjust your expectations, so, that more time is spent developping the front-end.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
We need more information to discern what occurred. However every sale must be looked at as a learning experience not a method in self destruction.

Drew Stevens
Split Second Selling - by Drew Stevens
I agree with Stan. Apparently, the prospect had some buying criteria which you weren't aware of...now you need to quantify what that something is, i.e., "what is it your looking for in a house that would make it "grab" you?"

Or, it's possible that this "didn't grab us" objection was a false objection and there's some other need/desire that was not met.

Questions that come to mind:

- What are they picturing in their minds' eye that is different than what you showed them?
- Are they working with another agent?
- Are they prequalified financially? - by Skip Anderson
The questions you should ask your self are:
1 - Was the buyer motivated to buy? If yes, explain. Your initial question to a buyer should be something like,"So how come you're looking for a house?" See what they say and this will indicate motivation. Don't assume they are motivated because they show up. The follow-up question to that is then, if you had a magic wand what would you do about this situation ... and/or ... what does the perfect house look like to you.

These two questions will let you see if you have someone with a problem that wants to do something about it. If so, you have to determine if you have the inventory to provide what they (he and she) want. If so, move to part two.

2- Did you ask what they (he and she) wanted? Did you ask each to explain what they meant by each desire, i.e. what do you mean by a big back yard, or what does a comfortable living room look like to you, ... Let them tell you to explain in detail what each desire looks like to them.

3- Did you show them exactly what they wanted and explained with numbers and details how it fit their desires. And then did you ask, "How do you feel about what I just showed you?" Not what did you think - feel is the key word. - by Sam Manfer
Two points you might seriously take time to consider, based on your statement above:

1) They can't buy everything you have.

2) They wanted something that would "grab" them. If that's the condition, it's your job to find out what it is that would grab them. You did not match what they wanted. They wanted to be grabbed. There is no evidence that you lacked the skill to get them to buy. Apparently you lacked the skill to find out what they really wanted. When you can do that, "closing" is so easy that it becomes almost invisible.
I just finished showing this couple homes again this morning and between yesterday and today I have asked every question that has been presented in this discussion and more.

Lucky for my mental health one of the sales managers was around today. After hearing the prospect's answers to my questions she pulled me aside and told me to cut them loose that they weren't ready to buy. - by realtor
Lucky for my mental health one of the sales managers was around today. After hearing the prospect's answers to my questions she pulled me aside and told me to cut them loose that they weren't ready to buy.
How did you feel about that? Did the sales manager offer you her reasons for making that determination that you apparently decided to act upon? If so, could you share her observations here? Also, could she have been wrong, in your opinion? - by Ace Coldiron
How did you feel about that? Did the sales manager offer you her reasons for making that determination that you apparently decided to act upon? If so,

could you share her observations here? Also, could she have been wrong, in your opinion?
I took as many notes as I could but I wish I would have had a tape recorder because everything she was saying was so good. She is the Queen around here when it comes to selling to buyers. She sold a home this morning in less than an hour. She said they weren't ready and I believe her.

One of the examples she told me was a story about a woman who visits a clothes store in search of a shirt. She has a good idea of what she wants which is a short sleeve navy blue v-neck. The salesperson brings out a navy blue v-neck with short sleeves but the woman doesn't like it. The salesperson asks what she didn't like about it and the woman says she doesn't know exactly but it doesn't grab her and that she would like to see the rest of what's available in navy blue v-necks with short sleeves. The salesperson asks if she has something specific in mind and the woman says she'll know it when she sees it.

My sales manager said the people I showed homes to were like the woman in the story. When it comes down to making a decision there are 'intangibles' involved that typical sales questioning won't uncover because the buyer hasn't figured out their own criteria, variables or answers and in my case I was better off cutting them loose today and reconnecting with them once they are farther along in the sales cycle. - by realtor
I took as many notes as I could but I wish I would have had a tape recorder because everything she was saying was so good. She is the Queen around here when it comes to selling to buyers. She sold a home this morning in less than an hour. She said they weren't ready and I believe her.

One of the examples she told me was a story about a woman who visits a clothes store in search of a shirt. She has a good idea of what she wants which is a short sleeve navy blue v-neck. The salesperson brings out a navy blue v-neck with short sleeves but the woman doesn't like it. The salesperson asks what she didn't like about it and the woman says she doesn't know exactly but it doesn't grab her and that she would like to see the rest of what's available in navy blue v-necks with short sleeves. The salesperson asks if she has something specific in mind and the woman says she'll know it when she sees it.

My sales manager said the people I showed homes to were like the woman in the story. When it comes down to making a decision there are 'intangibles' involved that typical sales questioning won't uncover because the buyer hasn't figured out their own criteria, variables or answers and in my case I was better off cutting them loose today and reconnecting with them once they are farther along in the sales cycle.
Based on my own experiences in such matters, I think your sales manager showed good insight. - by Ace Coldiron
One of the examples she told me was a story about a woman who visits a clothes store in search of a shirt. She has a good idea of what she wants which is a short sleeve navy blue v-neck. The salesperson brings out a navy blue v-neck with short sleeves but the woman doesn't like it. The salesperson asks what she didn't like about it and the woman says she doesn't know exactly but it doesn't grab her and that she would like to see the rest of what's available in navy blue v-necks with short sleeves. The salesperson asks if she has something specific in mind and the woman says she'll know it when she sees it.

My sales manager said the people I showed homes to were like the woman in the story. When it comes down to making a decision there are 'intangibles' involved that typical sales questioning won't uncover because the buyer hasn't figured out their own criteria, variables or answers and in my case I was better off cutting them loose today and reconnecting with them once they are farther along in the sales cycle.
The section of the post above that I highlighted in green resembles "Buying Facilitation", developed by Sharon Drew Morgen.

For decades Sharon Drew Morgen has been bringing this message of decision making to the attention of sales professionals and the global sales community. I strongly recommend that everyone interested in taking their sales performance to another level incorporate "Buying Facilitation" into their personal selling skills.

"As a result of understanding that buyers need at least as much help aligning their (relevant) internal decisions with their problem resolution, I developed Buying Facilitation; it gives us sellers a new tool kit to help buyers manage the hidden, unique, and sometimes unconscious, decisions they need to make before they decide to buy. Indeed, until they come up with their own answers, they take no action." -Sharon Drew Morgen
To learn more about "Buying Faciliation" visit Sharon Drew's website at: http://newsalesparadigm.com/ - by Jeff Blackwell
Hi Everyone:

I must admit it touches my heart that some of you understand that without buyers making a buying decision, no sale takes place. I've been advocating that, and developing models for sellers to help buyers decide, for decades.

I'd like to briefly say something about how buyers decide,and possibly put to rest the confusion between sales and decisioning. Sales is based on gathering/understanding needs and product placement. We've spent centuries discovering the best ways to help buyers understand our product and helping sales people understand buyers. Yet this is only half of the equation.

What we have never been taught to do is to manage what happens when buyers say "I'll call you back" and then go away and......... and... and do WHAT? Indeed, we don't know. We just have to wait (and wait and wait....) until they call us back. Sales has never known how to manage this end of the buying cycle, because it involved a mysterious decision making process that buyers go through on their own, using their own unique, and hidden, process.

But here is what they do: before they can make a change, do anything different, add something new, etc. they must make sure that the entire range of people, policies, relationships, rules, etc. (i.e. the system the buyer lives in) buy-in to adding something new to what they are already doing. Make no mistake: there is some sort of work-around happening that sits in the place of your product (For people purchasing a house, they are living in one and have a roof over their heads so don't need to decide immediately; for software sales, for example, there are programming work-arounds.). Whatever it is, it has 'worked', and if buyers truly had an immediate need they would have made a purchase already.

So buyers have to recognize and manage all of the internal issues that need to take place BEFORE they'll make a purchasing decision. But here is the tricky concept for sales people: an outsider will never, ever understand what is going on behind closed doors. We may know everyone on the decision team (and even that is a stretch); we may understand the need; our product may be a perfect, perfect fit (but we've all lost sales in which that's true). But we will never understand old relationship issues, or relevant policy issues, or old vendor/partner issues. And until those are managed, no change will happen and no decision to purchase will occur.

I have actually developed a system that sellers use to teach buyers how to manage all of their internal issues, while putting the seller onto the Buying Decision Team from the first call. It's not sales, however, and it's necessary to think a whole different way about what sales is. - by Sharon Drew Morgen
I just finished showing this couple homes again this morning and between yesterday and today I have asked every question that has been presented in this discussion and more.
You didn't answer my question ... did they raise any objections ?

Objections are buying signs. No objections probably means they are "just looking".

It is very easy to waste lots of time with poor qualification. - by TonyB
You didn't answer my question ... did they raise any objections ?

Objections are buying signs. No objections probably means they are "just looking".

It is very easy to waste lots of time with poor qualification.
There were things about each home that they liked and disliked like the color of the carpet but nothing major. - by realtor
I wish I had more information but I do have a few comments.

Were you showing them thing that are important to you... instead of things that are important to them?

Were they qualified?

Your post got my attention because you are serious about your profession. You did a "Lost Order" report in your mind and you asked if you... "lacked the skill to get them to buy". I've been doing this for a long time and never read "I was outsold" or "I need to improve my skills" on any Lost Order Report. I congratulate you for your honesty and your search for the truth.

Keep questioning and improving. You will go far in sales.thmbp2;

Nick Moreno - by Sales Training Coach
I would only say that I wouldn't just cut this couple loose. They may not be ready to buy now but if they are taking the time to go see these houses they are probably "close" in some respect to pulling the trigger. You should make sure that you are the first person they think of when they find the right house. Perhaps keep in touch with emails and listings.

Take some time off from them and let it smoulder for a few months and them hit them back with the best listings at that time. - by Thufir
Realtor
Sales people should be able to close most prospects, but not necessarily on their first / second meeting. What I mean by that is, not everyone you speak to in a sales situation is in a 'buying today' position. As other posts have indicated if customers haven't satisfied their own decision making criteria, then they are highly unlikely to buy now, but that doesn't mean 'never'.
So what the sales person needs to do is to make sure that they are the first person the prospect thinks of, when they are in a buying position. - by marky
Based on automotive sales experience.

Fact 1: 80% of people who enter a dealership will buy within next 3 days.

Fact 2: People fall into 1 of 4 behavioral styles. (DISC or whatever behavioral style you choose to use.. All realitively the same) The national sales average for closing is 25%.

Fact 3: Most sales people do not differentiate between the 4 behavioral styles.

Is it possible for a salesperson to close most prospects? Yes. If a person has shown intrest and starts looking at products they are on verge of making a purchase 80% of the time. However since all that is hammered into a sales person with all the training is the Sales process, and sticking to the basics, most sales people fail to recognize the different behavioral styles and a majority of the time use the wrong approach and closes on the customer.

As you can tell the behavioral styles vary differently in how they act and respond to certain situations. For example:
The Ben Franklin Close (Pros and Cons of purchasing) is ideal to use for the C personality but would be completely in-effective with the I personality style.

The Jones Theory (Mr./Mrs. Jones just purchased this bcs... Everyone is doing it) isnt as effective with the D personality but extremely powerful when used against the I personality.

Quick Guide for dealing with the 4 personalities.

D's: Result oriented. Don't prolong the process but do NOT short cut it either. Maintain a complete professional relationship without trying to become to friendly with them. Show them the product does what they NEED it to and don't get lost in to many details that the consumer isnt intrested in.

I's: Let them do the talking. Most will try to impress you with their knowledge. Stroke their ego and NEVER correct them directly. Chances are they are purchasing the product as a status symbol. Continously compliment their choice of product and ensure to mention any awards the product may have recieved.

S's: They are seeking security. Be sure to bring up warranties and guarantees with the vehicle. Focus on the dependability of the product, of yourself and the company.

C's: Give direct and precise answers. Do not try to hide anything from them and be sure to weigh the pro's and con's of purchasing the product. The more details the consumer has, the more informed the consumer feels and information is vital for his decision making process. They are terrified of making a bad or uninformed decision.

**Expanded from information recieved by Henry Pellerin
- by jrboyd
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