Going “over the line” in sales means you will be kicked out of a business or have an abrupt end to a phone conversation. Everyone agrees this is a bad thing; you don’t want to cross that line. However, today I’d like to explain why you SHOULD cross the line in sales!
As children, we all learned not to cross the line set by the adults in our lives – parents, grandparents, etc. When I was told to go to my room, I knew I was in trouble because I crossed the line! How did we know where the line was? We knew where the line was because we crossed it! Right away you got some negative feedback and knew that’s where the line was.
There is a psychological problem which many sales people have; they don’t want to cross the line. No one wants to be too pushy. Fifteen years ago, when I first got into sales, most sales people with whom I interacted were constantly crossing the line. Today I’m amazed that I never hear of or talk to sales people who cross the line. I find that the opposite extreme is the problem now; sales people don’t even know where the line is. They feel like they are right on the edge, but the edge is actually ten miles away!
Although I’m not suggesting that you should constantly push people over the line, there is one sense in which you SHOULD cross the line. Here is my challenge to you: on your next sales call decide to walk into the business knowing that you are either going to get the “yes” or get kicked out. Don’t leave there without the sale. For most of you that would be a terrifying thing.
My first day in merchant services, I had three appointments which the company had scheduled through telemarketing. They were terrible prospects, but they were still leads. The first place was a barber shop doing about $1,000 a month in credit card processing. For those of you who understand the industry, you know that isn’t much of a sale. I talked to this barber for thirty minutes, but he wasn’t interested. My next stop was a bike shop – a little, tiny bike shop. It was a long-time business whose owner was probably ninety years old. I had decided before pulling into the shop that I must find out where the line was; I knew I would walk out with a sale or walk out because I was kicked out. I stayed with the poor guy for probably more than two hours, looked at his statement, and was relentless. I had to apologize and back up a few times when I stepped on the line. However, I DID get the sale. It was the first sale I ever made in credit card processing. Now I knew I could push harder with everyone else because I knew where the line was.
You could probably be closing seven or eight times more than you are. If someone tells you “no,” do you simply say, “Okay, thanks for your time”? That’s NOT a sales professional! Are you an order taker? CLOSE DEALS. When prospects say “no,” you close again. When they say “no” again, you close again. Then when they say “no” again, become personal with this kind of response, “Hey, I’m not trying to be difficult here, but this is my business. It really matters to me. I believe I can do a good job for you and want the opportunity to earn your trust. Please give me that chance. Would you at least give me a shot?” You must use these kinds of lines and push for the sale. Probably 99% of you who are reading this have never “crossed the line” in sales. You have no idea where the line is until you’ve crossed it. Let me encourage you to decide on your next stop or phone call that you’re going to get the sale or get kicked out. Push harder to make sure you are closing deals; that is what sales people do.
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