It’s been a while since my last post. Thanks for being patient and waiting for this one!
I was at an all-day conference for women on Wednesday presenting on “Making The Sale”.
What gives me the right to talk about sales? Let me explain. Many of my clients are people with a technical background – scientists, engineers, accountants – who need to develop their ability to influence when their company takes that challenging step to the next level. One urgent need is to know how to sell effectively, especially to potential investors. Hence my having gone to considerable effort to develop a sales process I can demonstrate.
In the past, a director of a scientific NGO was perplexed and surprised at how rapidly he had agreed to work with me. It had taken me approximately one hour to get him to sign on the dotted line! You see he normally took weeks of mulling things over and dithering so he was very surprised at his own resolve and certainty. When I explained how I’d done it, he insisted on getting me to teach it to him and his staff!
At the conference on Wednesday, I asked how many of the 50 women liked selling. 3 ladies put their hands up. I asked them to stand so we could applaud them. After they sat and I told the assembled company that by the end of my presentation, I hoped that all the audience would be on their feet clapping.
I demonstrated my favourite process using pictures rather than text (as always, slides are there to illustrate your talk, not to inform the audience). I got really excited when it came to sharing what happens at the Close of the sale.
I’ve always seen the Close as helping my prospect over the threshold. In ancient folklore, the threshold is profoundly significant, according to Yahoo Answers: –
“Symbolically, a threshold marks the boundary between a household and the outer world, and hence between belonging and not-belonging, and between safety and danger. Guarding the doorway is an important aspect of magical house protection, which can involve the threshold. In Tudor and Stuart times this (rather than the door itself) was the usual place to fix horseshoes, and in some cases the threshold itself was an iron slab (C. F. Tebbutt, Folklore 91 (1980), 240). Later, there was a custom in some areas of making patterns on well-scrubbed doorsteps, which some people regarded as simply s decorative, but others as defensive.”
So helping my prospect from “danger to safety”, from “not-belonging to belonging”. (The use of iron was a protection against witchcraft).
At that moment in the presentation I suddenly realised the profound symbolism of carrying the bride over the threshold. A bridegroom has respect and reverence for his bride. He demonstrates his commitment to cherish and take care of her. He shows her that she now belongs with him.
Similarly, I hope to convey to my prospect the respect and concern behind my intention. The equivalent to lifting them over the uncertainty of “Maybe” onto safe ground of the “Yes”.
By the end of the presentation when I asked again how many ladies liked selling, they all stood up and we clapped each other!