March 12, 2021
You’ve probably heard the phrase “always be closing,” popularized by the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross. Alec Baldwin’s brilliant cameo catapulted the phrase into sales infamy. If you’re in sales and you haven’t seen the flick, it’s a must-see, but be warned–it’s a pretty vulgar movie.
I’d like to expose the misinterpretation of the “always be closing” or ABC mindset that goes beyond the film and into the real world. Once your sales force shifts their perspective of “always be closing,” they can go from average reps to sales rock stars.
Firstly, this methodology has nothing to do with arrogance, pressure, or hardcore closing tactics, nor does it mean repeatedly asking for the sale until you’re getting thrown out or hung up on.
Instead of shaking their hand the moment someone enters the room for a face-to-face meeting, would you try to close by handing them a contract and a pen? Of course not! That would be ridiculous, and yet I regularly hear salespeople launch into calls with, “Are you looking for insurance today?” Or “Are you the decision maker?” That’s the equivalent of a car salesperson saying, “If I have it in stock, will you take it today?”
You cannot get a prospect to commit before you’ve assessed their needs, proven your expertise, established trust, and built value. Of course, you should qualify the sale, but when and how you ask is critical to success. You never want the prospect on the defensive–that’s how you lose sales.
As a leader, founder or executive in your company, you don’t want this approach resulting in lower conversions, higher cost per acquisition, low retention, less referrals, or a poor reflection on your brand.
I’d like to share my interpretation of “always be closing.” It’s an approach that I’ve used to successfully train sales reps for over a decade, and I do that by focusing on this definition.
Based on the above mentality, it’s not coincidental that a sales process includes several stages that intentionally move you towards the desired result: getting the prospect to “sign on the line which is dotted.”
Closing is not only asking for the sale; it’s the entire journey you take to get there. Therefore, in order to “always be closing,” you might want to look at my perspective and master the following five steps:
These five insights formulate the process of making a sale. Therefore, we can conclude that “always be closing” expresses that you should always be progressing towards gaining a customer.
As a leader it’s your responsibility to empower your sales force to achieve peak performance, but how? Let’s apply the ABC mindset to the following four areas.
I’ll close with this. According to Caliper Corp, 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to be successful. So, how do your reps measure up? Do they deserve the infamous Glengarry leads? If not, “put that coffee down” and get to work, because their success is your success.
If all the world's a stage, Rob Liano is front and center. A best-selling author, rockstar sales trainer, and dynamic speaker, Rob is a highly-respected sales strategist, consistently sought out for his groundbreaking telesales innovation.