Are you ready to learn how to close the sale? Let me make a few comments before we begin this section on closing the sale. Some of the authors out there, actually many of them; they say that if you’re unsuccessful during a close, if you don’t make the sale, well that’s not really a measure of your worth. Well, I think that’s bunk. You practice and practice and practice anything you do all day long, every day. You should be damn good at it. And if you’re a salesperson, if this is how you make your living, you should be damn good at it. You should make closes. And you shouldn’t shrug it off if you fail in the close, or if the buyer doesn’t buy.
Even though you may have succeeded wonderfully in getting the sale, this is a big deal to you. This is not something that you should not approach without passion. Closing the sale is a quantitative measure of your worth. It puts points on the scoreboard. If you receive a check at the end of the close, that means you make money and you can buy those things, you can provide for your family, you can fulfill those dreams that we all have.
You can go through your sales life closing people, closing entities, and never making a sale, but making a whole bunch of friends. Well, that’s not what we want. We’re here to make money. To make our dreams come true. To better our lives and to make us happier, and you’re not going to be happier if you blow closes one right after the other. This is actually something that is probably the most important thing that you can do during any sales period of time; during a day, during a half hour, during a year if it’s that type of sale that you do.
My star sellers treat every close as if it were the last close they would ever have the opportunity to do. As do I, this must be that important to you. You must treat every close as though it were the last one that you’ll have any opportunity to make any money for the rest of your life. And if you get upset because you weren’t successful during the close, that’s fine and well. A warning: Don’t ever get in a dichotomy with your client or with your potential buyer. Irrespective, he may lie to you, he may have not been entirely truthful with you, he may come up at the end and say, well I told you I can buy it, but I really don’t have the authority, whatever the circumstance, internalize it. Bid him good day. Tell him to have a nice life. Hang up the phone. And then have a tantrum if you must.
But you must have the passion. You must have the commitment to. Every time that you engage in a close, it has to be one of the most serious things in your life, each and every time. This is, once again, a quantitative measure of your worth as a salesman. All the work you’ve put into this so far; working on your persona, your PPP, developing new business leads, setting appointments, doing the qualifying, making sure that the fellow that you are talking to, you want to do business with. All of those factors are culminating in the close. So let’s learn how to do it properly.
I’m going to tell you right up front as we plan this, you must plan to be a mental step ahead of your client all of time. So with that in mind, let’s go in – I’m going to explain to you a proper close, what it is, and how to do it.
The final step in the sales process is, of course, the close. Your close may involve several meetings or telephone conferences or product demonstrations, the length and the character of your close as we’ve said will be dictated by the type of product that you sell and the industry to which you sell.
Nevertheless, our primary goal – and listen up here – our primary goal during the close is to sell our product to the prospect as quickly as can be done reasonably. In the sales world, time is your enemy. Obviously, some products require more time to close than others. Some prospects take longer to close than others, such as the type that requires the multilevel approval process, and those that are familiar with it. However, the principles which star sellers follow work for any product and any prospect.
As I mentioned earlier, I will not try to give you a script. That’s ridiculous. I will, however, teach you the principles to design an effective close for your product and your prospects. An expert close requires meticulous planning.
Okay. Let’s first define the close. The close in our context is a continuation of the process of selling that begins after the cold call. We will have determined during the cold call our prospect has already agreed that he needs our product and can buy; however, he’s not agreed that he will buy. He’s agreed that he can. It’s at this point the close begins.
The close has an opening, a body, and an end, just like everything else. We must first view the end of the close, however, to plan the beginning and the middle. The close must always end – and make note here – I said the close must always end, and it must end in a purchase by your prospect or a rejection of the purchase. Our job is to bring about resolution as expeditiously as possible. A close must be planned and conducted to bring about resolution of the sales process. Either the prospect is going to purchase or he will reject the purchase. In our view, those are the only two acceptable conclusions to the close, which culminates the entire sales process. We must obtain one of those resolutions within the time parameters we plan before the close begins. Whether your product or industry requires one hour or one year for a sale, define the time that you will devote to the close, and when time is expired, bring it to a resolution. And these time parameters, they must be set in stone before you begin the close.
How long have you been in sales? Surely, you’ve heard that 20% of a given sales force makes 80% of the sales and 80% of the sales people on the same sales force make the remaining 20% of the sales. Well, statistically, that’s true. But more importantly, the reason for this phenomena is that 80% of the sales force does not end the sales process. They spend 80% of their time “wishing in” the sale. I’ll explain. Upon conducting a sales presentation, all the way up to the point of resolution, the ineffective salesperson does one of two things. And I said the “ineffective” salesperson. (1) They do not ask for the order. A ton of money is lying on tables everywhere because nobody asked for it; or (2) they accept an unreasonable excuse from the prospect that requires more time or a continuation of the sales process. And remember, I said in the sales world, time is your worst enemy. That is a truism. The salesperson does not want to lose the sale, so he acquiesces. It is right then and there that the beautiful blue sales sky begins to cloud up, and the tremendous toll on intellectual and emotional energy begins. The salesperson begins to “wish” the prospect into purchasing. He spends hours a day in bursts of a few minutes at a time thinking about the prospect or prospects that are still hanging out there. He thinks of how his commission will be affected. He wonders that the prospect was truthful with him during the sales process. He wonders if he should call the prospect again today or wait until tomorrow. Does that sound familiar? He frets about what the prospect is thinking and so on and so on and so on. This convoluted human defense mechanism that kicks in to avoid rejection befalls the majority of sales people at some time in their career, and is desperately counterproductive.
Additionally, the more time that goes by between the end of the close and the resolution of the sales process, either purchase or no purchase, the worst the subconscious effect on the salesperson. Your time will always be better spent developing new business your way, rather than chasing a non-committal prospect. You will be more productive, you’ll make more sales, make more money, and be much happier if you will plan the time reasonably necessary to sell your product and bring the sales process to a stop when the time is expired. I’ve experienced this phenomena myself early in my career, and I’ve worked with hundreds of other salespeople who have succumbed to wishing in prospects. Ninety-five percent of the time, the time spent wishing in a prospect is a 100% waste of time. Don’t do it, and if you practice it now, let’s stop it. Now we know how our close will end. That’s the end of the close. Either sale or no sale, but definitely no maybes.
Now, let’s return to the beginning. We will begin planning your close. The opening of any close should revolve around, and your opening statements will be authored to contain (1) How your product can and will profit the prospect; (2) the prospects needed for your product. Many times profit to your prospect is need enough. Keep that in mind; and (3) your strongest competitive edges. As we plan the close, it is again most important to know before the close begins what you will say and what your prospect could say, and how you will respond to what he could say at any point during the close. Plan to use your persona – very, very necessary. Take as much time as you need right now to write down the ideal sales message that you would deliver to your prospect through your persona, whether that message is a paragraph or a short book; however, keep it as simple as possible. Only those competitive edges that align with the prospect’s needs and potential for profit should be included. Now let’s pause here.
And as you develop this message, reverse the roles and deliver the close to yourself as the prospect. We’ve done this before. You should be an old hand at it by now. Along the way, determine each point the prospect may voice a reasonable question or concern. Plan, plan, plan. Plan the points during this message – the message of the close, where you will state and restate your product’s competitive edges. Plan the points at which you will state the prospect’s need for your product, and how he will profit from it.
A very effective, and I believe fun exercise is to chart your close. It’s very effective. Find a chalkboard or a whiteboard, or even a large piece of paper, and chart your close, scribing your statements and your prospect’s probably responses. Draw a picture charting the course of your close. Your close may take one of many forms in terms of your chart. A few of my star sellers came from the computer programming field. They would formally flow chart their closes. If you have that ability, that’s great, and I recommend it. If not, choose another method.
I once hired a cartoon animator to be a salesman. This fellow drew his closes using cartoon characters in a series of scenes depicting the course of the close. His statements and the probable responses of the prospects were captioned in those little cartoon clouds over the respective heads of the characters. If you can do that, use it. My personal favorite is to draw a crewed highway representing the way I would navigate the close. I don’t have any artistic abilities. I then draw billboards along the highway which contain the statements of competitive edges, profit to the prospect, and his need for my product. My close highway has exits representing and denoting prospect questions and concerns, and objections. This helps me tremendously plan my close and what might happen during the close. As the prospect and I proceed down the close highway, should the prospect unexpectedly take an exit, my job is to use my predetermined replies that I’ve already planned, and address his questions or objections or concerns, and then return him to my close highway.
Put together a scenario. Take the time to write down once again what you will say and how you will say it utilizing your persona. Our primary task is to devise a close by systematically educating your prospect with regard to the competitive edges of your product and how it fills his needs and how, if properly used in his business will profit him. Once again, and I’m going to say this many times during this close section. You must know what you will say, and in each case how your prospect might respond. Consciously, and with extreme intention, design your responses to further the sale. And by this, I mean each time you design a response, ensure that it’s going to be delivered with your maximum persona. Include a restatement of the competitive edge important to this prospect for a profit to this prospect and/or the prospect’s need for your product. This type of planning, while time consuming, is extremely simple, and it makes the difference between a selling star and a mediocre salesman.
Make it a fun thing. Devise your own charting. Use whatever skills you may have with respect to depicting your close, but if, as I, you have limited psychomotor skills, and you cannot draw a chart or a picture representing the course of your close, simply write the statements and questions in a legible comprehensive form.
Basics, basics, basics. In its most basic form, a close is, you say something, the prospect says something. You say something, and the prospect says something, and then you ask him to buy. Knowing what you will say, and anticipating what the prospect will say will polish your sales ability to an absolute brilliance. As you open your close to reiterate, always open with a positive statement containing competitive edges, profit to the prospect, and need fulfillment. That is to gain his interest. Also, within the same positive statement, be directive, especially if you’re operating from visuals. That is to say, do you see that Jim, or turn to this page Jim, or do you understand this, are you with me Jim? Those sorts of directive statements are very important. It creates the involvement of your prospect.
You will, during the opening of your close, set the premise for the body of your close. You are going to make very strong statements in your opening that you must support during the body. The body of the close is dedicated to presenting facts and support for the statements you made during your opening. In other words, proving to the prospect your product fills his needs and can translate to a profit for him. Your goal during the body of the close is to convince your prospect your product fills his needs, and if his needs are fulfilled and he properly uses this product in his business, he will profit. The “how” to accomplish this goal is to convey a limited amount of your knowledge to your prospect, while maximizing your persona. And I say convey a limited amount of your product knowledge because you do not want to tell him everything you know about your product. And he doesn’t want to know everything that you know either. If you try to tell them everything you know, you will bore him and lose his attention. However, should he ask you, you have the knowledge at hand to answer any technical question he could pose.
Keep the close exciting by talking about and emphasizing the strongest competitive edges of your product that most efficiently fill his needs. If you have them, include examples of the successes other prospects have enjoyed because they bought your product. Such examples are extremely powerful. But if you don’t have such examples, don’t despair. The close as designed here works anyway.
Plan a sequence of events comprising your opening, the body, and the end of our close. Reference the ideal message you composed earlier. Divide your ideal sales message into an opening, a middle, and an end. Make note of the points along the way that give rise to the questions, concerns or objections of the prospect. And I know I’ve probably said that 50 times during this portion, but it’s absolutely necessary. As I said, it makes the difference.
Again, reverse the roles. Estimate the verbiage of the prospect’s possible questions, concerns or objections and develop responses that further the sale by including in your reply a strong competitive edge, statement of profit to the prospect; or, that’s right, filling the needs of the prospect. Reply as appropriate and return to your ideal message. Answer his question, and then resume the sequence of your message. Get him back on the road to a sale. Don’t follow the prospect into sidebar conversations that are not going to result in a sale for you. Do not wait for approval of your reply from the prospect. Assume your reply is always more than adequate, which in most cases 90% of the time it will be, and then move on. Remember, our objective is to reach the end of your close, and the end of the close is designed to reach a decision from the buyer. Either buy or don’t buy. Remember, no maybes.
A principle requirement that so many salespeople fail is to accomplish. Fail to accomplish is to ask the buyer or tell the buyer to buy. Don’t wait for him to volunteer to purchase. I have heard literally hundreds and hundreds of sales conversations where both prospect and salesperson converse and chat and talk until everybody’s comfortable, so that the salesperson can ask or direct to buy. That’s a huge mistake. Designate certain points along the way in your close where you will ask the prospect to buy, even if it feels inappropriate at the time. It’s your job to pose the question or direction for him to purchase.
If his initial answer is yes, well then don’t hesitate nor jump at completing the appropriate paperwork or purchase orders or shipping codes. Maintain your composure and reassure your new customer he’s made a good decision. However, if his first answer is a non-yes – yes, and that’s my term – non-yes, such as, I want to think about it, or I want to ask some third party’s opinion, or anything other than a yes or a no. Put on your Indiana Jones hat because it’s time to go exploring. Always allow ample time when initially planning your close for the exploration we are about to delve into. The majority of the lost sales – the ones left lying on the table at the very point of the first prospect answer, could have been saved. The selling stars are the ones who explore for the reasonableness of a non-yes response and turn the knowledge they gain during this exploration to their advantage and convert a non-yes into a yes using the prospect’s help. At this point of the first non-yes, the prospect has not yet been sold. If he’d been sold, he’d be writing the check or signing the purchase order. Well, why hasn’t he been sold? We used our best persona. We talked about competitive edges. We talked about profits and need fulfillments. Well why hasn’t he been sold? That’s the question. We must explore as to why he has not been sold, even given all of our efforts, and as we explore, we must continue selling.
Let’s get into the nitti gritty. I just love this stuff. This exploration requires continuation of your pose and your tact. Don’t flinch at the first non-yes. We are exploring for reasonableness of why the prospect did not say yes to the purchase the first time we asked him to buy. It may be necessary to ask him or direct him numerous times during the close to buy. It’s also very rare that a prospect will go through the sales process and give you a flat no without an excuse or a reason. After all, in the very beginning, he agreed he had a need and could buy your product. Once again, he didn’t agree that he would buy your product. He agreed that he could. You demonstrated the competitive edges to him through your close. You explained how your product fills his needs and if he uses it properly in his business, it will result in a profit to him. So it doesn’t make sense that he would reject the purchase. So we must explore as to why he would reject the purchase.
The “how to” of the exploration for reasonableness begins with you. As I said, don’t flinch at the first non-yes. Don’t be angered, and don’t show disappointment. Maintain your persona. A cardinal rule at this point is to stay on his side. Avoid a dictatomy. Explore the reasonableness of his response with him. Your goal is to determine if his reasons for not buying are in fact reasonable. An example of a reasonable non-yes might be he can actually buy a better product that fills his needs more fully than yours. Well, if that’s the case, you must know that. He must tell you that. That’s a requirement of yours. Or, are his reasons for not purchasing actually untruthful excuses to cover circumstances which preclude a purchase, such as no money, or no authority to buy, or finally, is the prospect’s non-yes a reflection of his comfort or lack of comfort with the product, or perhaps with you.
Don’t forget to continue selling as you continue this exploration. If, as in the first set of circumstances, the prospect can buy a product that beats yours, convince him to help you compare products. You then begin a simple comparative analysis with your prospect. Your specific product knowledge and your general industry knowledge should prevail. The prospect will tell you what he likes about the competitor’s product. This knowledge will allow you to shift emphasis and continue selling. If the products are in fact comparable, you have the ability to outsell your competition. In the event of the second circumstance – an untruthful excuse to cover inability to buy – it is unlikely you will notice without extensive exploration for reasonableness. Usually in this circumstance the prospect will offer an excuse as to why he cannot make a decision. He wants to show it to a third party for instance. Ask him first who the third party is and what he wishes to learn from this third party. Another cardinal rule: You must know the identity of any third party referenced during the third segment of your close and you must speak with this third party, yet stay on the prospect’s side. As an example, you may suggest, Jim let’s get this person on the phone for a conference call. If he’s going to help you make a decision, he needs the information that I have. He may have questions you’ve not thought of that perhaps only I could answer.
If the prospect won’t identify the third party and won’t participate in a conference call or bring the third party in for a meeting, or at least give you the third party’s telephone number so you can contact him to assist him in helping the prospect make a decision, well that just doesn’t make sense does it? The prospect is lying to you. Tell the prospect what he is proposing just doesn’t make sense and ask him to square with you. Jim, square with me. What is it standing between us doing business? And tell him you wish to know the real reason he isn’t buying. Once again, avoid a dichotomy. It’s very simple to say, Jim, forgive me, but that really isn’t reasonable. I’m missing something. I just don’t understand. Now, perhaps Jim I went over some of the material too quickly. I get excited about this, perhaps I was too brief and you’re seeking some advice from a friend or an expert in the field. But, once again, square with me. What is it really standing between us doing business? And if he won’t square with you. If he won’t give you an answer. If he doesn’t seem reasonable to you. He’s lying. Don’t waste any more time on him. Chock it up to experience and politely leave your card. You cannot do anything about collusion or lying. If the prospect will not be upfront with you, what option do you have?
Regarding the last incidence, however, the prospect’s comfort level. It is the case many more times than not that a qualified prospect who does not buy when you ask him the first time, he’s not been completely sold. We know that and he hasn’t reached a comfort level either with the product, or with you. Once again, if he was sold, he’d be writing the check. However, if he’s partially sold, and he probably is, and if he’s reasonable, explore for the factor that will complete the sale. Always list your prospect’s help in finding the competitive edge or the need fulfillment or the profit variation that will complete the sale. And ask him.
Be very upfront with your customers, with your prospects. As an example: If he wants to think about it, explore what it is he will be thinking about. Ask him to share his thoughts with you. Jim, share your thoughts with me. What are you going to be thinking about? Ask him to help you understand why he would hesitate to buy a product that meets his needs so well. You see how it works. This type of exploration is vital to the selling star. As you plan the end of your close, plan the statements and questions you will use to explore potential prospect questions, concerns, and objections. Find out the real why he would give you a non-yes at the first ask. Manage the question, concern, or objection by reiterating the competitive edges. The matter in which your product will fulfill his needs and, yes, profit variations, and then ask him to buy again. Explore with your prospect as long as he remains reasonable, yet do not exceed your self-imposed time limits. Practice this method and you’ll find that normally the prospect will buy, or his reasonableness will expire before the time does. Keep these three areas we’ve covered in this section in mind as we listen to excerpts from the star sellers during different phases of the close.
This next set of excerpts will be a treat for you. We’re going to listen in on a star seller of an elite caliber. This man is fantastic with respect to persona and especially establishing empathy. He has wonderful product knowledge, and he sells continually. The prospect in these excerpts coming up, he was sold by the time the star asked him to buy. This is an example of how smoothly and comfortably a sale should go for both parties. Remember when we first began I said that we would listen in on a few fellows that make a million dollars or more every year. Well, this is one of them. Notice as we listen to these upcoming excerpts, the star knew the prospect was sold and proceeded to sign him up and arrange for the buyer’s check and his application documents to be picked up without actually formally requesting or directing that he purchase.
As I say, this is a treat. Let’s listen in.
S = Seller P = Prospect
S: The conservative two million barrels recoverable if we hit what we expect and then we could get another 700,000 out of it. So, in terms of dollars, I mean, we potentially could make $150,000 back on a $29,000 investment, but I think it’s going to be around, probably $100,000 over the life of the well and the returns monthly should approximate between, say, $1,400 and $2,000 a month. That’s what we’re shooting for. The same as the number 1. Between 5 and 700 barrels. And that’s the number 1 has been like clockwork with regard to that kind of production. And again then, the initial investment is at $12,500, and principally that’s your risk capital anyway. So if something goes through on your property sale and we’re at the end of the project, then you can take another position, that’s great. But a half unit’s a darn good way to get started.
P: Yeah. Okay.
S: All right. Reach in the back in the very back right hand and get the Application Agreement and I’ll show you how to come on board.
P: There’s my phone, now I may want to at a later date shift this into, this into a trust fund.
S: That’s no problem.
P: Because this is part of the monies that I’m waiting for this land to come – the other closing on our property. This is no problem to shift it over I guess?
S: No. There’s no problem at all.
P: Not from your standpoint, maybe from Uncle Sam’s, I don’t know.
S: Well, really, there’s not. You’re going to be the trustee of the trust aren’t you?
S: Okay. Now, there shouldn’t be any problem. What we’ll do – the only difference is you would get the tax deductions. The trust would not get – the worst case that would happen is the trust would not get the tax deduction. You would take them personally.
P: Well, that would be fine at the present writing.
S: Yeah. Then there’s no problem with that at all. That’s the only stipulation when you make a transfer like that of any kind. What entity had the money at risk and it would be you personally, so that’s where the deductions are determined.
S: And you want it in the name of L, just L.J. Wilkinson?
S: All right. And I’ll have everything read that way. The run checks should the well be productive. Everything will read that way, and I’ve got the address. You want everything going to Garrison or do you want it going –
P: No. All mail henceforth. Better to P.O. Box 846.
S: Okay. Port St. Joe?
P: ….or are those things Federal Expressed out? I won’t get motivated until tomorrow.
S: Okay. Right. It’s so late in the day anyway. I can have them come by and – are you just going to drop it off?
P: No. I’m going over to Panama City, but I’ll find someplace that takes Federal Express.
S: Okay. That’s fine. They’ll have an envelope. Just stick it in there and then slip the air bill in the sleeve.
P: I think there’s several of those automatic places around in various parts of Panama City, you know.
S: There usually is.
P: They get the envelope and stick it in and away you go. Cuts out all the paperwork.
S: That’s right. All you’ll have to do, as a matter of fact, you can stick page 11 and 12 in an envelope with the check stapled to it, and then just put it in an envelope addressed to us, and then take that envelope, stick it in the Fed-X little cardboard envelope, and just stick the air bill in that little plastic sleeve and, keep a copy of it though. Keep your copy, but I’ve got the number on it so that’s fine. Now, I’ll get it in here on Monday. I’m going to be out of town tomorrow afternoon.
S: Wait a moment. There’s one question on my mind. Yeah, I can think like hell about what happened 50 years ago, and I can’t think of what happened 50 seconds. On the bottom of the check, you put drilling and who?
P: And testing. Drilling and testing. That’s all you need to do, and that just tells what phase the funds were used for.
S: Great. Okay.
P: And that’s it? Well, good. I’m glad to have you on with us, and -.
S: Looking forward to the first –
P: I am too. Look, I’ll call you on Monday and let you know everything’s in, and then we’ll send out a receipt letter to that affect.
S: All right.
P: Well, good enough, you have a good weekend, and I’m going to be out of town tomorrow afternoon anyway, and I’ll speak to you on Monday.
S: All right.
P: All righty. Bye bye.
That is another example of yet a different style of star seller. And I mean this fellow is a star seller. I’ve known him for many years and delightfully so. He’s developed his sales persona such that everyone who meets him, clients and individuals, they just like him. Just immediately. And they all respect him. He’s a fine fellow and he’s a staunch believer in preparation. He prepares his cold calls. He prepares for his closes. He’s constantly goal setting. He seems like he’s always working. He’s a fine fellow and he’s the type of star seller that you would wish to emulate. But I know there’s a bunch of you out there saying, Joe, I can do that well. I do that well now. That’s correct. You can do that well, and if you’re not that good now, you will be when we finish.
Now that you’re planning. Now that you’re designing your conversations. Now that you’re determining well ahead of time what’s going to happen during a cold call or a close. Now that you’re working on your PPP and your enthusiasm and your confidence and your empathy, yes, you can make a million dollars a year every year. Perhaps not today. Perhaps not tomorrow. Perhaps it’ll take a few weeks for this to kick in. Perhaps not. Some of you have already made a tremendous difference, and the rest of you will if you’ll just continue to work at it.
All right. Let’s listen to some more excerpts of actual sales conversations just of the selling stars. Okay, let’s listen in. I’ll be back.
S = Seller P = Prospect
S: …Yeah, I’m right here. Let’s do this. Before we open it up, keep in mind it’s an oil deal. You can always lose every penny of it with a dry hole. But having said it, open the folder up and I’ll show you how we’ve been quite well at avoiding that using three dimensional seismic. I’ll give you a flavor for what our goals are. It’s a three-part folder. Have you had a chance to peruse this?
P: I looked at it, yeah.
S: Okay. You see the center section with all the colored maps in it?
P: Just a second.
S: It says memorandum dated July the 13th.
S: That’s the geological information. That’s the crust of the biscuit. Pull that out and there’s one other thing in the right hand side we need to look at. There’s a conversion table. It’s a financial spreadsheet that was just behind my cover letter to you. Did you find it?
P: Yeah, I see it.
S: Okay. Now this – what it does, there’s two columns on it. Now these are all “if in” scenarios, but effectively it turns the oil into the dollars and cents., You’ll see in the top, there’s a monthly income conversion table. An right beneath it, there’s total returns. When you and I first spoke, I said I could very possibly take a $29,000 investment and see returns in excess of $150,000. Here’s how we’re doing that. What you’ll see – first let’s talk about the monthly breakdown. You see, that is a half unit. There’s some big columns at the top, but you’ll see one based in the half unit, right in the upper left about, well, it says Production Re Change of Interest and Based in a Half Unit. Do you find that?
S: Okay. The way it works out, it’s a $29,000 position. You see, there’s two numbers to the right. 12/5 is the risk capital principally. If we were to go out and drill a dry hole and sold it on half share, we’d get a $12,500 tax write-off. But, you get where we’re at?
P: …up to.
S: You bet at those production rates. You see why we’re drilling this now don’t you?
P: Wow. How long does it take to break even by your calculations?
S: At that production rate, right at a year. Without considering tax deductions, right at a year. And see, you only have to put in $50,000 to find out what you have. Take the two units and come drill it with us.
P: Let me think on it and I’ll get back to you.
S: When you say think on it, are you looking at shifting some funds around to make it, or -.
P: Sure. I don’t usually keep $50,000 in the bank.
S: No. Nobody does. And the way this works – if a fellow wants it, we confirm him on a position. That secures it until he can shift securities around to make it.
P: Let me let you know. I want to read through the rest of this and I’ll get back to you.
S: Let me ask you this, and don’t confuse urgency with pressure. If we miss – if we stub our toe here, we can always look at something else, but, selfishly, I feel like I know what we have, and have a good shot at making you this copper money the first time out. If it’s a matter- if you just read it over and it’s everything as I present it, are you going to participate for the two units?
P: I don’t know that and I can’t honestly answer that, but I will get back to you one way or another.
S: Yeah, I understand that, I’m just saying that right now we’re drilling .
P: Even a $116,000 commitment. I’m not so sure about that. I’ll have to let you know. I have to think about it.
S: Yeah. I perceive you just wanting to get a comfort level with what you’re doing here. Would you feel more comfortable -.
P: I will talk to somebody who knows something about this business. I’ll get back to you.
S: Okay. When you say you want to chat with somebody, who are you looking at? I realize it’s fun. A lot of times you have somebody to help you walk you through, but technically that’s my job.
P: Well, I’m involved – Have you ever heard of Hard Core Energy [phonetic]?
S: No I have not.
P: Well, I’m a partner in that. I need to talk to my people over there.
S: Oh, you actually drill for your own accord?
P: No, it’s a financing company. Primarily gas financing. This guy knows the oil business upside down.
S: Well, my experience is anybody in the business will move on this faster than you will.
P: Well, I’ll talk to him anyway. Now’s the difference.
S: No. Do whatever you like. Understand this. We’re drilling right now.
P: I appreciate that.
S: Well, if you think you’re going to do something on it, let’s take a position, I’ll hold it for you, if something jumps out at you that I haven’t presented, obviously we don’t have a deal, but that aside –
P: I don’t want to ask you to do anything until I talk to my man.
S: Is he a geologist or?
P: Yes. He is a geologist and a financier both.
S: Is he? What’s his name in case he contacts me?
S: Harrington. Okay. Is he going to make the final decision on it?
P: No. He’ll advise me. I’ll make the final decision.
S: Yeah. Well, what I’m suggesting is, the bottom line here, anybody’s going to tell you, you can’t pick them, you just have to put the science to your best benefit.
P: Okay. I just wanted to take a look at it, that’s all.
S: Yeah. Well, what I’m suggesting, if you like, I’d be happy to sit down in a three-way conversation. He might have some questions you can’t answer.
P: I have your phone number, and I’ll have him call you if that’s the issue.
S: We can do that too. I’m just trying to work in your best interest to see that you make the program.
P: I appreciate that, but let me handle it this way. I’d prefer it.
S: Okay, but if – I mean, obviously, if you like it well enough to look at it, pursue it further, then, obviously, you just want to find out if it’s real right?
P: That’s right.
S: Okay. Well, let’s – I understand you’re busy too – let’s sit down and put a time together. We can all sit down and talk about it.
P: When I reach him – let me get back to you – I prefer to do that.
S: Okay. Feel free to call me.
P: Thank you.
This particular star seller is one of my favorites. He has sort of a laid back style. He’s very bright and we’ve heard from him before in this series. Now the particular client he was working with here was not reasonable. He was on the borderline. He came across as somewhat reasonable, but you can pick it up at the end how he wasn’t being entirely truthful with the star seller. As a matter of fact, remember the conversation ended that this fellow wanted to run it by some other professional friends of his to get their opinion and they were professionals that could give a good opinion; however, he was unwilling to set up a conference call or a meeting to discuss the project with the star seller. Well, the star seller began to sense that he was being untruthful, and in fact, that particular customer, that particular prospect, never called back and never returned, nor would he accept any of this star seller’s telephone calls. This star seller has particularly wonderful abilities of empathy, and his empathy told him during this sale, during this close, that this fellow could not buy, and it turned out to be the fact. As a matter of fact, when he would not receive the star seller’s telephone calls, nor would he return them, the star seller did a quick check, and guess what? There was no such energy company that this fellow was appealing to for authority, and there was obviously no such geologist that worked at a fictitious company.
So his empathy told him that this fellow was not a buyer. He took his file, he threw it in the trash can, and he got on to the next one. He did not keep “wishing” him in. He didn’t keep messing with him. He just got on, didn’t waste his time, and continued selling. And that’s what you should do also. Okay. Let’s listen to just one more style of a star seller during a close. Okay. Let’s listen in.
S = Seller P = Prospect
S: Before we even get going, keep in mind it’s an oil well, can be a dry hole. You can lose the entire investment. We can have a well that just produces a little bit of oil and you can have a bad investment. Having said that though, here’s a statement on the upside. $25,500 can very possibly return $75,000 to $100,000 and I can prove to you with a lot of scientific information that there is the support there and there’s a reason I believe we’re going to do that. All right. Let’s get into it. Open the folder all the way, and you’ll see a page titled “Memorandum” right in the middle.
P: Memorandum? What do you mean in the middle? There’s only two sides to it.
S: Well, it’s a trifold folder actually. Try opening it one more time.
S: It worked.
S: Good. Can you find the memorandum?
P: I’ve got a bunch of maps in there.
S: That’s the one. All right. We want to look at those in just a minute.
P: Memorandum on the front of that, okay.
S: All right. Keep that handy and look in the pocket on the right. The second sheet of paper will be the conversion table. Pull that out. Just behind it is a sheet that says Terristat at the top of the page. All right. Keep all those handy. The first thing to look at is the conversion table. Converts the barrels oil to dollars and as you look in the upper left hand corner, you’ll see that it says production rate and below that barrels per day. Go to 500 barrels a day as an example. Of course, this is an “if in” scenario. So if the well produces 500 barrels per day, then it returns $1,400 a month for reach half unit on the well. Follow me?
S: All right. So keep the numbers around. I’m going to speak in terms of one unit, which is a $51,000 investment, and could very possibly return $150,000 to $175,000, and 500 barrels a day returns $2,800 a month for each unit. Follow me on that?
S: It does it per year. It’s a 67% rate of return. And the next figure over says $1,400, and above that monthly income after the point of conversion. And what this is, just after break even, the fellows on the project start sharing the revenues with us and another oil company, and that’s the way you want it because it means we have a vested interest who produces much as we possibly can and also it’s our endorsement. We’re going to wait until after everybody breaks even before we get our share of the revenues. Follow me?
S: Okay. Bottom half of the page, left side, cumulative production – 1-1/2 million barrels of oil is what I’m going to project. It’s conservative. I’ll show you detailed reports projecting a lot higher than that, but at just 1-1/2 million barrels, that’s $170,000 return on each unit. Okay. Now, go to the maps. We’ll have some fun with it here. You can see how much these wells have produced around us. The very first sheet –
P: Where’s the map then?
S: Actually, I’m on the memorandum. The one where you said you saw maps? Let’s look at first things first. First is that memorandum. It’s from Dave Senor, a geologist. He used to be with Oryx for 11 years, which means he has a lot of experience picking drill sites in this area. And as you look in the very bottom paragraph, you’ll see the fourth line up on the right says 22 for 25. Do you see that?
P: No, not yet.
S: Okay, I’m in the bottom paragraph. The sentence says that –
P: The first page? What page are you on?
S: I’m on the very first page and I’m in the bottom paragraph. Do you find where it says 22 for 25? I’ll just start reading the sentence. “A district geologist for Chevron stated the company was 22 for 25 and drilling successful new wells utilizing 3-D seismic data.” Right in the middle of that bottom paragraph.
P: There’s nothing on the first page.
S: Look on your conversion table now. And this why I get so excited. Test results show 2-1/2 million barrels of oil, which is about a $250,000 return on a $51,000 investment. Big money.
S: That’s what the test results show. I’m going to back off that and be more conservative. I’m just going to speak in terms of a 1-1/2 million barrels, which is a $170,000 return right there. So you can see why we’re drilling here, can’t you?
S: Take two units. Let’s go through it.
P: So I go in.
S: That’s it. We’re going to drill the well. If we miss you can lose money. If we hit it, you make a lot of money. Get tax deductions either way. There’s a lot of scientific research. There’s a real good track record. And there’s a bunch of other wells out here proving that we can produce a lot of oil from these wells. And I know on a two-unit position, you’re looking at $102,000 investment, it very possibly return $340,000. That’s significant. And that excites me because, let’s face it, if I get you on a program that makes you $340,000, you’re going to want to come back and look at some more wells in the future. Right? And if we can do that at a rate of over $5,000 a month, which I firmly we’ll be able to do because that’s conservative, you’re again going to be pleased and either you or you’ll tell other people maybe. So, with that in mind, that’s why I say take a two-unit position.
P: Well. This is all a first-time situation for me as you well know. Well, what are you suggesting then?
S: I’m suggesting two units. Maybe first time, that’s a bit heavy. First time, maybe one unit’s more comfortable. Would that be more comfortable for you?
P: I’m just thinking whether I want to do it all, as you well know.
S: Okay. And know it’s –
P: You’re talking between $25,000 and $100,000, right?
S: That’s right.
P: On something which is not guaranteed at all, but there’s a risk you’re taking with the hope that you’re going to find a very, very good location which will be possible, right?
S: That’s it exactly.
P: And this is something I’ve never put any of my money into before, and I don’t feel real comfortable with it with a risky situation such as this. That’s what you’ve taught me so far because there isn’t anything you can guarantee me and there’s a risk all the way, right?
S: I can guarantee a good job and I can guarantee tax deductions.
P: Well, provided that you get what you think is underneath the border, right?
S: Oh no, not provided anything. I can guarantee you a good job and I can guarantee you tax deductions. I cannot guarantee a return. It’s as simple as that. So understand that right up front; however, I can also show you with a track record how the risk has been minimized by using and doing the exact same things that we’re going to do, it’s worked 88% of the time. That means it hasn’t worked 12% of the time. But I like my odds. I like them a whole lot. And, no, we’re drilling right here next to all of these wells surrounded by other producing wells, this is where we want to be drilling this well. And that’s exciting to me because, I understand it’s your first time, I went ahead and showed you all the technical information to show you that we do have support. We didn’t just throw a dart at a board, but we have a lot of geological scientific support and a vested interest to do the best job possible and to produce as much oil as we can. That’s why I show you this. With that in mind, it boils down to this. It’s worked 88% of the time, and in those 88% of the times, Jim, look at your conversion table, those wells have averaged over 1,000 barrels of oil per day each. That’s a return on each unit of over $5,000. I’m saying if we do half of that, 500 barrels a day, that’s still a $2,800 a month return, still a darn good rate of return, and that’s why it makes so much sense. And that’s on a unit. You mentioned just a minute ago the $25,000. That’s a half unit. That’s the smallest position we have. And I have a lot of fellas that start with a half the first time. It’s a good way to get your feet wet and once I proved to you what we can do, you can come back on some more wells in the future, maybe even take some bigger positions, but for now a half unit is definitely a good way to get started.
P: I can’t get a comfort feeling on a risk situation where I can lose everything or not or anything see. This is what bothers me. It’s not like a can get 3% and then get 6% and then get 10% see. It’s either all or nothing, right?
S: No, not exactly, but I understand your concern. We could have a well that doesn’t produce very much, and then it wouldn’t be a total loss, but you can still lose money that way. But then again, it could make just a little bit of money. Let me see if I can help you out with the risk just a bit. It’s a two-phase investment. It’s only $12,000 to drill and test the well. If we don’t find oil after we drill it and run our tests, we’re not going to call for the remaining $13,500. So per dollar, your risk capital is $12,000. Let’s just say, if you lost $12,000, could you afford to put that $12,000 at risk?
P: I could if I wanted to take a risk on it. But I’m not inclined to think that’s what I should do.
S: Actually, you’re the –
P: No, I’m on a whole new theory which I really, I’m not getting real excited about because I’m not at the point in life where I’m looking for all of these big returns and so forth. I’m just looking to keep on what I have and to give me a return through the years if I hope to still continue to live. You forget that I’ve had many birthdays. Right?
S: Do you have any children or grandchildren?
S: I would imagine they’re going to inherit something when you die. As unpleasant a thought as that is, but it would be nice to leave them more as opposed to less, wouldn’t it?
P: I don’t know. I’m not worried about that. That’s not in my mind at all because I’ve given them all that they needed to make themselves comfortable through life and if I have anything to give them after that, then that’s a plus, see.
S: There’s an old expression, I’m sure you’ve heard it. The people with the money are making the money. Well, that’s what’s going on out here. You’re the kind of fella, you’re telling me you have the money, you can put the $12,000 at risk, you’re in the position to make the money. Not everybody’ s in that position and that’s very fortunate that you’re there. That’s the kind of fellas that we target. That we do business with on a day-to-day basis. But we can get out here and can make better than average returns. And the reason we have better than average returns, even with a very good track record is because if we do miss, we can miss totally and lose it all. Not everybody can do that. The fellas that can do that and know that we have something where the risk is so minimized that its worked 88% of the time, they are the ones that can go ahead and get themselves in the position for the bigger than average returns. And also, get to keep more of the money because of the tax deductions that we have that are better than any investment going on the market today. And you need those right?
P: No. I’m well situated on that. I’m not looking for any way to reduce taxes, I’ve done that pretty much all the way along the line already. I’m paying minimum taxes right today, so I’m not concerned about that.
S: I sense you’re looking for a – well you tell me – what are you look for in investments?
P: My investments are all right there and producing money for me which gives me income. My income is more than what I spend, so I can’t complain about that at this point. The only down intangible I have is whether I’m going to contract some long illness that I got to be in someplace and live for 10 or 12 years see. Or 3 or 4, whatever it happens to be, which are expensive things to take care of. Of course, I think I can take care of those too, but I got a wife involved too. So she can have the same thing as I have, as you well know. I think I’ve got us both covered at this particular point, without any particular risk such as this.
P: So that’s my position right now. I’m sitting at a very comfortable position.
S: So you don’t want to make any more money?
P: I really don’t need it.
S: Well, nobody that invests in these programs needs it. If somebody can afford to lose $12,000, they don’t need it. They don’t need to make more money. They can afford it. Most of the fellas I do business with are millionaires. They’re accredited investors. Are you accredited?
S: So your net worth’s over a million?
P: Yes I am.
S: Okay. So what we’re talking about was $12,000 is, well, if you’re worth at least $1.2 million, is 1% of your money. We’re not talking about that much money. Simple as that.
P: No. I’m not saying that. The money didn’t bother me because I can always get that out of the bank probably, but the question of it is, what does it do as far as – is my biggest concern. And there isn’t anything that I can put my finger on immediately if that’s going to be a plus or a minus. You’re asking me to take a risk. Because you can’t guarantee it. You’re not giving me a fixed income or a fixed situation along the line which I can either accept or reject. You’re asking me to take a chance on a proposition where other people have found to be very profitable to them, right?
P: At this point in my life, I’m not really looking for risk or chance investments. I’d rather have something that I know is guaranteed.
S: So you put everything in the bank?
P: No. I don’t dare put anything in the bank.
S: Where do you get guarantees?
P: No, that’s not – government bond, or buy into corporations. I have a track record of what I’m going to get. I don’t buy these outrageous things.
S: Ah, track record is what you’re looking for? I can do that. You know, if you buy into a corporation where there’s stock or bonds, there’s not a guarantee on the return, but you can look at the track record and see they’ve done a good job before and you can make a reasonable expectation for what they’ll do in the future.
P: That’s right. And if I want it changed, I can change it immediately and get my money back, but this is way I can’t get anything back, see. It’s just sitting there.
S: Here’s the only difference Jim. We have the track record. We’ve got a darn good lookin’ track record for wells in this area that you see right there.
Very brief pause here. The same selling star, but we’re going from one prospect to a different prospect. Notice the consistency of the selling star. Okay let’s go back to listening.
S: I have some good news for you. The main reason I’m calling you today is because the offshore #2 has hit the market, and I’ve known a bit about for a couple days. This is the first day I could offer it to you, and wow. I’ve seen the geological department getting excited about this and picking the drill site and finalizing all the information. I can see why now. And we actually have some more information about what’s going on in this area field-wide then what I had for you originally. We now know that using the 3-D seismic technique. I might have mentioned that to you before, do you recall that?
S: Okay. Well 3-D seismic – it’s a form of underground mapping. It’s being used extensively out here. It is deadly accurate. I’ll give you an example. Chevron has used this underground mapping 25 times. It’s worked 22 times. That’s an 88% success rate. That’s real darn good. The great thing about it is, in those 22 wells where they’ve made it work for them, they have an average daily production of over 1,000 barrels of oil per day. What I recommend is that you come in with a bigger position on this one. Based on the information we have and the track record and the experience out here and all the test results we’re drawing off of for this well, I would recommend a two-unit position to you.
P: I can’t hike that right now without selling off some other things that I’ve been doing. I don’t think I can go for more than another 1/2 unit on that. Maybe a – I would think things over here, see how it looks.
S: Okay. Well go ahead and look over your things. When you see this information, it’s going to look real darn good to you. If you’re considering the possibility – if you know you can take a half and you’re seeing about taking a full unit, then I’m going to get you down for a unit today because it’s always easier for me to back you out of a position then to get you something that’s simply not available. All right? You see the logic there?
S: Okay. Well, I’ll do that, and I’ll go ahead and shoot all the paperwork out to you today, give you a call back tomorrow, because when you see, I mean, literally that you will – you’ll say, my gosh…
You’re good enough by now to recognize a star seller’s persona. Did you recognize those during those excerpts? I’m sure you did. The last fellow we listened to, he combined the ingredients of a champion persona with planning and executing every move he made. He set his time parameters, he set time parameters to include ending the close when appropriate. He went exploring with his Indiana Jones hat on when necessary when he received a non-yes from the first millionaire. He got down to the why. The real why the fella didn’t buy. On the second millionaire he was speaking to, he sold the fellow right away. Notice how consistent he was. He talked about profit to the prospect. He used his competitive edges over and over again, and he spoke of need fulfillment consistently. He designed his responses with his competitive edges, need of the prospect, and profit to the prospect. And then he asked him to buy, and not once, but many times. And that’s how the close goes.
You may modify your close, change your close in any way you wish. [laughter] A middle pun there. Don’t deviate from the basic principles. The critical things are you must plan and practice what will happen during the close. What you will say, and the probabilities and probable things that your prospect will say. And then you must know how to reply.
Plan to use your persona. Plan to use conscious thought during the sale, during the close, to stay a step ahead of you prospect. Plan to be enthusiastic. Plan to be confident and empathetic. Plan to receive objections concerns and questions, and allow enough time as you design your parameters, your time parameters, to explore those questions, concerns and objections.
You owe it to yourself to know the real why of why the prospect did not purchase from you, given all of your expert efforts. Most of all, plan to be successful. This must be the most important thing in your life as it’s happening. This is your event in the Olympics. This is your U.S. Open. Your Super Bowl. You must do the very best during each close that you possibly can, and if you do, I assure you, you will rise to the level of a star. You will be a star in life. Your dreams will begin to come true, and you and those very important to you, will be happier as a result.
The ultimate compliment that you can be paid is for someone to say, he’s a star in his field. Have you ever thought about why someone is described as a star? Most of us start out basically the same in life, but somewhere along the way, the stars develop or acquire an advantage. Something magnificent. Something that distinguishes us from others. Something that illuminates us. That makes us shine. That makes us bright among the rest. And it’s a very positive thing. It’s a positive difference. In our society, globally rewards those stars. Movie stars. Corporate stars. Medical stars. Every field of endeavor has its share of star performers, and selling is no different.
This program is your advantage. You now have the advantage to know what a selling star is from the inside. You’re on your way to selling stardom. To maximum performance. You can now tell the difference between a star persona and, shall we say, a normal or average persona. I am positive of that. You can listen to any sales presentation right now, and you can say, gosh that’s a selling star’s persona, or, that’s a lousy persona. Just knowing the difference is a grand advantage. Your persona has already improved immensely because you have the advantage of knowing the difference. Sure, you had a persona when we first met, but now you know what it’s comprised of in a sales world. How to develop it and how to master it.
Practice your enthusiasm. Exercise every day mentally for 30 minutes. Master your control over it, and at the same time, crystalize and engrain your long-term goals. Keep your confidence section close by and read it often. Rely on your strong points and design those strengths into your sales process. Use your advantage of understanding and implementing empathy. Be sensitive to the feedback empathy provides. Continually develop your persona and plan to use it in every phase of the sales process. Establish daily goals and daily review your accomplishments. Size yourself up at the end of the day relative to what you planned at the beginning of the day.
Think – think to yourself in your mind’s voice – think simple statements to keep you on track with your goals. When a prospect takes an exit from my sales highway, I’m conditioned to think, whoops, there he goes, hurry, hurry, bring him back toward the sale. Use your role playing and become expert at reversing the roles at placing yourself in the buyer’s shoes. In the buyer’s personality. Use your tape recorder. Develop your persona to be the ideal person you would like to do business with.
Plan to use this wonderful advantage of a star seller’s persona during the entire sales process. Author your ideal sales message, and within reason, plan all of the possible variations of the sales conversations you know you will have, and chart it. Determine both sides of the conversation. Know your product. It’s competitive edges and know your competition. Add names and potential new business to your PPP continually. Work the information like a super sleuth.
Plan reasonable time parameters, including when you will ask to buy. Don’t hesitate, even if it feels uncomfortable to you at the time. Time is your worst enemy in the sales world. And remember, no maybes.
Revisit this training often. It works. It works for you today. It’ll work for you tomorrow. And it will work for you for the rest of your life.
A few parting comments. I wish you success. I wish you happiness, and I wish you all the good things in life. Let me hear from you. Let’s spend some time together when next we have a seminar in your area. Take this thought with you please. The successful difference may be as simple as a potato brush. Good hunting.
Joe Kinlaw’s Superstar Sales Training Audio Book – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B9gSSmNnC9G1d2d1VXJCbG02N00?usp=sharing