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Sales Planning - Walking Away

By Steven J. Schmidt

Let's say you work for an insurance company. The type of a close you're going to want to use will be completely different than the assumed close. When there is more trust at risk when trying to sell a service, you need to be able to walk away from the table knowing that the customer will make the right decision, which in this case, is giving them time to make the decision. Typically, I'm not a big fan of this because you always want the customer to commit. However, when you're in a business where you can control how much your commission will be, things are a bit different.

Think about it this way - car salesmen usually have a certain amount that they have to give back to the car compnay or dealership they're working for. However, they charge an extra amount on top of what they have to give back, which is how they earn their commission. I have known car salesmen and insurance agents that have actually taken smaller commissions out to have had happier customers and more clients than the sales reps who have taken out larger commissions. The reasonsing behind this is that if you make a sale and your customer is happy, there is a great chance that person will be telling his friends and family about you.

Say you're working for Sussman Honda and you give a person a very reasonable and almost unbeatable price, and the customer tells you, "Well that looks great, but I think I want to see what's out there in the market." Keep in mind that you went through the comparative analysis with that customer, comparing Hondas to Toyotas, and Nissans. Because you're a salesman, you have to know what the competition is offering along with their best possible prices so that you can give the customer a better bargain, but at the same time sill make some commission. If you don't make a commission, you won't be able to eat of course, and most sales people I know love to eat.

You will then tell the customer, "All right, look, why don't you check out what's in the market place. Here's my card and my information, and if you don't find a better deal, please give me a call and we can get you into this beautiful Accord. However, if you do find a deal that's better than what I'm giving you, let me know as well, and I'll see if there is anything else that I can do for you."

You want to make it seem like they are royalty and you're placing them on a pedastool, willing to satisfy their needs and to make them as happy as possible. By doing this, you're trusting them to go out find a deal that's better than yours, which you already know will not happen, and you're showing them that you completely understand that they're interested in saving as much money as possible. You're making them think that you have that best deal for them because you told them that if they find a better deal, you'll be able to do something for them.

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