What if you surveyed a hundred different sales professionals about what they consider their best tips for closing a sale? You would undoubtedly end-up with a hundred different responses.
You could have everything from the Colombo Sale technique to the importance of building a rapport with the customer.
These tried and true closing techniques are varied. While these are effective, we rarely look at an untapped resource when it comes to closing a sale; the military.
Closing a Sale With Military Precision
I know what you're thinking. What does the military have to do with sales? For starters, processing military precisions means that you remain calm, professional, and aim for perfection.
That sounds like the ideal salesperson, doesn't it?
Let's see how this information can be executed.
1. Do your job well. This statement is according to "The Armed Forces Officer," a leadership manual designed and used by the military. When you excel in your work, you'll earn the respect of others.
Think about it. Would a customer purchase a bug-filled gadget? Would they eat at a restaurant with low Yelp reviews, or retain a freelance writer who is sub-par?
2. Always look sharp. "Even in a blue pin-striped suit, I still make sure that the right-hand edge of my belt buckle lines up with my shirt front and trouser fly," said FedEx CEO, Frederick Smith. He is also a former Marine.
"I shine my own shoes, and I feel uncomfortable if they aren't polished." Remember, people judge a book on it's cover. If you don't look like a professional, then why would they take you seriously?
3. Improve your communication skills. "Battles are won through the ability of men to express concrete ideas in clear and unmistakable language." From: "The Armed Forces Officer" manual.
Does this have to be complicated? Absolutely not. Keep it simple. "The more simply a thing is said the more powerfully it influences those who hear it."
4. Be willing to listen to everyone. Michael Morris, is the former CEO of American Electric Power. Morris said that while in the military he developed a "willingness to listen and formulate an opinion that incorporates as many people's ideas as possible."
How else how can you expect to understand other's pain points and learn how to ease that pain?
5. Act decisively even with limited information. David Morken, CEO of the Internet and phone services company, Bandwidth, learned to "operate in the fog.
He had to learn to execute and decisively engage when he didn't have access to a complete data set. Morken learned this concept from his time in the Marine Corps.
You can't wait too long or the lead could move on to a competitor. Be proactive and close a sale as a fast as possible with the data at your disposable.
6. Compose more efficient emails. Kabir Sehgal, is a navy veteran and the author of Coined: The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us.
Segal suggests that the military can help you write more powerful emails. Watching the military precision has become a popular way for marketers and salespeople to communicate with leads.
This includes making the most out of your subject lines so that the content is crystal clear and enticing from the get-go. Also, BLUF your emails. BLUF simply "declares the purpose of the email and action required.
The BLUF should quickly answer the five W's: who, what, where, when, and why. An effective BLUF distills the most important information for the reader."
7. Invest in relationships for the long term. Relationships formed while serving in the military are "lifelong" and "serve you well in a business career," says Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. McAdam served in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps.
Don't focus simply on closing a sale. Focus on nurturing the relationship by being genuinely helpful and making your customers feel like a VIP.
8. Supply Line Warfare. Dr. Cliff Welborn teaches supply chain management and production. He writes that "great warriors throughout history have carefully planned their strategies around logistics."
Doing so can achieve tasks like disrupting the enemy's supply line. You're obviously not going to literally attack or disrupt your competitor's supply line.
However, you can figuratively disrupt by being better than your competitors and offering a superior product. Producing valuable content, connecting with industry influencers, and going above and beyond with customer service also disrupts your competitors.
9. Remain calm - even under pressure. Morris also says that like a pilot flying through a storm you have to keep your cool in the business-world. "The last thing you want is to appear to be rattled," he says.
10. Be committed 100%. This statement is according to Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble.
While in the infantry he became convinced to always commit himself to something 100%. "If you're going to be in the Army, go into the infantry," he says. "If you're going to be in marketing, work for P&G."
McDonald also adds, "You don't do things halfway."
How do you close a sale with military precision? Write down how you want your path to look, and make yourself follow your rules 100%.