Always Be Closing

Brian-Head-Shot-for-ExtremelyAvgI had a conversation with a gentleman who works in radio advertising. I was pitching him an idea and he didn’t seem terribly interested. I can’t tell you, my friends who come to visit my blog, yet, but it is part of the secret plan I’m working on.

Well, I kept at it. I could hear the hesitation in his voice. There is a sound people make when the “eureka” light bulb hasn’t gone off and it was ringing forth from him in every comment. He couldn’t see the value to him or his company. That meant one thing, it was the presenter’s fault.

I love baseball and played little league growing up. When I threw the ball it never had a true backspin, always a little bit of side spin. Dad and I worked on this for most of my childhood. It never quite clicked. I remember him saying, “snap your wrist”. That simple instruction just didn’t register.

Many years later, while helping a friend coach a high school baseball team, we were warming up before the kids got there. He threw the ball with perfect back spin. I told him the story about how I had never been able to figure it out.

He said, “It’s like a gun. You pull your arm back to cock the gun and then fire.”

I watched him and then tried it. I’ve throw with perfect backspin every since. The key was snapping my wrists, just like dad had said, but Andy’s description was what allowed my brain to figure out the “how” of it all.Dollar Sign copy

After about forty minutes with the radio guy and having tried using several different examples, I tried a new one. Suddenly, his voice changed. In an instant he saw my point. He got it!

We are all, even salespeople, naturally defensive when it comes to having something sold to us. I suspect that was part of the problem. It just took time and repeated closes. Alec Baldwin’s classic line, “ABC, Always Be Closing” popped into my head more than once.

I haven’t gotten him to commit to trying my idea, but when we left, his voice made me believe he was now on my side and ready to pitch it to his boss with all of his salesman’s skill. It’s not a win, yet, but it isn’t a loss either.

Selling is part of the book business and I was on my game today.