In the movie “Boiler Room,” Ben Affleck plays the head recruiter at a sleazy boiler-room selling worthless IPOs by cold-calling investor lists.
When he hears a broker-in-training patiently explaining some investment basics to a potential customer, Ben berates the young broker.
“Telling’s not selling!” he screams. “Always be closing!”
The idea, still preached by some old-line salespeople, is that the salesperson must always push the prospect toward an order … and anything else is a waste of time.
While that attitude today is viewed by many as antiquated, do you think there is some truth in it?
A case in point is SA, a personal real estate agent I know.
SA is always willing to lend a hand to colleagues and clients in need. He can frequently be found moving furniture or cleaning out a house.
SA is a nice guy. Everybody says so. Everybody likes him.
Yet SA, afraid of being viewed as too pushy, is extremely reluctant to qualify prospects very hard … or to push buyers he is working with into a decision.
As a result of his inability to ask for the order or be selective in who he works with and how much he will do for them, his income is minimal and, at age 52, he has a net worth of a little over zero.
So while asking for the order may seem unfashionable in this era of soclal-media, free-content-driven marketing, isn’t qualifying prospects and closing the sale ultimately something we have to be good at — online or offline — to get the business?
Or is simply being a nice guy (like SA), a respected expert, or a helpful resource enough to get prospects to buy from you — and not from your competitors?