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  • Brett Zalaski

Close Something on Every Call


One thing I constantly see, whether on consulting assignments or sales trainings is sales reps trying to accomplish WAY too much on every phone calls. They attempt to turn a 1-game ticket buyer into a season ticket holder. As we talked about with the recommendation, they kitchen sink their clients. They talk to businesses on the phone talking about all the different opportunities they have. They try to sell those businesses on season tickets or a company outing right then and there.


Here's the problem with all that...your chances of cold call closing a B2C buyer is infinitesimally small. Your chances of cold call closing a business is essentially zero. Yet we continuously keep battering our heads against the wall...call, after call, after call, after call, after call.


If we were gymnasts, divers, or ice skaters, our degree of difficulty score would be off the charts. Instead of trying to do too much, what if we aimed consistently aimed for smaller targets? What could those be?

  1. Close a Face to Face Meeting: With a B2C buyer, that could be a stadium tour or a coffee. Our stadium is most awesome when it's sold out...it's second most awesome when it's empty. With a B2B buyer it could be a meeting at their place. Showing we'll go there demonstrates a willingness to respect their time and earn their business.

  2. Close a 'No' & Next Step: Sometimes the ticket package you're discussing is not the right time for them or it's a product that doesn't fit for them at a time when that's all we're selling. Don't try to jam a round object in a square hole. Make sure you both decide it's the wrong time, and set specific next steps on the right time. The ticket package that fits better release, or a time when they'll have more time to weight the decision, or a time when they'll have more money, etc. The best reps I see sell the most on a day that new packages or inventory are released, because they are constantly selling the right thing to the right person at the right time.

  3. Close on a Specific, Not Vague, Follow-Up: 'You talk to your husband and we'll follow up some time next week' is NOT an acceptable follow-up. 'You talk with your husband about the specific seat location, and I'll use your credit card to put these seats on hold and won't charge them until I hear from you by noon tomorrow' is a perfectly acceptable next step. In the first action, they are doing all the work and the follow up timeline is vague. That is literally the recipe for a ghost account. In the second, we've got them to put skin in the game with the credit card, they have urgency around the deadline to have the conversation, and they have a specific purpose in their conversation. And here's the thing...if they trust you and care about seat location (which buyers do), this is entirely reasonable. If they don't care about those things or trust you with their credit card, you haven't finished your job yet.

Like Paul Rudd's Chuck or Koonu says in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 'You're doing too much, do less.' If we aim to close on something small, we will have all the same opportunities to close sales if we aimed for the fences on every call. If people want to buy, they'll lead us into the sale if we do our job. That's why our focus should be to close something small. The more we consistently close on, the more we'll find our way into consistent sales conversations...the less desperate we'll sound in trying to sell everyone.


Have aim. Have purpose. Close all the time.