Today I was part of no less than two discussions around closing and why it doesn't always happen. The similarities with my own recent experiences caused me to consider things a little deeper. I've been making these very mistakes at times. 

You've got them seeing Snoopy. Now what?

The Big Event

By big event I mean a product demo, major sales call, public speaking, a seminar, a teleseminar, a webinar or any other event where you are bringing people in to feed your sales pipeline.

In many cases you are very focused on the big event itself: doing a great job, delivering value and making sure the participants have fun. So much so that you forget to think of what is next.

If you've done a great job, you've built all of this "know, like and trust" and then you let it slip through the cracks.

The worst part is that many of those participants actually want more and are disappointed there is nothing next.

Carrie Wilkerson (The Barefoot Executive) likens this to the first date. You have an amazing time with your date. At the end of the date you part and never set up the second date, leaving it to chance.

Manifesting Step 1

Have you ever thought to yourself, if I can just get them in for (step 1) a demo or sales presentation?  

You end up get exactly what our goal was. A demo or sales presentation; and nothing more.

If your goal does not have a step 2 clearly defined it can end there. We tend to manifest what our goals are.

Now if you have a great product or service and you determine the person has a genuine need you are potentially doing both of you a disservice.

Have A Plan

Before heading into any potential sales situation, you need to map out your ideal sales process steps.

Hopefully you have a value ladder that goes all the way from what you deliver when building the relationship, all the way through to your high value items.

Now life, relationships and sales rarely go according to plan. You want to be able to adapt to the situation you are actually in and be authentic, etc.

Don't follow the process like a robot. Some people may even want to jump right to the top of the ladder. Some may not be ready to even take the first step.

Having a plan actually gives you confidence and that leads to a relaxed and genuine interaction. You are not totally winging it.

What is is you plan to accomplish in the current stage of the plan? What value are you delivering?

How will you communicate the next value steps in a way that allows those who are interested to make the obvious next step? Make sure you know what the next step is. Then make it clear to your audience during the Big Event and follow-up after.

Don't leave your date wondering if you are ever going to call again. Set a specific time and place for next one. Unless of course you don't want another date (or customer).

Oh, and be open to receiving as well.

Please share your experiences in the comments. I'd enjoy hearing from you.