By Bruce Edwin
While stories of famous celebrity parents who outshine the careers of their tortured, struggling children exist in Hollywood, this is not one of those tales. Daughter of legend Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli became herself one of the greatest stars and talents of our time. With a magnificent voice, the skilled dancer, actress and singer is, like her timeless mother, an icon for the ages. She, like her mother before her, did, again and again, close the deal in Hollywood over and over, due to her talent, greatness, and charm. Pictured here, Liza Minnelli arrives for the live ABC Telecast of The 86th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo credit: Bryan Crowe. © 2014, A.M.P.A.S.
In Hollywood, it is all about the deal. Whether you are an actor, model, singer, band, producer, agent, manager, casting director, booker, publicist, marketing executive, or other, it is all about the deal and how to close it. If you don't know how to close, then you will lose. You must be prepared to pitch to your client or potential client at any and all times, be at the top of your game, and be ready to pitch and close. The following 15 pieces of advice will help you learn how to close the deal.
How to Close the Deal
1, Never pitch to a person who is not the final decision maker. Always make sure that you are talking with the top person, who is the person who makes the final decision that has the power to write the check or give you what you want. To do otherwise, will waste your time. Even if someone tells you to talk to them, that it has to go through them first, do not do it if possible. Go to the top. Many gatekeepers will actually get pleasure out of hearing you work hard and pitch to them, and then slamming the door or phone in your face and telling you never to call again. Go over their head.
2, Don't ever tell anyone that you are going over their head. When you do have to bypass someone, don't tell them you are doing so, it will only make them angry, and could blow back on you if they try to sabotage your communication with their boss or associate.
3, Never get mad if someone says no. Just agree with their right to have that opinion, and tell them how you understand what they are saying. Then, keep selling and close the deal.
4, Persist always. Consider the word 'no' to simply mean, "I'm listening, tell me more and tell me other reasons why I should do this." Every 'no' is simply a stepping stone to the 'yes' which is the final point on the path. If you quit after any no, you will never get the yes. But if you keep persisting after each and every no, regardless of how many no's there are, you will eventually and finally get a yes.
5, Never try to explain your product or service only verbally. Always have a written display or physical model of what they will be getting, and make sure that they have seen it or read it. They will then have in their mind either the idea they want to do what you are offering, and your job is to close the deal, or they will have in their mind specific reasons why they don't want to do it, and your job is to then overcome those problems and address each one head on, and then close the deal. Having things in writing for the potential client gives them more clarity, and also gives them more confidence in knowing that they have in black and white exactly what you are offering them. Conversely, never only rely on written information and expect a piece of paper to close a deal for you. The written data is merely a selling tool to point to the product or service. YOU need to make the sale, and that means talking live on the phone or web, or even better, in person.
6, Be sure to survey what the client needs or wants. Many people will tell you they are too busy to do a survey, and will be turned off of the idea, especially a new prospect, so the solution here to is to simply talk with them by phone or in person in a casual way, finding out what they want or need help with, and make it sound like a casual conversation. During this process, you are actually conducting the survey, and gathering information about what you are going to produce and present to them.
Many people make the mistake of trying to sell a product or service to a potential client first, before actually finding out what they want or need. Find this out first, and then create or modify a program or product to fit their specific needs based on the surveyed results.
7, Close the deal. It would take an entire book to explain to you even a portion of all processes in closing a deal. But this list is a start of some of the information you will need to know. There are great books, books on tape, and videos already out there on how to close a sales deal. Zig Zigler and Grant Cardone are just two examples of names you can google to find valuable books, videos, and information to purchase on how to close the deal. I highly recommend both of them. Read and study books, videos and CD's on sales.
8, Deliver any work, product or service quickly and efficiently. Send a report of all work promised, and a statement of work completed. These are some of the new policies this company has implemented, and one of the reasons why we are successful.
9, Show gratitude. After the sale, follow up with a thank you, and show repeated appreciation for the business you have earned. I know a salesman who recently sold a friend a car, and after working hard on the sale, he never made one call after the sale to see how she was doing. Not only would I never buy a car from this guy, I am actually tempted to call his sales manager and complain that he needs some new sales training. Give ongoing communication to your client, even if the sale is over, and show gratitude. This is also a great time to sell them other business, and ask for referrals.
10, Fire any negative person at your company, organization, or near you. In sales, optimism is a MUST!
11, Repeat successful actions that are working for you, and cut out anything that is wasting time or not helping you lead to more sales.
12, Study and train not only in sales, but also listen to positive success training tapes on a daily, regular basis. All sales success starts with the determination and confidence in yourself to close the deal. That confidence must then flow out to your product or service, where you have total confidence not only in yourself, but in what you are selling. Sales takes a winning attitude, and a a positive mental outlook. No one wants to buy or do business with a whiny little brat. So, be positive, be helpful, and do great for yourself and your company!
13, Don't share your problems with the prospect or client. If you do, your client will most likely view 'you' as a problem.
14, Never rely on only one client or job. Never rely on just one stream of income. Have at least 3 streams of income from different, viable sources.
15, Always be closing and always be making new business. That which does not expand, contracts. Get motivated, and make it happen!
I hope this advice helps many of you. As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to contact me through the contact box on the bottom of the front page.
This content is © 2014, The Hollywood Sentinel / Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.