Have you ever rushed to a retail store to pick up something you urgently needed only to find the door locked, lights off, and the “Please Come Again” sign hanging in the window? Have you ever been involved with a salesperson that locked his or her door and turned off their lights before you had a chance to make a buying decision? I have, and I’ve been on both sides of the table.

What makes a salesperson closed for business?

They don’t believe in their product, price, or organization. A belief in product and company are constant sources of enthusiasm, but when the belief is missing—so is the excitement. A dull, apologetic sales presentation brings doubt to the prospects mind. When a salesperson loses their belief, they need to go back and find out why they should believe—or leave.

They push one size fits all. When a salesperson tries to make one solution be the answer to all of his or her prospects needs it’s most likely more about selling the product than solving the customer’s problems.

They dwell on the features of the product. Knowing and understanding the features, that’s nice, but consumers want to know the benefits. What it does for them, not only what it does. Are you selling the benefits of your product?

They talk, talk, and talk. If a salesperson is doing all the talking how will they know the prospects needs? When salespeople talk so much it’s hard to get a word in edgewise it sends a message to the customer. This is all about me, not you. How not to sell.

They have no plan. When salespeople sit and wait for their mobile device to deliver the next lead and then want to know how qualified it is, that’s not sales; that’s order taking, and it won’t be long before a robot is able to do that job.

What makes a salesperson open for business?

They listen. OFB (Open for Business) salespeople let the prospect do most of the talking. They want to learn the client’s needs. They ask open-ended follow-up questions and repeat the customer’s statements to clarify their understanding.

They give up control. Even though they have an organized sales presentation if the customer wants to skip ahead to page seven, and it will not leave valuable information out, the OFB salesperson will gladly jump ahead.

They come from help. The key motivator of the OFB sales person is helping others by understanding and offering solutions to their problems.

They share the benefits. The OFB salesperson knows the features and advantages of his or her product, but he or she also knows that features and advantages take a back seat to benefits.

They contact and follow-up on leads. As modern sales consultants OFB’s aren’t overly pushy. They don’t use old school outdated sales tactics. They do, however, stay in touch with prospects and are always available to answer questions.

Are your salespeople open or closed?

Which is it, are your people all about talking a mile a minute, selling a product the customer may not need, but one they want to move? Or is your sales team open to listening, learning your prospects needs, and sharing the benefits? Is your business open or closed?