Non-business people often think that successful business owners are also great sales people. More often than not, business owners hate sales simply because they know that it is their weakness. Author of “The Perfect Close” James Muir understands this situation very well and shares the secret to closing sales is to either hire people to do the sales for you or you learn how to make The Ideal Advances. You do this by going to a meeting and knowing already what you want to have happen and then you offer your prospects the service for that outcome.
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James Muir on the Secret to Closing Sales
I am so excited to welcome James Muir to the Business Building Rockstars Show. How are you doing, James?
I'm super, Nicole. Thanks for having me on.
I have to let my audience know how honored I am to have you here. I have struggled with sales for a very long time and even though I'm getting better and better every day, it's been a challenge to me to sell my own services. Back in the day when I had a corporate training firm, I had no problem with sales because I was selling the company. I was selling the service. I've shifted into a model where I'm selling myself. This has been a challenging path for me to take since I started being an online entrepreneur. I've searched and searched, and I've hired coaches and I've been in programs and I learned all of the sales strategies and tactics and I've yet to find something or I had not found something that felt good to me and felt like I could be me and show up and give value. It led me to a search of all places on audible because one day I had enough, and I went, “I'm too good not to share what I've got and I'm not good enough at “selling” to help the people that I want to help and that's got to change now.”
I found your book, The Perfect Close and since then I've probably listened to it five or six times every time I'm in the car. I was so excited about finally finding something aligned with who I am and you're amazing at breaking down simply how to serve and sales being a service to people. Then I reached out and I was like, “I got to have you on the show,” and I'm honored to have you here. I’ll turn it over to you to share your thoughts and share with our audience why you decided to write The Perfect Close.
You’re almost exactly the person that the book was written for. How I got in sales is I started as an operations person in a family-owned rev cycle service. It's basically a billing service. I'd often go out with the sales reps as the subject matter expert. When the customer would ask the hard questions, the sales guy wouldn't know the answer, so I'd be the guy to answer that. Then I opened up an office in a remote location and they needed somebody who knew something about the business to sell. I got drafted into that. I'm this technical person in sales and you can only imagine what that's like because I'm very type A. I could be a CPA. I created this process diagram that says, “The customers are going to do this, so I'm going to do this. The customer's going to do this, I'm going to do this.” I would give this to the client and say, “Here you go. This is what we're going to do.” Sometimes it works, sometimes it would go over poorly.
The short version is, I didn't know at that time. I turned to start reading books like you. 90% of the stuff out there is all about persuasion or about manipulation. That is not at all what selling is about. There's this misconception about that and there's a lot of gung-ho salespeople that think that it’s all about adding energy and getting in their face and interrupting people. It really is not that and I'm happy to elaborate on that at some depth. For me, I've got to these points, these conversations with customers when I was alone and I would find myself stuck not knowing what to do.
I remember this one group in Las Vegas that I was with. I'm going through all this stuff and all the people are there and they've got my little flow chart. It was going so well and about an hour into it, I'm like, “This is going to happen. I can tell. This needs to happen.” I knew it was time to tell them, “Let's do something,” but I didn't. I kept on going and it went for almost another 30 minutes or so and then the head honcho in the room, the executive, interrupts me mid-sentence and he turns this piece of paper around with this diagram on it and he goes, “I think we're right here.” It said review agreements. I laughed and got embarrassed. After the meeting was over, I thought, “Even though I knew it was time, why did I not do it? Why didn't I ask?”
I discovered how to do that and then I have shared that with the various teams that I have managed over the years. What I have found is that 50% to 90% of all sales encounters and without the salesperson or the entrepreneur asking for anything, any advanced of any kind. The reason for that is because all of the ways that are being taught are manipulative. The person who's the agent, the entrepreneur, the salesperson, because they're not comfortable with any of those ways, they don't ask at all. That's what happened. They wait for the customer to advance them.
It’s not effective and that’s what I have done for so long. There's a point in time often where I already know they're ready, they're excited and it's like, “Now, I've oversold.” I keep going to a point where I almost talk them out of working with me.
That could happen. The executive told me this after it was all over. He goes, “James, not everybody would have done that for you.” I was grateful for him to have stopped me and say, “I need your stuff, but you got to shut up. You've already been here an hour longer than you're supposed to be.” Hopefully, that helps. The whole point of writing the book was to address that and I ended up working with not just new salespeople, which tend to have this challenge, but also with subject matter experts. These are people that aren't in sales at all. They are basically a domain expert or some kind and they tag along with the sales guy and they're expected to help move the process forward. They almost universally will tell me they despise selling and that they hate being alone when there's no salesperson to cover that part because they don't know what to do. This was like, “Is there a way to advance the sale without being a manipulative, pushy person?” That's what The Perfect Close is.
I was speaking with an entrepreneur who was telling me about how her company is growing and ready to grow bigger, but that she hates sales so much that she needs to find a sales team. She needs to hire other people. This is something super common in my industry, at least. A lot of my audience maybe are relating and nodding their heads going, “I'm the expert. I'm the genius. I'm the amazing transformational person and yet it's so hard. I don't feel good selling.” I recorded an interview with Jeremy Slate and he said that he wound up taking on a partner because he's so bad at selling. There are a lot of sales books and sales trainings are geared towards sales people. What I love about The Perfect Close and how you explained that is that it's great for sales people, but it's so impactful for non-salespeople, but the coach, the author, the speaker, the consultant, the person who is selling their own services and an expertise.
That’s a perception thing. There was only one group of people that are trusted less than salespeople, and that's politicians. Any survey who say, “Who is the least trustworthy person?” It’s salespeople. That's the perception that we go into any encounter. We have to fight that. As entrepreneurs, you get to be a little bit better because you're both the subject matter expert as well as the agent that's doing the selling, but they still know you have something to gain. That makes you a suspect basically. That hesitation, “What would cause me to have to hire another person because I had to pay so badly that I got to have somebody else do that?” That's a mindset issue. If we can address that, then what happens is all the hesitation around helping other people get something that goes away. I'm in healthcare space mostly.
[Tweet “Selling is an act of service and not every solution saves a life like that. @B2B_SalesTips@NiczTheName”]
There is a story that was in the news a few years ago and this baby named Kaiba Gionfriddo. This baby was born with a collapsed trachea and it didn't fully manifest itself until he was about six weeks old. Every single day this baby would stop breathing. His parents would have to do CPR on this baby every day to try to make sure that they would keep him breathing and they would take him to his doctors and it was a birth defect. Nobody knows how to solve this problem. You can only imagine as a parent, not knowing any moment that your kid's going to stop breathing. They ended up finding Dr. Green and he's at University of Michigan in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. They were exploring creating these 3D printable biodegradable splints, basically implants that will go inside of a person, but then dissolve. It wasn't FDA approved. He used an emergency provision in the FDA rule set to get approval to use one of these 3D splints. It's very interesting looking. They printed this thing and then they use it as a splint around Kaiba’s trachea. It went from every day not breathing, not knowing when Kaiba’s going to stop breathing, to it saving his life. It's an amazing story.
When we hear these stories we all think, “If I was Dr. Green, I would absolutely save someone's life with a skill like that.” We all think that. What we don't take into account is, “Did you know that there was a sale here?” There was a sale involved in this whole thing. We don't talk about that part of it because there's something about that takes away the magic of the story. That 3D printed process required CT scans and MRI scans in order to get the imaging and the printing process possible. It requires lasers and these special 3D printers that can print this biodegradable material. All of that costs money too. The actual salesperson that was involved with this is Scott Hollister. We don't hear too much about him because it takes away from the magic of the story. This illustrates what selling is. Do we feel like he's a bad person or that he's pushy or anything? No, there are thousands of stories just like this one. We've got to ask ourselves, “Why do we see this sale differently than the way we see other sales?” We see it that way because we can see it most directly connected to the person that benefits. We can see that Kaiba’s life was saved from this but it illustrates perfectly that selling is an act of service and not every solution saves a life like that.
Some feed the hungry or some help us with medications or some help us communicate or travel to distances. There's hundreds of different ways that what we do helps another person. That's the whole point. It’s what selling is. It’s helping a customer move towards a goal. We are the agent or we are the coach that's helping them get from where they are to where they want to be. With that mindset, this hesitation about, “I don't want to ask,” that dissolves because what we're doing this we're trying to help them. In the same way that we would say, “I would absolutely save that child's life if I had Dr. Green's skills.” We’re that same person. We just need to connect the dots that how we help a person is we can't help them unless we coach them a little bit. That's what we need to be as salespeople, a little bit better of a coach. We don't have to be pushy, but at the same time, what makes a coach good is they help you be better than you are.
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Such a good example of that mindset shift and I suspect that some here are probably leaning in now going, “Okay, but how do I convince them?” That goes back to this icky way of selling, of convincing or manipulating or anything like that. You talked extensively in The Perfect Close, which I highly recommend, about advancing the sale, which is much different than what most people experience and expect. I want people to go explore that. I want to make sure we get your magic questions because there are only two questions that you say people need to be able to use in their sales conversations. Can you explain what those two questions are and how we can use them when we know that the person sitting on the other side of the desk or the phone or the computer from us needs what we have because we will save their life in a certain way?
It's important to start out before I share what the questions are, is that there are a lot of little steps or a lot of little sales on the way to the big sale. That's a simple concept, but basically people don't immediately turn on or off and get something. For very small items, they do. If you're going to buy about a pack of gum maybe. If you're buying anything that's above $200, there's more thought process that goes into it. If we're the agent, we’re the entrepreneurial, we're going to go have a meeting with somebody, it's important when we go into any meeting to have a little bit of an idea of what we wanted to happen. What do we want the outcome to be? A good practice is to think, “What would be the best thing that could happen?” We'll call that the ideal advance. What if it turns out that Nicole is not ready for that? Then we want a couple of alternatives that would still keep the ball moving, but maybe not necessarily be the biggest one. I call those alternate advances.
We're using the word ‘advance’, which was coined by a man named Neil Rackham. An advance is nothing more than moving yourself forward in a little way. There was nothing complicated about it. It's moving yourself forward in a little way. If you know what you want to happen, what's your ideal advance, then all you need is these two questions. There are zero confrontation. There's no pressure whatsoever on you or the person you're talking to and it's about 95% effective and so basically, you can't get rejected.
The first question is, “Does it make sense for us to X?” The X is going to be whatever your ideal advance is. If Nicole wants me to come look at her business operations or her marketing and have me look at her processes, then I might say, “Nicole, does it make sense for us to schedule a time for me to come assess your marketing operations?” Then there are only one or two things she can say. She's either going to say, “Yeah, that does make sense,” or she's going to say, “No, it doesn't make sense.” It was one of two things. If she said, “Yeah, it does make sense,” then I'm going to say, “Let's get our calendar out. We're going to schedule it.” On the other hand if she says, “No,” then we're going to use question number two. There are several different variations of this. The most basic one is we're going to throw the ball back to her. We're going to say, “What do you think is a good next step then?” What I can tell you, and I've been on hundreds of rides along with salespeople, is what will happen in 90% of the case. The customer will suggest a very logical next step for where they're at right now. Maybe we misread where they're at in their buyer's journey. That's okay. This accommodates that. We don't have to be a psychic. We'll ask, “Does it make sense for us to X?” If they say, “No,” then, “What do you think is a good next step yet?” 90% of the time, they'll suggest the next step for you and then you take that and move forward. Those are the two basics and those are some variations. That's the basic two questions. Does it make sense to X and what do you think is a good next step as a fallback?
A very good upgrade is sometimes the people that we're selling to, they're not really familiar with our product or our solution. They don't buy it very often. In some cases, maybe once in a lifetime. It helps us add value to the conversation if we share with them what is a common process to get there. For example, I might say, “Nicole, at this stage a lot of our other clients will have us come out and do an assessment to see what kind of optimization we can do. It doesn't make sense for us to schedule an assessment.” What I've done there is called the suggestion. We're suggesting what the logical next step is. They don't have to think so hard about it. You can do that at the beginning when you do your first question, but you can also do that when you use the fallback question. I say, “Nicole, does make sense for us to schedule an assessment?” You say, “No.” Then I say, “Other clients at this stage will sometimes do this other thing. Does it make sense for us to do that?” What you're doing is you're helping them a little bit understand what's typically involved in the buying process.
That is very helpful if they don't buy what you're selling very often. I find the more sophisticated your solution, the less likely it is that they're going to have any experience at all. You're adding value. They could say yes or no to the next one. Your other clients at this stage typically do X. Does it make sense to do that? If they say, “No,” then you've got an option. You could ask it again or you could throw it back to them and say, “What do you think is a good next step?” You can see that we start at what we think is the most ideal place for them to be, but if they're not ready for that, we're going to fall back to another one. You could do the flip of this, too, which is very cool. If I ask you, “Does it make sense for us to do an assessment?” You go, “Yeah, absolutely.” I go, “Let's schedule that.” I can say, “Sometimes clients at this stage will also want to do this other thing. Do you want to do that too?” If they say, “Yeah, sure,” then I can even add another one. I can say, “Sometimes they also do this Z thing too. Do you want to do that?”
This happened to me one time at a group in Arizona. I go down there and this was IT stuff. We thought we were presented to the wrong group of people and we say, “Does it make sense for us to schedule to this other group of people?” We thought, “That’s who needed to see it.” The guy says, “Yeah, absolutely.” We're like, “Okay.” I look at my list. The next thing on my list, my alternative, was to get our technical teams to talk. I said, “Does it make sense for us to have our two technical teams talk to each other to see how much of your existing equipment we can use?”He goes, “Yeah, that's a great idea.” I'm like, “All right. We're doing pretty good.” I looked down, I got one more thing on my list, which is talk about a conversion and I said, “Does it make sense for us to get some of your data to see if we can convert it?” He goes, “Yes, absolutely.” I'm spent. I got my ideal advance, I got my two alternative advances and then at the end of this one, around the fallback, you throw them the ball back. You say, “What do you think is the next step?” On the add-on, what you do at the end you say, “Are there any other logical steps that we should be taking right now?” That's what you say. If I said this to this guy and he goes, “Our legal people are slow. Is there any chance we could get a copy of your agreement?” I would've never dreamed in 100 years that I would've been able to walk into that meeting where we thought we were presenting to the wrong people and give them a contract. Probably if I had tried it at the wrong time from his perspective, that would look pushy.
The cool thing about The Perfect Close is it paces it to whatever they're ready for. If our ideal advance is a little too much, then we fallback to something or throw them the ball and if they're ready to go, then we keep piling on because the important thing is that we want to pace it. It's when we start to push them farther than they're ready for that it starts to feel like pressure or pushy to the customer. When we are trying to take them farther along the path than where they're ready, that's when it starts to look like. This process avoids that because we're basically getting their consent all the way through. The customer is driving the whole process. Those are a couple of the alternatives. There's a couple more, but I don't want it to hijack all your time with different variations.
Oftentimes, we offer an advance where they tell us what that logical next step is and we have agreement. Now, what? Something I learned from you was that sending over or me doing the work then for them, send your proposal. There's nothing that they have to do. Now, it's on me. Now, I'm in a situation where I'm waiting for them to do something. You positioned it a little bit differently where they have to do something. Talk a little bit about how that works.
Advances are super important. One of the things that they do very well is when we ask them to do something. We’re going to put a little bit of a hurdle there. Like if I ask you, “I have an eight-question survey I'd like you to fill out and then send back to me. Would you be willing to fill out the survey?” That is a little bit of effort. Here we are talking about advances, but it's important to know the difference between what an advance is and this other thing that's called a continuation. I didn't invent these terms. These are invented by Neil Rackham, who's the guy that coined the phrase. A continuation, the definition of a continuation is where the sale will continue on, but no progress is made. I spent a little time diving into how can you tell if the thing that happened is an advance or a continuation? It's a big problem. I've had sales guys that I manage that were basically doing all this work for the customer. The customer was putting in no effort at all. He's working like a dog trying to do everything and gain their favor. The customer has no skin in the game. In this sense, as professionals, the only thing we have is our time. That's it. We convert time into money. It's super important that we know where to invest it. When we ask the customer for a small advance, it's a lot like throwing a person at basketball. If they throw me the ball back and they exert a little effort, then I know they want to play ball. If I throw them the ball and they let it drop, I'm not going to keep throwing them basketball. That's not a good use of my time.
The advance is important in more than one way. In addition to telling us the next little step that's going to move the sale forward. It also is a little test so that we can devote our time. The Perfect Close is probably 90% to 95% effective if you do all this stuff. Yet, I've had people on shows or in workshops say, “What about that last 5%?” Here's what I'll say about that. If we get in front of a person and we've been this facilitative and they can't come up with a single reason, then what does that tell us about the opportunity that we're working? We need that last 5% to help us know how to invest our time. Some clients will move really fast, some will move slow. The Perfect Close helps us get there but that last 5%, that's telling us, “This is a time-suck. This is not going to turn out to be anything good.” We're not going to get any satisfaction out of it both monetarily, but also from an accomplishment perspective. If they're not willing to accept our help, then no help can be given. That's the important thing about advances. All we have as professional is our time. It helps us gauge who we should be working with.
[Tweet “All we have as professional is our time. @B2B_SalesTips @NiczTheName”]
Could you give us a couple of examples? For example, if somebody is in a conversation and the customer has identified, “Yes, they have this problem,” because we didn't even talk about it, but much of your methodology involves adding value and asking the questions and understanding their needs. If we get to a point where they've identified that we have something that they want, that they will benefit from, can you give an example of how that continuation would go if they're not ready for sharing their financials or to get a contract or something like that? Can you role play a little bit?
Once you understand what an advance is or what a continuation is, the problem disappears because you know to ask for a logical next step that's an advance. People get confused because sometimes they think, “I had lunch with these guys,” and they think that's an advance. If during lunch, the customer agrees to some commitment that moves the process for like, “I need to introduce you to my boss,” that's an advance. The test of an advance is does it require action or doesn't require energy? If it doesn't require those two things or is very low on those two things, then it's not an advance.
If they watch a webinar, they're not really committing to anything. It's definitely engagement. There's some interest or they wouldn't have spent some time watching it, but it's not an advance because it doesn't involve a commitment and the energy level is super low. On the other hand, let's say I'm going to come visit you next week and talk about your sales process and you say, “I put together this 30-page document about my sales process.” That is a lot of effort. We use that effort to decide whether it's an advance or whether it's not. Things like, “Did I have lunch?”If something happened on lunch, but meeting with them by itself is not an advance. If they say, “I liked what I saw,” that is nothing. It doesn't require any energy. I've had guys where we have a product to demo and they want to see it. The customer has asked five times to see it and they think they're demoing it and it's moving the process forward. If a customer's not doing anything, it's really not. It's okay to do the demo, but we want to end the process with a logical advance of some kind.
What are some of those questions that we can ask them? We've had the meal they say they're going to introduce us, then do we wait until they introduce us or is there something in a follow-up to get that action or that follow through? If they say they want a demo, what would that thing be? Or we're demoing it, are there some questions that we can ask? If the customer isn't already engaged to a point where they're putting together their 30-page report or they're not throwing the basketball back but they still seem interested, are there some questions that we can ask to get them to take action?
All of chapter eight in the book is about developing all of the possible advances that you might have. There is no one answer that fits every single person. If they have a client that's interested but it's not advancing, they should ask this question because it's contextual. It depends on the product or the solution. There are some common things. In chapter eight, we do a brainstorm of all the little minor steps that we might take. Before I go to have lunch with you, I'm going to pick three of those out. I'm going to say, “This is the best thing that could happen.” If that doesn't happen, I'd be happy if this happened or if this happened. I'm going to have that in my phone or a notepad or whatever. When I'm with them, I might say, “Does it make sense for me to meet your executive or CEO, or does it make sense for us to schedule a demo?” If they say, “Yes,” we've got an advance. Our lunch is productive. If they say, “No,” then you could say, “What do you think is a good next step?”If they give us something, we've got an advance. The worst case scenario is I say, “What's a good next step?” and they just sit there. They're like, “Hmmm?” That probably tells us something about the quality of the opportunity that we're working.
A tough medicine that is hard for salespeople to embrace is we're far better working with an ideal customer. That's the match for our persona or some people call them avatars, but we've got a definition of what the ideal customer is. We're better off going after one of those than to continue to waste time on the low probability prospect. That's tough medicine because it is a lot fun to hang out with a customer and talk to them than it is to go out and find a brand new one. The truth is, focusing on your ideal prospect is a super high leverage strategy. If we get a customer, we said, “What do you think is a good next step?”and they can't come up with anything, what they really told us is they're not ready. Let's put them into our queue. It doesn't mean we're going to forget about them forever, but we're going to let the emails and things like that take care of them while we go find somebody that has a more urgent.
Can you speak a little bit about that because we all want to always be working with our ideal people and to move the needle forward with our ideal people? If we realize that this is not our ideal person or maybe it is, but it's not the right time and we can put them into the email sequence, do you have any high value recommendations for what that email sequence or what ongoing follow-up that doesn't take a lot of time or energy could be?
I don’t how far along they are in their thinking about the buyer's journey. What you need to do is we need to match our messaging to where they're at in the process. There are six stages in my world. There's awareness where they're wondering, “Do I really have a problem or not?” Before that, they don't even have that, then they're wondering after that. The next stage is they're defining their problem. “How big is this really? Is this something I got to do something about.” Then there are options. They say, “How can I solve this?” Solving it might involve your product but it might involve something different that's not your product. They'll solve it any way they can do it. Then there's the evaluate solutions, which is what we usually think about, “Why are you better than some other solution?” People are pretty good about that stage. Once they’ve decided, “I'm going to do this,” they justify it. They think, ” I'm about to spend a lot of money here, should I really do this?” Then after that, they start thinking, “I'm going to do it.” Then they start thinking about, “What's the best deal I could get?” That's the order that they go in.
The problem with this particular scenario that we're talking about is that they're probably not really sure that we got one or two problems. They're not really aware that they have a problem or they're not sure the problem is big enough to keep moving. If we're going to craft our messaging that's going to go to them, we need to be focusing our message, not on the we're the best solution because that's not where they're at. The golden rule of messaging is to meet the customer where they're at. They're at in this awareness stage where they're still trying to figure out what they really have an issue with.50% of all sales are lost to no decision. It tells us that the customer was never fully convinced that they had a problem that was big enough worth solving.
Pick any industry that's the number one competitor. Their number one competitor is not somebody who also does what you do. It's not that person. The number one competitor is no decision. A customer is not certain that they have a problem we're solving. When we're crafting our messages, there are three things you can think about. There's why change, why now and why you. Really the awareness stage it's about why change and why now. Change is why should I do something different and why is it urgent? Why can’t I wait a year to do this? We need to help them think through that. Once you explore your area, what you're doing, where you're adding service, if you can articulate to them what it is they're really missing out on, if they don't move forward, they'll embrace it, but we do a crappy job of that on the whole. Most of the time as marketers, as salespeople, we're not articulating very well why is it that they have challenge and why they should do it now as opposed to all the other possibilities that they could do right now. I don't pretend that that's not hard work. It is. That's where the energy has to be devoted. If you're trying to take someone that's at that stage and move them forward into the process to where they start thinking, “I need to do something about this.” We moved into the next stage and now we can have the rest of our conversation.
This was a fabulous conversation and I hope that everyone, if this is something that you can identify, this is something you need help with, definitely get the book. What did you say 50%or how many percent?
In some industries, it's as high as 70% of all decisions are lost to no decision.
For me, that's what it's been. It's no decision and it's me going, “I don't want to bug them,” but it's me recognizing that there was something wrong in the journey. I recognized that without being able to articulate it in the past and I have a sense that a number of the entrepreneurs can relate to that. It's not even supposed to move forward, it's not going to move forward, but you don't know why. I love that you've talked about that.
There's a whole bunch of new information that came out in the last six months about what is the ideal way to craft a message to a client or a prospect that is most likely to cause them to act now. There's no message that will cause them to act now, but what we do know now in the last six months is we know which message process is the best. We're better than we knew six months ago. We know how we should be constructing that message to get them to act now. It doesn't mean everyone will, but we do know which one creates the most traction.
Let people know your final parting thoughts, words of wisdom and how they can get more from you in addition to getting the book, but to get on your list. You have so many valuable resources that you share and support people in amazing ways. I'd love to turn it over to you for final thoughts and also how they can continue the conversation.
They're welcome to go to the website and download it. There's a lot of stuff there for them to do. All of that's free. You don't have to buy the book or anything to get it. Just go download it. For those people who are listening on the go, that's at PureMuir.com/Resources. I would circle back to what we said at the very beginning is how to think about selling. Whenever we're trying to take on some new or some kind of challenge, we all love to have a coach that helps us move forward at our own pace and The Perfect Close helps you do that. The key is to give a little bit of thought as to what the steps are that will help get the customer there. Those are the advances that we're going to suggest. We don't always know what the exact pace is, but that perception helps us coach them optimally is understanding that.
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Our clients are engaging us precisely because they want to make a positive change. If they could do it without us, they wouldn't even be talking to us. They're expecting us to be the coach. If they could do it, they would have already done it by now. They want us to guide them through all those little steps that it takes to help them achieve their goals. It's really what selling is. It's not about persuasion, it's not about manipulation, it's about serving, it's about coaching, it's about leadership really when you get right down to it. Most of us could do a little bit better job of coaching and serving and leading the clients that we're working with. That is my challenge to entrepreneurs, to salespeople, to executives is be a better coach, be a better problem solver, be a better teacher, be a better leader so we can serve our customers better.
Thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure and I appreciate you coming and sharing your wisdom.
My pleasure. I'm happy to come back anytime.
- James Muir
- The Perfect Close
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About James Muir
James Muir is a best-selling author, professional sales trainer, speaker and coach. He has an extensive background in healthcare where he has sold-to and spoken for the largest names in technology and healthcare including HCA, Tenet, Catholic Healthcare, Banner, Dell, IBM and others.
James is the author of the Best-Selling book The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales that shows professionals a clear and simple approach to increase closed opportunities and accelerate sales to the highest levels while remaining genuinely authentic.