3 Valuable Sales Closing Lessons from Glengarry Glen Ross

Three ways social selling can help sales pros move beyond old-school sales tactics.

June 19, 2017

  • Lessons-Learned

Glengarry Glen Ross is a classic in the hallowed halls of sales movies. With the film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play released in 1992, it isn’t just the outfits that are outdated – it’s the reliance on the Always Be Closing (ABC) mantra. In a world where buyers can access virtually any information, easily compare options, and instantly validate their decisions through a variety of social networks, the ABC approach just doesn’t cut it. Here are three reasons why, and ways you can apply the tenets of social selling to modernize your sales approach.

Buyers Sense Desperation

If you’re always focused on closing, you’re probably also sweating the ramifications of your sales prospects signing (or not signing) on the dotted line. Buyers can sense desperation and will take advantage of it. That means they might get you to do just about anything to seal the deal – even when it’s not in the best interests of you or your company.

A better approach is to build your authority as it pertains to your understanding of your buyers, their industry, and their challenges. It’s the first step to establishing trust and developing relationships that will ultimately help you land sales. You can do this on LinkedIn by keeping your profile up-to-date with relevant and compelling information, and engaging with prospects in ways that provide value to them.

Social is about connecting, informing, and helping, and it’s how you can influence the buying process before buyers even engage with you. Rather than chase down prospects in desperation, establish thought leadership on social channels to become the trusted expert buyers seek. Once buyers are ready to sign on the dotted line, they will respect you and treat the close as a negotiation between equals.

A One-Track Mind Is Off Track

When everything you do is about making a sale, you’re going to focus on closing deals – even when it’s not the right time to do so. Instead of going in cold and expecting a quick win, foster strong relationships with prospects and interact with them throughout their purchase process in a way that shines a spotlight on them.

Do your homework to understand what matters to them, and center discussions around those issues and concerns. It’s also wise to broaden that single track to multiple tracks or threads by engaging with all the key stakeholders involved in the purchase process. Doing so will help you keep opportunities moving along. Just remember to be extremely targeted in who you reach out to, and take the time to research that person to give context as to why it makes sense to connect.

No One Likes a Narcissist

When you focus on the close, your sales pitches tend to be about yourself. That self-absorption is a real turnoff. Plus, it’s ineffective. You won’t connect with buyers if you don’t help them see themselves in the story you tell.

Flip the formula and make everything about your prospects – from the way you present yourself on LinkedIn to the information you share, to the discussions you participate in. In other words, focus on delivering selfless value. Be the helpful guide instead of the stereotypical salesperson.

By consistently applying the tenets of trust-building, research, and customer-centricity, you will “always be closing” without needing to resort to pressure nor desperation.  

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