"It’s the ability to close that makes a difference more than any other skill you will learn in life"
This is the third book I have read by international sales training and business coach Grant Cardone. The Closer’s Survival Guide differs from Grant’s other books (The 10x Rule, Sell or Be Sold, and If You Are Not First, You’re Last), in that it is broken down into two parts: the theory of closing and a compilation of different closes and how to manage objections.
The beginning of the book focuses on the most critical part in the sales cycle: determining whether there will be a transaction or not. This book brought to my awareness that we close every day, whether it be as a kid trying to get money for candy or asking for your partner’s hand in marriage. While closing occurs every day, I also realized looking back on past experiences my hesitancy to perform these closes.
I realize there have opportunities in my life where I was not confident to ‘close’, due to my prior experiences growing up and lack of confidence. Grant exposes all of the reasons for not closing and explains them in great detail.
I remember waiting six months to ask a girl out in grade 7 because I wasn’t sure what to say. However, when I finally did she said yes! Other times my complacency was trumped by others who knew how to close and achieve the end goal. The things we want do not just fall into our lap, we must use specific techniques, strategies, and take specific actions. Grant’s book shows the reader how to get whatever they want in life, if you commit all in and learn how to sell, negotiate and most of all close.
The Big Idea
Go All In
"The only real reason a person fails in life is their inability to close others on providing resources, energy, money, support or whatever it is they need in order to achieve what it is they want"
This book made me realize how simple it is to get what I want out of life and why I haven’t always achieved the results I wanted in the past. Two key pieces of information that I found central to closing are:
- Successful sales people accept full responsibility for the outcome of the sale.
- You must be so fully sold on your product that you believe it is unethical for the prospect not to do business with you.
The above two points made sense to me because I realized that anytime I’ve got rapid results in my life is when I’ve directed all of my energy into focusing on what I could do to make things happen, as opposed to things outside of my control.
No Close = No Exchange = No Real Value
"If there is no exchange and no action, then there is no close; then there is no real value exchanged."
I can think of many times in my life where I did not fully commit to a skill to see it through. As a result, I now make a conscious effort to only commit to projects I can see myself completing and schedule the appropriate time to ensure I complete them. Grant uses a great analogy to explain this: “if you stop working out before you get results, was there really any value? Until you start losing weight or improving muscle tone, no ‘real’ value has been attained – you never received any exchange for your workouts”. In sales this is where the sales rep quits before they get an agreement and never get a close.
There is a saying that the Chinese Bamboo tree takes about five years before it cracks the surface of the soil, and in the fifth year it grows over 80 feet tall in just six weeks. It took years of nourishing with light and water to help it grow, and without it the tree never would have matured.
Can you think of a time where you stopped short of seeing any “real” value for the efforts you put in with a prospect or a project you committed to? Compare that to when you followed a project through to the end and witnessed the end result. What was different?
Earn Professional Status
"The true PROFESSIONAL CLOSER or ‘PRO CLOSER’ is the individual who has taken the time to observe what is happening, record his experiences and practice, drill, and rehearse before he enters the closing situation."
If you have ever heard of the 10,000 hour rule of “practice to become an expert at anything”, you will be pleased to know it won’t take that long to become a professional closer. Grant estimates that if you spent a tenth of this time, your results would skyrocket. Grant makes sense of this by defining two forms of learning:
- Proactive Learning. Create an experience and practice, drill and rehearse the possible scenarios. As a result you will acquire a certainty about how to close deals. For example, try spending 30 minutes where you write, read and repeat the answer to a typical objection that you get.
- Reactive Learning. Ever heard of the statement we learn from experience? Put yourself in situations that will require you to use the skill you are trying to acquire and see what result you get and keep making changes as you go along (trial and error).
I realized the importance of proactive learning and committing to following through with actions. The good news is that anyone can become significantly better. You don’t need to necessarily invest 10 years or 10,000 hours to begin to see results. Blocking off time each day to implement these strategies would enable you to learn how to get what you want out of life.
The Closer’s Survival Guide is well worth your investment in both the time and money. If you want to learn how to close and get your products and services into the market place or simply get what you want, then this book is for you. Grant empowers the reader, showing how he became top of his field in only a couple of years. What I found the most useful was not the closes and how to respond to them but rather the focus I developed in creating my own system, so that I too could become a professional in my own field. This book is essential for those new to sales to help acquire true sales leader habits, and for the veterans to help take their game to the next level.