Jerry Jones is an incredibly successful salesman. Despite his transformational facial plastic surgery, Jones has been the face of the Dallas Cowboys franchise since 1989 when he purchased the team for $140M.
The Cowboys are now worth $3.2B. In 2008 the Dallas team was featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks, the reality documentary
series that takes you behind the scenes of an NFL training camp.
The Hard Knocks cameras were rolling as Jerry Jones talked to his team about the 5 keys to sales success.
“There are five keys to being a good salesman,” Jones declared. “Ask for the money…and I’ve forgotten the other four.”
This simple step fails to materialize on a consistent basis. It’s easier to rationalize you are taking small, deliberate steps that will naturally lead to a sale. Why ruin a nice, slow-moving courtship with such a confrontational question that could make us both uneasy? In my years of purchasing for a major homebuilder covering six Midwestern markets, I listened to thousands of pitches. Two things stood out to me as a buyer.
Salespeople didn’t know what they were selling.
At first this seems silly, right? “I know what I sell. I sell interior millwork packages. I gotta ask for that sale.” Not really.
When you are trying to get on a Purchasing Manager’s radar, you’re selling yourself. Are you likable? Are you smart? Can you add value—in some way—without asking for a 30-minute meeting to introduce yourself?
When prospecting, the sale you must ask for is a small, meaningful step taken by the prospect to demonstrate a modicum of interest in you. It’s the call to action she responds to that indicates you have successfully earned a blip on her radar.
• A call.
• An email.
• Another meeting.
• An intro to her colleague.
Salespeople didn’t ask for the sale.
Well over half my meetings ended with no ask. Nearly as frequently, there was no proposed next step. The meeting wrapped up and we all went our separate ways. It was then the sales rep’s responsibility to build up that momentum again.
Given my schedule and shifting priorities, it could be months before the sales rep earned my attention again—even though he had a potential solution to a problem of mine while we were together.
Jerry Jones is a polarizing figure around the NFL, not to mention Texas. However everyone respects his ability to sell.
So listen to Jerry: Determine the next reasonable step in the sales conversation and ask for the money. Your company is counting on you, because to your prospect — you have become the face of your franchise.