A Note to the Young Closer,
You’ve made a wise decision purchasing this book. I know this because, at any time I would find myself in the throes of another battle with the all-too-real phenomenon of “writer’s block,” I would resort back to a single question: “what would have helped me the most here?” In doing so I no longer had to think about all the different things I could write and was confined instead to only that which I myself would have found valuable as an aspiring young saber tooth.
Contrast this approach with the cacophony of sales books on the market today where the question the author seems to be asking is “how can we make this whole selling thing seem a lot easier than it really is so we can sell more books?” and you will see the reason for my confidence in deeming your purchase sage.
There are too many sales “methodology” books out there claiming that consistently closing new business can be boiled down to a set of common, finite variables shared among the prospects in our territories. The result is a lot of books sold on the promise of a shortcut that doesn’t exist, and a lack of results for the would-be closer.
There also seems to be a lot of thought that our prospective clients are the type of people that will gladly spend the precious hours of their workday answering sales-laden interrogatories about their “challenges,” “business issues” and “pain points.”
How many times have we been told by sales leadership that prospects should be the ones doing most of the talking during sales interactions? What if they don’t want to speak to us in the first place?
The reality is that many of you out there have prospects that are either averse to sales meetings altogether, or particularly averse to meeting with sales reps from your company specifically, an unfortunate situation perhaps due to the sales rep before you pounding your prospects’ inboxes with so many value-less touches that you find yourself paying for the tab they drank on.It goes without saying that hurling interrogatories at these prospects during your precious 15 minutes together is not a good use of their time or yours.
Because I’ve avoided the use of the silver bullets and selling formulas so common in other B2B sales books, you might find what I advise in these pages to require some real, honest work to implement. The young closer rejoices in this notion. They do so because if closing deals with regularity were easy, everyone would be good at it and commission structures at your company would accordingly suck. If closing new business were as simple as following a “selling formula,” there’d be no way for you to separate yourself, financially or otherwise, from your peers in a manner that opens up doors for the promotions, joint ventures, and entrepreneurial opportunities that may come your way due to your uncommon success as a young deal god.
I've split this book is split into three parts, “The Sales Domination Manual,” “The Mental Manual” and the “Office Escape Manual.” The names I’ve chosen for these are at least partly ironic. “Manual” connotes something you can follow mindlessly without giving it any thought of your own, and if you only get one thing out of this book, it’s that you should only follow advice (including my own) if it comports with your own intuition and common sense. Take that which does, put it into action, and discard the rest.
Nevertheless, in combining “young closer,” “sales domination,” and “office escape,” you can probably surmise that my goal in writing #ClosingSZN is to help enable young sales professionals to leverage a potentially brief, potentially extraordinary career in sales to recognize the incredible spoils that can come along with it before inertia kicks in & we’re tilling the office cube-farm until the age of 65 . I mean no disrespect to anyone who enjoys corporate life to this extent. It is only my own interpretation of Dante’s lesser known 10th layer of Hell which has compelled me to write this book.
Why the “young” closer? It’s not that if you don’t consider yourself young you won’t get anything out of all this. It is merely an indication that it is the young closer that will get the most out of it. That’s because it is by earning more earlier in life that the young closer is set up for a remarkably quick path to financial independence, thus skipping out on the whole “I’ll earn a decent salary until I’m 65 and then retire” way of thinking that depresses me to the very quick (wherever that may be). Further, the ability to leverage your success to escape the office, travel the world as you’d like, and generally enjoy an unrestricted sense of freedom is something that is best experienced in our primes.
How long will it take before you start closing more deals? Before you’re able to escape the sickly malaise of office life? That depends greatly upon the actions you take after you’ve finished reading. 95% of you will agree with the substance of what I’ve written but not actually make the changes needed to produce the results. As Americans we are obsessed with consuming; you only need to look at the number of hours we spend watching Netflix or “playing” fantasy football to see how much more we like consuming than producing. And, although it’s more heavily lauded than the forms of laze above, reading books without taking any action can quickly become just another form of consumption. Consumption doesn’t ever get us paid.
If, however, you fall within the 5% of people who consistently take action upon the things you learn, you should be able to double your commissions and leverage your success to dictate when, where, and how you work within two years. This is what I was able to accomplish in my two years a mid-market sales rep for the “End User” region at Gartner, an IT advisory firm trending towards $3.5B in annual revenue. These results made me Gartner’s top rep two years in a row in the business unit in which most reps didn’t hit quota. Many didn’t make it halfway there.
The difference in results doesn’t mean my peers were less talented, and they certainly weren’t born out of my own innate selling ability. When I first started selling there was a period of time I was chewed up and spit out by my prospects so thoroughly that I began to doubt my ability to ever close a single deal.
Any success I’ve had can instead be attributed to a continuous, exhaustive effort to figure out how I could level up from “rep” to “closer.” An effort my manager Michael deemed “maniacal” in my end-of-year review following my first year on the sales floor.
The spoils for your efforts won’t just come in the form of dollars, they will also come in the form of the leverage you’ll be able to wield to begin working on your own terms, regaining control over how you spend the precious hours that make up your life. For me this meant slinging deals while I traveled the world, a time during which I was also promoted into our large enterprise division where I started earning over $200k before making an exit, a nest egg in tote which has enabled me to continue traveling and write this book, among other creative and entrepreneurial endeavors. What will it mean for you?
If you’re fresh out of school or in your early 20s, imagine what your life will look like in a few years when you’re 25 and have grossed over half $1M from your day job alone. You’ll be on a fast track to the financial freedom and location independence Tim Ferris wrote about in The Four-Hour Workweek without having to peddle some shit product on the internet or telling everyone you’re earning exorbitant amounts of money on crypto or forex while actually living on $20 a day in Thailand (@ all you IG charlatans in my DMs trying to “coach” me). The kids you graduated school with won’t know what to make of you; the world will be your oyster. Becoming an elite closer is perhaps the surest way to pull off these feats in today's economy. This book will help get you there more quickly.
Welcome to #ClosingSZN.