This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Secrets of Closing the Sale" by Zig Ziglar. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What is Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale about? What are the main takeaways from his book?
The process of selling can seem mysterious and incomprehensible. In Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar explains what qualities you must develop as a salesperson, how customers tend to behave in sales situations, and the strategies you can employ to maximize the impact of your pitch and close the sale every time.
Here’s a brief overview of Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar.
Secrets of Closing the Sale: Zig Ziglar’s Advice
In Secrets of Closing the Sale, Zig Ziglar reveals how you can greatly increase your chances of closing your sales. He discusses how you can shift your thinking to better understand your potential customer—your lead—and he outlines specific sales techniques that can maximize the impact of your pitch. Ziglar takes a 360-degree approach to sales, teaching you about the salesperson, the customer, and the sale itself so you’re fully equipped to make the right decisions in the room and close the deal.
Part I: Secrets About the Salesperson
Zig Ziglar begins Secrets of Closing the Sale by discussing what makes a successful salesperson. Ziglar argues salespeople must first internalize and live by the following two principles:
- To achieve success in your life, help others find success in theirs
- Everyone is always selling
Qualities of a Salesperson
Beyond adhering to the above two principles, to succeed as a salesperson, you must also have the following six qualities:
- A strong belief in the product, yourself, and the customer
- Credibility in the eyes of the customer
- A professional appearance
- Empathy for the customer
- A positive perspective and attitude
- A growth mindset
Part II: Secrets About the Customer
Now that you understand the principles and qualities that make you a good salesperson, let’s turn to the customer. In this part of Secrets to Closing the Sale, Ziglar talks about six common customer behaviors you must understand to do your best selling. He then turns to five common customer objections and how to best address them.
Here are the six common customer behaviors:
- Customers give you one reason for not buying when it’s really another
- Customers decline to buy because they don’t have enough information
- Customers buy things they want, not things they need
- Customers buy the pleasure the product promises, not the product itself
- Customers dislike losing something more than they like gaining something
Common Customer Objections and How to Address Them
Now that we’ve discussed customer behaviors, let’s look at five common reasons why Ziglar believes customers don’t buy from you and how to address those reasons.
- They don’t need the product
- They don’t want the product
- They don’t feel it’s urgent to buy now
- They think the product is too expensive
- They don’t trust you
Part III: Secrets About the Sale
Now that you know what you as the seller must bring to a sale and how leads tend to behave in buying situations, you can move on to crafting an effective pitch. Do this by following these five rules.
- Help the customer decide to buy
- Sell over the long term
- Address both logic and emotion in your pitch
- Tailor your pitch to the customer and the circumstances
- Address objections effectively
Address Objections Effectively
Your customer will likely bring up objections, writes Ziglar in Secrets to Closing the Sale. This is good because it means the customer is seriously considering the purchase. Nonetheless, you must address all objections effectively to make the sale.
(Shortform note: In Sell or Be Sold, Grant Cardone proposes that perhaps you don’t need to address all objections yourself: Allow the customer to address their own objections by asking them what they would do about the problem they’re raising. If they propose a viable solution, then you’ll have even greater certainty that the customer is serious about buying.)
Here are three techniques to counter objections:
- Elicit and address all objections immediately
- Address objections one at a time, appealing to logic and emotion
- Stay calm when objections are unfair
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Here's what you'll find in our full Secrets of Closing the Sale summary:
- What qualities you must develop as a salesperson
- The six common customer behaviors you must understand
- Five rules for crafting an effective sales pitch