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How to not miss a sale – the Columbo technique

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What can the TV detective Colombo teach you about selling? ? In this Vlog, Grant discovers what you can learn from Columbo’s famous catch-phrase.

Do you remember the detective Colombo?

He used to interrogate witnesses – and they’re on their guard – and then he would walk away and say ‘that’s it’… and they would visibly relax, and as he had his hand on the door handle, he would always turn around and say; ‘just one more thing…’.

And it was always that question that caught them out, because having relaxed, they were off guard and often said the wrong thing.

Now I’m not suggesting that we try and catch people off guard, but in sales, it’s often not what you know that will stop you getting the deal – it’s what you never find out.

Therefore, when you’re in a sales meeting and you’ve come to an end, and you think you’ve got everything that you need to put together a proposal or to take things further, it’s always useful to say to someone; ‘Oh, I think we’ve got everything, but before I go, can I just ask, is there anything else? Is there anything that I’ve missed?’

Often at the end of a meeting, when someone’s now relaxed, and they think it’s over, asking that question can mean that they reveal some information that you may never found out in any other sense. And it’s that piece of information that can help you secure the deal.

It’s not a question of catching anybody out, it’s just ensuring that you find out all the information that’s necessary to make sure you put a proposal together that’s most appropriate and relevant. So remember; in sales, it’s not what you do know, but what you don’t find out that can kill you.

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