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   .
Press Releases for Software Developers
from Al Harberg of DP Directory

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Software marketing book review of
How to Close Every Sale

from Al Harberg's library of software marketing book reviews, designed to help you sell more software

Book review of How to Close Every Sale - Field-tested, can't-lose techniques to win lifetime customers - and make every sale stick! by Joe Girard (published by Warner Books). This book about face-to-face selling can help software developers sell on the Internet.
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close every software sale

Overview of How to Close Every Sale by Joe Girard

How to Close Every Sale by Joe Girard Joe Girard has been named "the world's greatest salesman" by The Guinness book of World Records. Over 15 years, he sold 13,000 cars, with no fleet sales and no leases.

While the techniques and advice in this book are targeted at sales people who work face-to-face with prospects, a lot of the material applies to selling software on the Internet, too.Girard's advice can make you more effective with your software marketing.

Unlike a lot of sales books that emphasize closing the sale, Girard points out that you have to create the need for your product, and you must create the desire to own it. "The prospect must believe that your product has more value than his or her money."

How this book can improve your software marketing

People don't like hard sell. Most people don't like dealing with overbearing sales people. By making your web site congenial, informative, and professional, you can convince prospects to make the software-buying decision.

In addition to selling your software, you have to sell yourself, and sell your company. A professional web site does a lot of this work for you. In addition, your web site has to convey conviction and enthusiasm. Make prospects believe that you're proud of your family of software products, and that you believe that users will find them valuable.

When describing his office, Girard says, "I don't have anything on my walls to confuse my customers. There are no photographs of cars because I don't want a prospect to think about any other model except the one that I'm selling him. Nor is my desk cluttered with anything that might be distracting." I'm certain that he would advise developers to get rid of many of the external links on their web sites. Don't distract prospects by letting them click on links to your trade association, local weather forecast, or regional sports team. Distracting prospects can hurt your software marketing efforts.

More face-to-face sales are lost to procrastination than to any other excuse. Many people are afraid to make decisions, and they want to "think it over". The Internet turns your computer into a procrastination machine. You have to convince people that now is the time for them to make the buying decision. Ask for the sale, and make it easy to order.

One of the closing techniques that Girard describes is the Follow-the-Leader Close. "Some prospects will buy only after they know that prominent people have signed up." On the Internet, this means that user testimonials can induce prospects to become customers.

In the chapter on the dangers of overselling, Girard urges us not to confuse prospects with unnecessary details. You can overwhelm people, and lose the sale.

I almost fell off my chair when I read Girard's statement, "I'm sorry but I don't make callbacks." If he can't sell you a car in a single sales presentation, he won't set up a second appointment to try again to close the sale. He's so good at sales, he'd rather spend that time with a new prospect. Imagine how Joe Girard would feel if we told him that there is an entire industry that turns down sales, and forces prospects to try before they buy. I'm sure he'd urge shareware developers to try to close every sale, and to use the "try before you buy" technique as a secondary sales approach. But he would still be scratching his head when thinking about the method of software marketing that so many developers think of as "normal."

The book contains advice on going for the big sale (in the world of electronic sales, this would be selling multi-user or site licenses), saying thank you, staying in touch with your customers, providing customer service, and doing all of the things that ensure both referrals and future sales.

Can reading "How to Close Every Sale"
help your software marketing?

To get a lot of value out of this book, you'll have to translate Girard's advice about face-to-face sales into the practicalities of selling software over the Internet. But it's worth the effort. Joe Girard is an incredibly successful salesman, and most of his advice and techniques can help software developers increase their sales. The book is an easy read, and worth the effort.


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