What is an “opener”? On a personal level, it is the person who brings two groups together and makes them comfortable with one another. On a business level, it is the person you want introducing your company to pull out all the right points and set the stage to talk shop.
How much work does it take to be an “opener”? More time than most will ever believe or do because many don’t like doing the job of the “opener.” Some think it’s beneath them; others don’t have the confidence. But like anything else, if you do your planning and homework, everything else will fall into place smoothly. The proper courting, at the beginning, of a relationship whether personal or professional, should be longer than the negotiation and close. Otherwise, late in the deal, there will be hesitation, doubt, confusion and buyer’s remorse before the work even begins.
So what are we openers doing that takes so much time? Well, we are getting comfortable with anticipating the questions the lead will be asking. Yes, they ask questions before the “closer” comes into the conversation.
The opener needs to be equally measured, trusted and respected as much as the closer. If you don’t have that relationship within your organizational departments, you should require it, demand mutual respect, and know you can be confident then that you have a functioning team of smart executives working for your company.
The art of the open is much more challenging than most realize. The background and persona of the opener are one of persistence, a listener thirsty to learn, and one disciplined to leave egos at the door.
One of the interesting observations in business and I guess is true with personal relationships is that most people want to feel central and understood and part of a decision. Their input counts. The customer doesn’t want to be dictated to or told: “we do it this way.” Don’t get me wrong; they want knowledgeable business people speaking with them, but they appreciate a delicate balance of your knowledge without overshadowing their business sense.
So closers, give us a break and give us our due respect because without the open you have absolutely no close.
Sales-Link is a lead generation company operating since 2001 specializing in the pharmaceutical, biotech, diagnostics and technology industries.