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Exclusive Interview With Ben Gay III “The King of Sales Closing”

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

 

Sales closing is the art of making sure you have the buyer committing to the transaction. How do you get to that point, though? What actions can you take to ensure you succeed? In this episode, Jason Williford teams up with “The King of Sales Closing,” Ben Gay III. With over five decades of sales experience under his hat, Ben shares important insights on the sales process and closing sales. Packed full of great information, this episode is a must for sales professionals.

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Exclusive Interview With Ben Gay III “The King of Sales Closing”

A Deep Dive Into His Best Selling Book “The Closers” With Over 12 Million Copies Sold Worldwide

We have an amazing episode. One of my biggest mentors, he was a mentor of mine before he even knew who I was. He is known, from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, as his last protégé. His book, The Closers, has sold over 12 million copies and they quit counting many years ago. He’s personally worked with fellow sales legends like Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, J. Douglas Edwards, Napoleon Hill, William Penn Patrick and many other sales giants and legends.

He’s one of the most famous, popular and powerful sales trainers in the world. Ben now writes, publishes and produces The Closers, a series of books, audios and videos that is considered the foundation of professional selling. If you are looking to optimize your presentations, your selling systems, your team’s appointment closing ratios and your marketing, his timeless principles with over 50 years experience in belly to belly, face to face sales, you have to read this episode.

If it is your goal to attract more agents to join your team or to grow your downline for profit sharing or revenue sharing, at age 25, he was also the president of the world’s largest direct sales and network marketing company. Without further ado, welcome to the show, Mr. Ben Gay III. How are you doing?

I am fine, Jason. Thank you for having me on.

Most likely, you probably do not remember this call because it was many years ago but that is the first time that I received your book, The Closers. It changed my life. I started out selling 100% commission sales vacation ownership. I started out in an onsite in Atlanta, Georgia, which you are selling $30,000 vacation packages with pictures on the wall. People are just coming in there to get their free gifts. That’s your job to turn them into a client within 90 minutes. I then went on to sell in Destin, Florida at an onsite. Before that, I sold at an onsite in Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. That book changed my life. Later on, I went to work for, back then, the second largest remodeling company in America.

I learned a lot of great things from some legendary salespeople that you know as well, Hugh Harris, Rodney Webb and Scott Olson just to name a couple of those guys. I could go on and on. I was blessed to work in organizations that are very fast paced and disciplined sales forces. What I was getting back at is the phone call from many years ago because in your book, you signed my book. I can’t remember if it was a card in my book or if it was just your phone number in there but I called the phone number thinking, “There is no way he is going to answer.” There it is right there.

Here’s what happened Ben, I have never mentioned this to you because I was afraid to mention it to you. When I was living in Destin, Florida, my vernacular, I started using the word dude a lot. It was stuck in my mind. Honestly, I already had a beer too. I was young back then. I was 22 or 23 years old. I tried calling the number. I was even reading the book where I was sitting. You were like, “You got on to me. Stop calling me dude.”

That is what magnificent mentors do. They do not always tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I am an open and real person. Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t say but I do try to watch what I say. That is one of the areas that I can thank you for that. Could you tell the readers about where you are from originally, where you live now and a little bit about your family life?

We became a buyer at 19, before we were old enough legally to sign an order. Click To Tweet

I was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. I’m fond of saying that I was born a Yankee but raised a Southerner by the grace of God. My emotional home, although I haven’t lived there in years is Atlanta, Georgia, right outside the front gate of East Lake Country Club. That remains my home, although I have lived in California since ‘65 or since ‘67. When I think of home, I go right back to East Lake Drive.

What took you to California?

I won a national sales contest. The second place was a Rolls-Royce, Zig won that. The first prize was a mystery prize. When I flew to California to find out what it was, it was presidency of the company Holiday Magic Cosmetics. I asked Bill Patrick, “Why was that a mystery prize?” He said, “In case somebody won it that I didn’t like then I would have changed the prize.” That moved me to Marin County, San Rafael, California to take on that job. One thing led to another and I have never left.

What we are going to get into this episode, everyone is going to absolutely love it. We are going to take a quick dive into the book, The Closers, which I have never done with you before which I am excited to do. What I am also doing with this show, that’s why it’s named the same exact thing as the book, The Ultimate Real Estate Machine. This show is building a machine within your real estate business that works harder for you versus you having to work harder for it.

When you have a streamline and predictable sales system in place, that is one of the components that will make it to where the system works harder for you versus you working for it. When you have a predictable system in place, the system is perfectible, duplicatable and measurable. We will be getting into that but I did want to get into about how long have you been in sales.

I do not remember when I wasn’t. I won a bicycle at age ten, selling more Krispy Kreme donuts in Atlanta than any other kid. It clicked in that if you talk to people, which I did anyway, I was the neighborhood nuisance. I was always chatting with people. I discovered that at age ten, that if you talked to people and have something to offer them, I did not make any money selling donuts for charity. That golden dome on the Georgia State Capitol was gold from Dahlonega, Georgia paid for by Krispy Kreme and other charities. Every time it pops up on the news and in the backdrop, I see the golden dome, I tell Gigi, “Gigi, do you know who helped put the golden dome?” “Yes, I know the Krispy Kreme story.”

That could be a whole other episode on marketing and Krispy Kreme because since I was a little boy, 4 or 5 years old, that golden dome is such a signature piece of Atlanta. I never knew that Krispy Kreme was the one that made that happen.

One of them. I am sure there were a lot of people raising money. We raised money to mine the goal, put it on wagons, bring it down from Dahlonega, Georgia and do whatever they do and turn it into paint or whatever. That’s how the golden dome got there. Thanks to me selling Krispy Kreme donuts.

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

The Closers

I’m sure you sold a lot of donuts that it made a little ding into the golden dome there.

I like to think that at least a small piece of it is from my Krispy Kreme sales. I sold those donuts because my dad has given me a little script. That was my introduction to scripted selling. At fourteen, when I opened my lawnmowing business, I was a salesman, the inspector and the collector. I split the money with the kids who did the work for me. They made more, percentage-wise and gross, than they would have on their own. I made more and I didn’t have to mow lawns. In the growing season, I would have 20, 25 kids working for me. A little script that he taught me. I was set up and ready to become a professional salesman. What had happened when I went to work for Davison’s or Macy’s in Atlanta, I was their youngest salesperson and their youngest buyer in their then 100-year history. I was a buyer at nineteen before I was old enough legally to sign an order.

I wonder what the average age for a department store is. I would think 25 or so maybe.

I was in with adults. It was cute. If you went there on a Jewish holiday, the store was run by a young, White, Baptist, high school graduate named Ben Gay. All the Jews had gone to celebrate their holiday and the adult, which was primarily the executive team at Macy’s or Davidson’s had to deal with this young, White, inexperienced kid. I had a flat top and acne. I was in charge of the store for five days a year. It was scary looking back.

Another thing that you are is an amazing storyteller. I could sit here just like my grandfather. My grandfather could tell stories forever and ever. You have lived a blessed life and done a lot of things that you never thought that you would do. A lot of my readers would think it’s cool hearing about what it was like working with Zig Ziglar.

Zig was a wonderful man. I met him Wednesday, September 15th, 1965 at noon at 1447 West Peachtree Street in Suite 300. It made a little impact on me. Most people do not know that detail. It was because we both answered the same warrant ad in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It said, “If you know anything about marketing plans and want to make more money, dial this number.” I dialed it and wound up in a meeting with a guy who ran the ad and Zig, who also answered it.

It must have been a great ad.

All it said was, “If you know anything about marketing plans and want to make more money, dial this number.” I didn’t know what a marketing plan was but I was putting my wife through nursing school. I needed more money. Tagging along with me was my soon-to-be business partner. My high school running buddy, who also worked for my father, Jimmy Rucker, the greatest salesman I ever personally worked with. I walked in, shook hands with the lady and said, “I am Ben Gay.” From behind me on a sofa somebody laughed and said, “Ben Gay.” I am used to Ben Gay jokes. I turned around and I said, “I am Ben Gay.” I reached out, shook his hand and asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Zig Ziglar.” I said, “Your name is Zig Ziglar and you are laughing at Ben Gay? You got to be kidding me.”

If you mess up in front of 15,000 people, there are still enough people in there who think what you said is funny. If you bomb in front of 10 people, you can hear the clock on the wall ticking. Click To Tweet

Zig was eighteen years older than I was but he had not yet had his big hit. He was a cookware salesman in Columbia south Carolina. The reason I remembered the day and all because it was the day that I joined the business that set it all on fire for me. Two years later, I was president of the company, a millionaire and traveling all over the world, giving speeches to tens of thousands of people at a time. I look back and I think, “I am glad I didn’t know what was about to happen.” I probably wouldn’t have had the nerve to get on the elevator and go up to that office.

I know it is hard to track and measure how many exactly people’s lives you have influenced from speaking from a stage but do you know approximately how many people that you may have spoken in front of, through your lifetime?

I do, not because I kept a list but because like a lot of things, you look back and figure out. I did so many a week for so long. I have given 5,000 plus paid appearances in front of salespeople and another 5,000 counting my prison work, charity work and service organizations. Based on the average attendance, looking back some crowds were 15,000, 16,000. Some were 10 people. My wife, Gigi and I went to Norway and did a series of seminars. The largest crowd I spoke to there was 15,000. They said, “Would you mind speaking to the Oslo Chamber of Commerce?” I said, “Yes.” I’m an easy going guy.

I walked into this room having, within the last 24 hours, spoken to 15,000 people live for 4 or 5 hours. I walk in, there are ten people sitting there around a horseshoe table. My heart almost stopped. Fifteen thousand people, Jason, I am more comfortable in front of a group that size than I am with a small group in my own living room. Here’s the reason, if you mess up in front of 10,000 or 15,000 people, there are still enough people in there who thought that what you said is funny.

If you bomb in front of ten people, you can hear the clock on the wall ticking. Ask me how it feels to speak in front of 15,000 people, I will say, “Perfectly natural.” Ask me about ten at the Chamber of Commerce in Oslo. My estimate is about 2.5 million people live, not counting Zooms, television and so on.

Has that primarily been entrepreneurs and salespeople?

If there is a common denominator, they are either selling or want to have a better life, personal improvement. We set out a hand on starting the modern personal development business when I opened Leadership Dynamics Institute. There will be 1,000 others now but when we started it was the only one. That is the common denominator. My instinct is no matter why you came to the meeting, I want to get you into selling.

When I first got your books, I was in vacation ownership and later on went to the remodeling industry. The company that I worked for ended up hiring you as a direct personal mentor to the entire company. This is a very fast-paced organization. Their metrics on closing percentages, their call center, their sales systems were doubt in but they always looked for the optimal. There is no finish line with optimization and they always wanted to get better. They hired you to come in to make it better. I was so excited back then because I was like, “I can’t believe that he’s coming on.” After you were with there for a while, I became assistant general manager of a Birmingham location for the company.

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

Sales Closing: No matter why you came to the meeting, we want to get you into selling.

 

I was a general manager, AGM and then back to general manager. You are in the hot seat when you are in a hot powered organization like that. We would call out paychecks in the meeting. I won’t mention the gentleman’s name but my paycheck for that week was $9,900. I do not think we even knew it but you are watching in on that sales meeting through cameras that we had.

That is one thing that you did, go back to coach the general manager, “You should have given a little bit more kudos because he just had the biggest paycheck out of everyone. It blew everybody else’s paycheck away.” I thought that was profound. I am not knocking that gentleman because there are many things that I still have to learn. I am always learning and I will be learning until I am on the ground. What was it like working with some of the powerful organizations that you have worked with in the past as a professional consultant?

They have to be doing reasonably well to bring me in both attitude-wise and monetarily. Attitude-wise, meaning little bitty companies are struggling and can’t afford to bring help in. They can’t afford not to but they do not know that because mentally they are beaten down. I tend to catch them when they are midsized and can see the future or already rolling. I have worked with some of the biggest companies in the world. In the home remodeling field, Dixie HomeCrafters, great example. That’s where I met you.

The company was number two before they hired you in the remodeling industry.

They were already doing fine before I got there. We helped them do even better. This is The Closers Part 1, the vanguard of The Closers series. Hugh Harris, the CEO of Dixie HomeCrafters, your friend, mentor and boss picked up his first copy of The Closers at a garage sale for $0.50. We went on to do millions of dollars in business together and help him generate an extra $10 million, $100 million a year.

I call them hooks in the water. It’s one of the things salespeople reading this ought to understand. You want to make as many contacts as possible. Now with the internet and all, you can put them on marketing and stay in touch. The only way you get off of my list is to have somebody present a certified death certificate. Short of that, once I meet you, we are booked up

I want to mention two books. One of the books that I was going to mention is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Ben is known as Napoleon Hill’s last protégé. I have never met a great entrepreneur inside or outside of real estate that has not read Think and Grow Rich. You were his last protégé and worked directly with him. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

He was given to me as a gift by William Penn Patrick, the owner of Holiday Magic Cosmetics. He made me president of the company. I was doing a fine job. In boosting sales dramatically, there must have been times when Bill looked at me and thought, “I wonder if I got the right guy in the right place. I wonder if he had trouble if he’d come to tell me in fear of losing his job.” I was 25 years old. One day, Dr. Napoleon Hill was in the office giving Bill an award. I didn’t know Dr. Hill was in the office. I have never met him. He was back in Bill’s office presenting this award.

We were so young and full of ourselves we didn't realize when we were in over our heads. Click To Tweet

Dr. Hill had named Bill Patrick one of the five greatest living Americans. He named him as such in a book. Apparently while walking down the hall from the back of the office to the front of the building, where my office was, he said to Dr. Hill, “I have got a young man doing a great job but I wonder sometimes if he needs somebody older with a little more wisdom to help him along. He might be afraid to say something to me.” I was not but I should have been. I was so young and full of myself. I didn’t sometimes realize when I was in over my head.

Between the back of the building and front of the building, he told Dr. Hill he would pay him $50,000 to be my friend. We didn’t use mentors and coaches back then. Dr. Hill was biologically old enough to be my great-grandfather. I was 25. He was 84 when we met. They made the deal. Bill knocked on my door, I opened it and saw a little old man standing there. Being a Southern gentleman, I hopped up and ran around my desk and said, “I am Ben Gay.” Bill looked at me like I was a space alien. He said, “Ben, this is Dr. Napoleon Hill.” I had never seen him as an adult older man. I had only seen the pictures with the high collar when he was in his late 20s, early 30s. I didn’t recognize him.

I said, “Dr. Hill, my pleasure.” He said, “Call me Nappy.” The first fight we had begun. I never called him Nappy. I never even told anybody about that until after he was dead two and a half years later. He is 84, a doctor of something and had one of the bestselling books on the world. They used to say, “Second only to the Bible.” That is Dr. Hill if you ask me.

What was third? The Closers?

It’s not even close. For Think and Grow Rich, the last figure I heard was $110 million. I suspect that now we are $10.5 million when we quit counting many years ago. We are junior league. It is a big deal in the publishing business but junior league to Think and Grow Rich.

You are famous for talking the talk and walking the walk. That is one thing about the real estate industry. Before I got into this industry, one of my great friends, his wife and she’s a great friend as well, this was back in 2001, one of the top real estate agents in the panhandle, a young lady named Silvia Madriaga, talking about sales, she knew what to do and still does. She’s a hammer and a great woman. My perception before getting into real estate is that everybody is like Silvia. The industry has to have the most highly trained sales people in the world.

I have been in great organizations in great industries. As you know, I was trained by the best of the best in the industries that I have been in, in my humble opinion. When I got into real estate, it did not take long to find out that there is actually very little to no real sales training. Why is the failure rate over 80% that first year real estate agents do not make it into the second year? Another stat is the amount of income that the average real estate agent only nets around $20,000 to $23,000 a year. If every brand says that, “We have the best training on the planet,” that just can’t be true because those stats wouldn’t be like that.

What I wanted to do is take a little quick dive into The Closers to expose the industry to some of the powerful things within your book. I am going to hit on about five pages. I do not even remember how many pages the book is. It honestly would be silly for someone to not go out and get your book after talking about what we are about to talk about here. One of the things that I wanted to get into is if it’s okay with you, even early on in the book, page four talks about the different types of closers. You have order-takers, salespeople, closers and master closers. Would you give us a quick example of each? Starting out with order-taker, what is an order-taker to you in sales?

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

Think and Grow Rich

You can dress them up and disguise them a little bit where you almost think you are salespeople but order taking never rises far above, “Would you like fries with that?” The person behind the counter at McDonald’s is an order-taker. You are selling a commodity. People want it. It is usually low cost. They walk in and order it. The order-taker says, “I am a salesperson now.” If there is the slightest challenge to that simple concept, “Give me that one. Give me that car. Give me this,” it requires at least a salesperson to step in who understands the sales process. When that doesn’t go well, you better have a closer around.

We used to have a system at Holiday Magic. Those of us doing very well and those who were new and those who refuse to learn, would bring people to the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the film said, “Turn to the person who brought you here and ask how you can get started in Holiday Magic.” They are supposed to know a script and draw the circles that you do in most level marketing and ask for the quote. Most of them did not know how to do any of that. They had a rough idea. They would raise their hand, which was the signal, “Can some other person in here who knows how to sell, come over and help?”

After I became a closer, in the beginning, I was horrible. When we came over, I remember I would stand at the table looking around thinking, “Why couldn’t they do this?” There are only about six sentences from the time I walk up to when they get out their checkbooks or credit cards. Surely to God, you can learn six sentences or six situations. People in sales say, “I will never learn a script.” You must not watch television or go to the movies because it is always said with disdain. If you have been in selling for over 30 days, you are on a script. You tend to say the same thing to the people in the same situation or the same circumstances. The question is, are you on a good script that has been tested and proven?

I call them script chunks. I do not go, “My name’s Ben Gay,” and 40 minutes later, stop talking and ask you for the payment. My opening is always the same and the next step is the same. I always tell the story of Hal Holbrook who did Mark Twain, memorized nine and a half hours of material for Mark Twain, word for word. He used script chunks. He walked on stage. He used the same short story to open every presentation. He listened to the audience’s reaction. Their reaction determined the next script jump they were going to hear, in other words, the next story.

Mine is, I say in so many words, if it’s one-to-one, I go, “I am Ben Gay, just like the back rub.” I gesture with my arm and show rubbing ointment into my arm just like the back rub. I do not want them wondering about my funny name when I am starting to sell. It is a great icebreaker on stage. I wrote my script for my introduction. Unlike you, you adlibbed yours and I was thrilled but if we were in a seminar, in the introduction they give word for word. A couple of times when they adlibbed and did a bad job, I did not stand up when they introduced me, “Ben, are you coming up?” I said, “After you read the introduction I gave you, I am.”

They go back and read the introduction. The introduction always gets a standing ovation. I walk on stage. After that, as soon as it starts to die down and they are starting to sit down, I say, “Let us get this Ben Gay thing out of the way.” They laugh. Depending on the volume of their laugh, the enthusiasm and how long it lasts, determined the next script chunk I used. Whatever it is, it is word for word. The same thing I have been doing in the previous 5,000-plus appearances. It is proven, it is tested and I know it works. Why would I wing it in certain situations?

That is true on the salesman side. The prospects have about 5 to 10 standard objections for not taking action. It is like they went to prospect school. The same 5 to 10 objections in whatever business you are in may vary industry by industry but they are the same. Since you know that they are going to use 1 of 5 or 10 introduce objections, why wouldn’t you already have the prepared answers for those? If somebody says, “I want to think about it.” That is common in every business. Why wouldn’t you have a response prepared for, “I want to think about it.”? It would be stupid not to. The above master closer, which is next on that list you gave me is one that is not in The Closers Part 1 but it is the last chapter in The Closers Part 2. It is called sales infiltration.

I am all of the above. You want to give me a simple order, I will take it. I got no pride. I will be an order-taker, salesperson, closer or master closer. What I am is a sales infiltrator. That is the reason my ticket closing percentage is 86%. It has been that way for years. I can’t get it up to 87% for any length of time. It never goes beneath 85%. The percentage of people who listen to my presentation and say, “I will take it.” One of the reasons people drop out of selling is rejection. Either fear of, they do not even last long enough to be rejected or they get rejected one too many times and they drop out. My closing percent at 86% is impressive. Some people do not even believe it but I have charted it. Trust me, it’s true.

One of the reasons people drop out of selling is rejection. Either they don't even last long enough to be rejected, or they get rejected one too many times and drop out. Click To Tweet

Not counting group presentations and big crowds, I have given over 100,000 face-to-face presentations. With an 86% closing rate, that means that 14,000 people have heard the fantastic Ben Gay sales presentation and said no. If I were subject to rejection phobia, I wouldn’t have been in the business. Back in the early days, it was 100% rejection then finally, 95% then down to 90% and so on. Those are the levels of closers and it is based on skill.

People say, “How are you successful in selling?” Here is my secret, 85% of all problems in selling go away if you sell a quality product that is competitively priced, it does not have to be the cheapest and you are talking to people qualified to buy it. Either qualified religiously, financially or geographically qualified to buy the product. They could say yes, if properly inspired, 85% of problems are gone. The other 15% is become a person of class, quality and substance with the ability to tastefully project that without being obnoxious and have your scripting down. One other secret, come early, stay late and work on weekends.

To show how much of a professional you are, I had a technical difficulty and I am sure you’ve had many of them while you’ve been on stage and teaching masterclasses. PowerPoints go out, audio goes down or lights may go off. Tony Robbins tells a story about how he was starting this big event, Unleash The Power Within. The hotel that they booked had a train that would go by. They didn’t know it because it was his first time at the event. He had to pivot. Thank you for covering me. I could tell you to dig into the stuff that I wanted to dig into anyway because as you know, I have the show Agents On Fire. That is my job as their mentor to be mentoring, coaching and training them.

As you know, you are one of my mentors have mentors that are going to be on the show as well. That was one of the conversations that I had with them. It is simple. “Any fool can make things complex but it takes a real genius to make things simple,” is what Einstein said. The simple piece of that is there is safety in numbers. The more people that you talk to, the better chance that you are going to have. As you go into the better qualified people that you are going to talk to, the better chance that you are going to have. One thing I did want to hit on because I do not think folks know what is the difference in a salesperson in a closer.

It says in the book, “That salesperson, they do not study their profession. They do not go to any extent. They do not hire mentors. The greatest mentors, they do not read amazing books like The Closers and Think and Grow Rich.” Everybody calls them a salesman. Unfortunately, they look into that mirror every single day and they know that they can do better. That is what I hope this show does.

Even if it changes one person’s life and they draw a line in the sand and they say, “I am tired of being where I am at right now. I do want to get better,” then going into the closer. That is when they step it up a notch for themselves, their family, their team and for everyone in their life, and they become a closer. Can you go into the difference in the closer compared to the salesperson? How do you get to be a closer versus a salesman?

A closer understands that this is a profession. It is not a hobby. It is not something you drifted into. The high turnover in the early years of a realtor is a great example.

The same thing nowadays too, people stay in the business and the average agent only sells four and a half homes per year on average.

I have worked for the realtors as selling to them, buying from them and training them. I go back to an office whether it’s a year later, five years later or a convention, the same superstars are still there. The industry has gone up and down in the meantime. The economy has gone sideways. They are always there. The others have come and gone. Those are the people, salespeople order-takers, who drifted into real estate because they were a bored housewife and/or a retired military person. The wife got tired of vacuuming around and told him, “Go get a job.”

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

Sales Closing: It’s proven and tested. We know it works. So why would you wing it in certain situations?

 

In most real estate offices, if there are more than ten people in there somewhere there is a retired Lieutenant Colonel. They are just taking up time, reading the Wall Street Journal or waiting for their next pension check. They do not take it as the profession that it is. Selling is not a hobby. It is not a joke. It’s a profession.

It is people’s biggest investment in real estate.

The same with automobiles, the second biggest investment they make is a car especially if it’s a new one. The same thing is true. People drift in. They have a car so they figured they can go sell them. When you go back to the agency a year later, the two old buffalos who were there before are still there doing fine. Everybody else has flipped over and gone on to something else because they did not treat it as a profession. Jason, I was asked not to come back to Holiday Magic meetings by my sponsor.

After about six months, I walked in and he said, “Ben, I need to speak to you.” I went over, “What?” “I do not want you coming to the meetings anymore. Since you won’t learn the scripts to invite somebody here, you do not bring anybody. Since you are here every night, five nights a week, people think you are doing well. Therefore, they raised their hand and call you over to their table to help them but you have not learned the closing scripts. Do you notice I have never asked you to give the meeting in front of the room? I know you do not know that.”

His mentoring you at that time, what a monumental moment for you at that time in your life.

Bill Dempsey, I will never forget him. I will always thank him. I said, “Let us be clear. I can’t afford to come to the meetings but you do raise an interesting point. I am not making any money. What do I do?” He said, “Go learn the scripts. When you have learned the scripts, you can stand in front of my desk and given to me word for word or thought for thought, I will let you come back to the meeting.” Ten days later, I passed that hurdle. I said, “What do I do now?” He said, “Go take the invitation script and talk to some people you do not know. You have probably worn out all the ones you do know so let us go find some new people.”

4 or 5 nights later, I walked into the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta with 5 buying units. All 4 of the 5 got out their checkbooks. One needed a few days for financing but the end result was because I learned the scripts, I bought five people and I closed five people. I made more money that night than I was making a year at my regular job. It clicked on me, “This is serious business. You can learn it.”

You just drove something home for me deeper in real estate. Even talking about Pareto’s Principle, the top 20% in real estate are currently in the salesperson stage. The top 10% or top 5%, you are getting into closers. Possibly, the top 1% of some of those are master closers getting into the king of selling. Who is that number one heavy hitter in the brokerage out of 300 agents in that local market? They are most likely the king of selling, the master closer. What does that person look like to you? Who is that one that shines above everyone else in the sales floor? That is the Mecca. If you are reading this, the good thing is you do not have to stay stuck where you are at.

The master closer knows his product or service backwards and forwards. He knows the sales process, scripts, and presentations and therefore is comfortable. Click To Tweet

If you are a salesperson, you can change that quickly. You can change that in one week. We can even go back to Hugh Harris. He has the craziest darn story of when he started with that company that he was about to go bankrupt. That was his story. I have told it many times. He was determined and disciplined that, “I am not going to do that.” He locked himself in a basement for a week or two weeks. That is what he did with a video recorder and with audio.

His scripts, presentation and kits, what he did was practice, drill and rehearse over and over again for hours every single day because he didn’t want to be stuck anymore in his life. He was probably even a closer before then. What do the successful do that the average do or even the above average do? They do things that other people aren’t willing to do. He was a master closer without a freaking doubt. What does that person look like to you that is the master closer?

The master closer knows his product or service backward and forwards. He or she knows the selling process backward and forwards, knows his scripts and presentations and therefore is comfortable. People say, “Are you nervous in front of a crowd?” I say, “I couldn’t be more comfortable.” I was giving a talk one day and I was thinking about something else, not the whole time but briefly.

There was a point in the presentation when I would go to the front of the stage, put my toes and shoes over the edge of the stage. I wanted to get as close to the audience as I could. I would hold my hand up to make a point. I was so comfortable in that scripted presentation that one day in front of a couple of thousand people, I saw my hand go up, felt my toes over the stage and said to myself, “Tune back in. You are nearing the end.” I was right at the end. My mouth was doing the presentation while I was thinking about something else. You got to be that comfortable in your skin.

Unconsciously competent is second nature to you.

I know that they are going to buy and they do 86% of the time. I am not, “I hope he doesn’t ask this.” No matter what he or she asks, I already have an answer for it. They are not the first person to bring that up. I am ready and prepared. Usually, I am a paper and pen guy and somebody else can type it in. If we are on the phone where they can’t see me, I am writing the order up. I feel the atmospheric pressure change. I know they bought whether they do it or not, certainly whether they have admitted it or not. I am starting to write because they have bought. I am comfortable with the process. I do not sell crap. I do not sell Hugo’s and things that do not work.

Only products you believe in. Your passion and your heart are in it. You know it is the best thing for the client.

We were talking about the difference between master closers. Let me touch on one last thing. It does not take any courage once you a master closer but they have the courage to ask for the order. Maybe’s and I will think about it’s will send you to your salesperson’s grace. I would rather have a firm yes or a firm now so I know what to do with the rest of my day.

Maybe means no.

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

Sales Closing: If you sell a quality product that’s competitively priced, you’d have to be the cheapest, and you’re talking to people qualified to buy it.

 

It does but an average person does not know that. They think they still have a live sale. I talked to a person who wants to sell some web services. I am a polite guy. I said something that indicated it was not an absolute no. I did not want to be rude. I know in my heart because he was not listening carefully, I am in a prospect file somewhere that he’s told I got these twenty, they are all going to buy. I am in that twenty and I am not going to buy so he’s going to waste time on me until I recognize his voice to think about it again. In which case I am kind enough to say to salespeople, “It is not going to work.” Financial planners call me to get to take over my money.

I have had the same certified fee-based financial planner for many years with the same age. His name is P. Michael Hunt. We have been good buddies for decades. There is nothing you could say to get my financial planning away from P. Michael Hunt. He is my dear friend. He has done me favors. He was my friend and appeared in my life when nobody else was. If you come in at me and you are a financial planner, listen carefully because I will tell you, “Not a chance. Do not put me in your maybe file. It is never.”

That goes back to my book, The Ultimate Real Estate Machine with Jay Abraham. Chapter number four is the preeminent agent. Once you have earned their business and proved yourself, your system, your product and your services to the client and you over-delivered and under-promised, that is preeminence. Being the number one most trusted go-to expert, you do not have to sell anymore. They just come to you. They want to work with you. They know you are the best. I appreciate all of your time.

I am looking around. I live on the beach in Miami Beach, I can look out my window in South Beach and see the ocean. I have not arrived by any stretch but I would not be here with how far I have gotten without The Closers. It’s an example because I want the readers to go out and get the book, I want to wet their appetite. Things I wanted to get into are characteristics of The Closers. One of my favorite chapters or subsections within the chapter is the 15 most common objections and 45 ways to overcome the 15 most common objections.

Going back to earlier, saying that maybe. A lot of salespeople think that, “I want to think about it. I want to sleep on it. I will get back around to you. I am not ready right now. I am still interviewing other agents for the job of listing my home.” They buy into that. There are 1 or 2 people that are going to be sold. It is either you or them. If you have wonderful services in real estate, if your presentations are not dialed in, you are honestly doing, through preeminence, a disservice by not doing everything that you can. There are so many fly-by nights in real estate. The consumer per business wire in 2018, they did a study that only 11% of consumers trust real estate agents. Being that 89% of consumers do not trust real estate agents.

How do you get better? You become a master closer, you become a closer first and then you become a master closer. You take care of people, you service people, you go above and beyond and you are preeminent. I do appreciate your time. They are telling me when they give objections like that, that, “You have not gave me enough information yet for me to say yes.” I am going back to a saying that was right on the wall of the remodeling company that I worked at. It was there. Every day, you see it coming into the sales meeting. The saying was, “The close is the obvious conclusion to a masterful presentation.

Here is the deal. Even Rodney Webb that you probably know as well, I was blessed to be able to work directly under Rodney. He was my sales manager at the time. He had not moved up the chain to vice president of the company yet so I spoke to him every day. He’s amazing at what he does but somebody asked him in a meeting one time, “Rodney, do you think you are one of the best closers in the country and in the remodeling industry?” He said, “I do not even think I am one of the best closers in Atlanta. The reason why is because of the masterful presentation that I have, that everybody buys it when I am done.”

That is what your book teaches people. It’s not to give hard closed sales tactics and be a high-pressure salesperson. Your book teaches people how to give a masterful presentation but also psychological triggers. Another one of my favorite chapters is the categories and types of customers like going into the psychology of how does an engineer think? How does an accountant think? How does someone in the military think? How does another salesperson think when they are going to buy something? You can help and serve them. I want to ask you one more question. My question for you is when you started training these master courses and being on stage and all that, do you still give them? Have you sunset that part of your career?

If you're in selling, you have probably read a Ben Gay book, whether you realize it or not. Click To Tweet

COVID cut into the ability for people to come to a seminar but I still do and about to do again. I took about a year off because of the flu. I do two public speaking events a year. Public speaking being the trigger for success in selling and life. I taught people builders in San Quentin for five years and at the Lompoc Federal Penitentiary for six years. My secret breakthrough in every case was public speaking. If I could get them to speak in public, I could build their confidence, the confidence they could take with them into selling or laying bricks. It is a confidence trigger.

I still teach public speaking twice a year, 50 people per class maximum. As far as teaching selling, I have gotten out of the promotion business. I let other people promote it. They pay me my standard fee and keep all the rest. I have a guy in Orlando do a seminar. I got my $9,500. He made over $200,000 selling tickets.

It says this in your book, The Closers, pink elephant in the room. When you see the pink elephant in the room, you handle the pink elephant in the room. My psychology is I am thinking that readers may be like, “There is a pink elephant. He is trying to promote Ben Gay.” I am promoting your events and books because it has changed my life. If it changes just one person’s life, this episode and you being on Agents On Fire, the TV show, hopefully it changes many lives. When I almost died, that became my simple, personal mission statement. I want to positively impact ten million or more lives directly or indirectly.

It can be at your event and I am not there, with or without seeking recognition. My question for you to wrap up is, would the book be the best place to start or would one of your events be the best place to start? The book is only $20 or $25. You can read that if you want to change your life and you want to step out from being a salesperson or even step from a closer to being a master closer for $25. You could read that book in two days. You would want to read it over and over again. That book stayed in my briefcase for about eight years. I got to revert back to sections in it.

Get The Closers Part 1 and 2. I have written 24 books on selling and success.

I didn’t know that you wrote 24 of them.

I have ghostwritten about twelve and the other twelve are in my name. Five, we actively promote.

I got 22 more books to read.

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales Closing

Sales Closing: Closers have the courage to ask for the order.

 

If you are in selling, you probably read a Ben Gay book whether you realize it or not.

I give credit where credit is due. I say, “This came from this person.” A lot of people do not. They will talk about your stuff and make it like it’s theirs. Where can they go to get your book?

They can go to Stores.eBay.com/ronzonebooks. The advantage of going here to Ronzone Books is they sell my material for less than I sell it for and they pay the shipping. That would be a clever thing to do.

There is a special lady that is in the background saying, “You better send them to Ronzone.”

That is my embezzler wife in Ronzone. The reason she can sell them cheaper than I do is she steals them from the warehouse.

Mr. Ben, I sure do appreciate you being on. The legendary Ben Gay III, thank you so much.

Thank you, sir. It is an honor and a pleasure anytime.

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About Ben Gay III

UREM 9 Ben Gay III | Sales ClosingBen Gay III has been called a living legend in the sales world and known as Think and Grow Rich author Napoleon Hill’s “Last Protege”. After 50+ years in professional selling, he has been the #1 salesperson in every organization in which he has worked.
His book “The Closers” had SOLD over 12 Million copies when they quit counting over 25 years ago.
Mr. Gay has personally working alongside and trained with fellow sales legends like Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, J. Douglas Edwards, Dr. Napoleon Hill, William Penn Patrick, and many other sales giants.
If your goal is to attract more agents to join your team or grow downline for profit or revenue sharing.At age 25, he was president of the world’s largest direct sales & network marketing company.

He’s one of the most famous, most popular and powerful sales trainers in the world. Ben now writes, publishes and produces “The Closers” a series of books, audios and videos that is considered to be “The Foundation of Professional Selling.” If you’re looking to optimize your presentations, your selling systems, your team’s appointment closing ratios, your marketing; Ben’s timeless principles with over 50 years experience is priceless to you.

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