Tailor Your Sales Process to Be Decisive and Purposeful

Few people act with more clarity and purpose than a top-notch tailor—a profession all good salespeople can learn from

Few people on earth act with more clarity and purpose than a good tailor. It’s a profession all good salespeople on the lot could learn a thing or two from.


Every time I’m in to get a pair of pants hemmed or a jacket fitted, I’m reminded of the value of decisive purpose in the selling process. We’re always attending to the potential buyer’s needs, and it’s important to provide certainty in a space where the buyer is often lacking in that department.

For instance, the last time I was in to have a new pair of pants tailored, the tailor walked me through the process of exactly what he was doing and why. “Since you’d like the pant legs to fall a little higher on your shoes,” he explained, “I’m going to take the inseams in a little here.”

It’s his way of letting me know he heard me, and that he knows how to achieve my desired result. I leave feeling confident that I’m going to get a suit that fits just right.

If you’ve ever been whitewater rafting or kayaking, one of the things you quickly learn is to not let up paddling in swiftly moving water. It almost seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? The faster the water moves, the less energy we should need to exert, right?

But the reality is the opposite; we actually need to paddle harder as the current increases in speed. Paddling faster over the rocks and swirling eddies allows us to glide over them more effectively, keep our course steady, and navigate into more placid water.

This is precisely the sort of decisive action you need in the rapids of a potential sale: the clarity to know where you’re going and the decisiveness to dig your proverbial oars into the water and paddle to safety.

As a sales pro, you’re like that tailor providing certainty to your client, or the river guide exhorting your boat mates to paddle harder as the current quickens.

No one knows the sales process, the end result, and the sales journey better than you do. You have to convey this confidence to your customers so they know where you’re taking them, why you’re leading in a specific direction, and how you’ll reach a successful end of the journey.

You do this by giving the customer a purposeful transition statement. It tells the buyer where you’re heading and why you’re going there.

The statement might sound something like this: “Based on your desire for plenty of cargo space, we’ll look at our midsize SUV. As you take your test drive, we’ll talk about what’s important to you, and by the end, I’ll use everything you’ve told me to take you to the best product for your needs.”

See how the pro moved the sales process along? Clarity, certainty, and purposefulness are your faithful companions at all times.

The purposeful path to the finish line doesn’t end there. A good transition statement is only as valuable as a salesperson’s ability to close, which leads us to the final tools for a purposeful, driven sales process: the summary close and the transaction close.

Let’s say you’ve taken a test drive with your potential buyer in that midsize SUV, and they decided a minivan is a better fit for their needs.

The summary close is about shining a light back on the decisions you’ve made to get here, or summarizing the path to provide that certainty.

It’s something like finishing a long hike to the top of a mountain with a partner, and then spending a minute recounting the twists and turns that led you to this beautiful vista.

The transaction close is like the period at the end of the sentence flowing out of the summary.


This is a faster way to the finish line because it’s purposeful, strong, and decisive. You’ve listened to your buyer, guided them through the process, and kept the end in sight with the close.

When you have clarity with your buyer, everyone wins.

We hope you enjoyed this adapted excerpt from 40-Day Sales Dare for Auto Sales by Jason Forrest, CEO and chief culture officer at FPG (Forrest Performance Group). Jason is a leading authority in culture change programs and an expert at creating high-performance, high-profit, and “Best Place to Work” cultures. As a sales professional, author, speaker, and management coach, Jason’s job is to empower professionals and executives to unleash their human performance and master their leadership skills in sales, management, culture, and service. Connect with Jason @jforrestspeaker on Twitter, and on LinkedIn. For more information about FPG, please visit FPG.com.

Jason Forrest

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