This is one in a series of sales tips… see some of our other blogs for more.
Sales Tip: Offer a Choice Between Two Positives
When making a sales presentation, and you are nearing the all-important “close”, do not ask a prospect to make a Yes or No choice. Ask for a choice between two positives.
Here is an example: “So, Scott, would you like to take us up on this offer and start getting more leads?”
You have just asked your prospect a dicey question. One that can have a positive or negative outcome. If Scott says “No, not right now,” the word NO has a pretty final sounding ring to it. Now you really have your work cut out to try and salvage this sale.
On the other hand, if Scott says YES, the word YES is not as firm a word as NO. “Yes” can also mean, “Yes, unless I change my mind later.” Or, “Yes, until I leave your office at which point I will not proceed with this transaction.”
So instead of offering a positive-negative choice, ask or offer a positive-positive choice. Like this:
You’ve made a good sales presentation and you are pretty sure your prospect is closed….
“Rob, do you prefer the blue piece or the green one?” Scott says, “green.” You say, “Alright, I’ll put the order in and you can have this beautiful work of art in your living room this very night. Your family and friends will love it.”
Then, of course, there’s the “old” but still effective: “Will that be Visa or Mastercard?” A choice between two positive payment methods. Not a choice between some sort of positive-negative “do you want this or not” question.
“The reason I’m calling, Scott, is after our discussion yesterday, I’d like to set up an appointment with you so you can actually see all the features of our latest “widget” (or whatever). What day would work best for you, I’ve got openings on Tuesday or Thursday…” – a choice between two positives.
Sales Tip: “Mirror” or Match Your Prospect
I learned this from experience over several years. If a prospect is rather slow and quite in manner and speech, you can blow your chances of a sale by coming on too fast or too strong.
Instead, match his or her mood and manner.
Slow down your speech until it matches your prospect’s. Talk at the same volume, etc. If you do this, you will be much more real to this person.
If your prospect is very crisp and businesslike and obviously considers herself a professional, then you had better perform the same way. This is not the time to appear laid back or unprepared.
You would need to be able to rattle off facts and figures like a pro to match her operating style. Crisp, businesslike, but still friendly.
Again, you will be much more real to your prospects if you match them. You are coming in right on their wavelength. The two of you will have something in common right at the outset.
Sales Tip: Zip Your Lips
silenceThere is an old saying that goes, “After the closing question has been asked, the next person to talk “loses.” Of course we don’t want to think of our prospect as losing. Hopefully, we are offering them something that will improve or enhance their business, lifestyle or whatever…
But the point is, after you ask a closing question the next person to speak should be your prospect. Like this:
SALESPERSON: “Well, that’s our line. I think one of the starter packages we looked at would be ideal for your situation based on what you’ve told me. Do you prefer “Package A” or “Package B?” A pregnant silence follows. The prospect is thinking it over, perhaps even looking for a way out of being “closed.”
(Salesperson jumps the gun): “I really think your customers will love this…”
PROSPECT: “Actually, Carol, I think I need to go back and talk it over with my colleagues… yada, yada..”
The rep has just blown it. It’s like letting the air out of the balloon prematurely.
It takes some nerve, some courage to just sit there in silence until the prospect speaks. But you will close more sales if you simply keep quiet after asking a key closing question and let the prospect be the first to talk.
Yes, you could still have an objection or two to handle, depending on how the prospect responds. Like most things in life, there are no guarantees.
But the odds of finalizing a sale definitely go up in your favor once you get comfortable using this approach.
Here’s to more sales!
Written by Bob Nelson
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