• The 17 Greatest Sales Closes of All Time, Part 2

    Oct. 1, 2005
    Here are the next two closes in a series designed to get you over the toughest part of a sale: the close. Great Sales Close #3: The Trial Close Sometimes,

    Here are the next two closes in a series designed to get you over the toughest part of a sale: the close.

    Great Sales Close #3: The Trial Close

    Sometimes, we don’t know where our prospects are in their thinking. They haven’t given strong signals one way or the other. A trial close is just like it sounds, in that it is a “trial” step you’re taking en route to the close to test the waters.

    The trial close can be used at any time to indicate in which direction you need to go next. Sometimes a trial close actually advances the sales process so much that it opens the door for you to close right then.
    A trial close can cut lots of time, answer questions that need covering, and give you the buying signals you need.

    Some examples of the trial close are:

    • Would you like me to see if I have that particular unit in stock?
    • Is the extended warranty something you’d want us to include on your new system?
    • Would you like to see if we can get you approved for our six months same-as-cash program?
    • Do the figures represented here fall within your budget range?
    • From what we have picked out for you together, would this system suit your needs?
    • Does this sound like what you’re looking for?

    The trial close answers help you tremendously. You’ll know instantly whether to move forward in your presentation, re-cover a benefit, or be quiet and write up the deal. The Trial Close is an invaluable tool for every serious salesperson.

    There is a variation of this close I call the Scale of 1 to 10 Trial Close. This can be used as a close, but it is even more effective as a trial close. It’s extremely logical, and it takes little or no explanation to get to the bottom of the objection. It’s also very fast, and it goes like this:

    As you’re about halfway through your presentation, you say, “Mr. Homeowner, I know you’re interested in this system and you’ve asked some great questions, but on a scale of 1-10, about where are you in deciding this is the one for you?”

    The response from here usually goes one of three ways, in this order:

    He’ll either say, “I’m at about a 7.” To which you say, “What area is causing you not to be a 10, because my job is to help you choose an 11.” With a smile he’ll tell you exactly what area needs covering, or what wasn’t ‘up to standards’ he had pre-conceived. Now improve on that shortcoming to make him a 10.

    Or he’ll say, “I’m really almost a 10, I just need some clarification on . . .” In this case, you’ve just saved time, and also avoided the chance of losing the customer by talking too much.

    If he says, “I’m only a 3,” you say, “I’m sorry. I’ve not shown you the service you expected of me. How can I improve our value to you?”

    Either way, you’ve honed in on exactly where his mind or your shortcomings are. From here, you’re on your way in a much clearer direction. This is a time-saver and deal-closer.

    Great Sales Close #4: The Minor Point Close

    This close is just like it sounds. You’ll use minor points all along the course of the sales presentation to direct the customer into making a positive decision based upon the small, seemingly insignificant details of the installation process.

    He is “selecting” based on minor decisions along the way, rather than making a huge, overwhelming decision at the end. (Usually presented right along with price, which is a major no-no. Your competition doesn’t know this though, and we won’t tell!)

    In each instance of “minor points” you’re being given your customer’s approval. Simple nods, or “yeses,” or maybe clarification about his choice is all it takes for you to eventually graduate toward the close.
    Some examples of a minor point close are:

    • “Would you want to keep the thermostat in the same location or would you like it adjusted better to fit your height?”
    • “Would it be all right with you if we ran a drain line across this section of the attic (or basement)?”
      “Do you feel you need a whole house humidifier with your new system?”
    • “Would having ‘six months same as cash’ help you with this financially?”

    By using these minor point closes, customers become a big part of choosing their own systems, and you’re doing minimal selling by always asking what they want.

    At the end of the questioning, you simply show them the list of what they’ve chosen and ask again, “Does this look like what you were looking for in a system?” Now it’s time to “assume the sale” and go in for a final close. Such as, “Great. I think you’ve done super. Now, if you’ll simply okay this, we can get started . . .”

    See, you’re there! You just have them “okay” the deal and the sale is over but the true customer-contractor relationship is just beginning.

    The minor point close uses very small decisions to achieve very big sales.

    Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a creative marketing firm for contractors. Readers can get a free marketing newsletter and a free 16-page report called “Get More Leads in Less Time” by faxing their letterhead with the request to 334/262-1115 or emailing to [email protected]. You can also call Hudson, Ink at 800/489-9099 for help or visit www.hudsonink.com for other free marketing articles and reports.