• The 17 Greatest Sales Closes of All Time, Part 7

    Nov. 1, 2005
    The close is always the toughest part of the sale. The goal of this ongoing series is to present you with enough options that you'll be able to close

    The close is always the toughest part of the sale. The goal of this ongoing series is to present you with enough options that you'll be able to close any sale, even one with the toughest customer. Here, in Part 7, I'll present great closes # 13 and #14.

    Great Sales Close #13: The Ask to Buy Close

    Oh my, the “Ask to Buy” Close. Why do people make us do these things?

    Well, it’s because they’re people, which makes the job of sales fascinating, occasionally frustrating, and almost always fruitful in understanding more about human beings. Plus, it occasionally pays the bills.

    This close is used primarily as a last resort close, especially with the “matter of fact” type of buyer. Perhaps they aren’t into a big sales pitch and haven’t been talkative or asked any questions.

    You’ve tried every close you know, still with no response or indication of what they’re thinking. If you allow them to think about it, they most likely will, and you’ll walk away empty-handed.

    Sometimes these people need a gentle prodding. They aren’t the type of person who will just say, “I’ll take it! Darned if I wasn’t thinking that the whole time you were talking.” That’s not going to happen; you’ve got to make it happen. Here’s how:

    When there’s nowhere else to go but home with no sale, simply ask, “John (or Mr. or Mrs. Homeowner if appropriate, but I like to call homeowners by their first name rather than Mr. or Mrs. That’s what friends do, isn’t it?) would you allow our company to be the one to give you exceptional service and install this quality system in your home?”
    This is one of the few times a “Yes or No” question is totally within the bounds. At this point, you’re pretty certain that this customer has treated every other empty-handed salesperson the same way, so you’ll doubtless stand out as a “get it done” guy with nothing to hide.

    I’ve often been surprised at the responses along the lines, of “Well, I think so, please just explain your warranty (or whatever) one more time so I’ll have it.”

    By using the simple directness of the Ask to Buy Close, you can leave with far more sales . . . instead of leaving them on the table.

    Great Sales Close #14: The Take-Away Close

    This is a classic “upgrade” close I use quite often to upgrade someone from a lower-efficiency system to higher efficiency, but it can also be used for a number of add-ons or accessories.

    Human nature is so wonderful – most people tend to want what they can’t have. You have to “read” your customer well to use this close. It goes like this:

    “Well Mr. Homeowner, we have quite a few different models to choose from, so I’ll show you two different 80% efficient furnaces and one 90%. These are fine pieces.”

    “Now, we also have a two stage, 92% efficient model, but that one may not be for you. It’s kind of hard to keep them in stock being such a hot item, and I’ll tell you, once you’ve had one in your home, you’d never go back.” (You must emphasize the words “two-stage 92%” to get the effect.)

    Then you go about looking in your price book or getting your presentation together, and it’s a near certainty that you’ll soon get a question fired back at you asking, “What is a two-stage furnace?”

    This is good. The attraction of the take-away or the unavailable almost always gets a reaction. As you explain the difference, make sure you give the benefits that are beyond the “standard” ones, not every last detail about it. You can set up the next step with a very strong Last Chance Close (which we covered in Part 4 of this series).

    So, you continue with, “I can look up the cost for you, but I really need to check to see if we even have one available in your size. Do you want to look into this one, just to see?”

    They’ll almost always say, “Yeah, let’s at least see what kind of difference we’re talking about. Then we can see if you have one or not.”

    These are stronger signals than you’re thinking. First, this customer has “okayed” a look into a higher-priced model, which perceptibly increased his price range. Secondly, this little “bump” in his thinking puts your formerly more expensive 90% into a more agreeable price zone. You see? This is not just to close on the up sale, but it makes your other sale easier.

    Use the Take-Away Close to introduce your higher image, higher priced pieces and you’ll sell more throughout your range.

    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.