The 17 Greatest Sales Closes of All Time, Part 6

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 6, I'll present great closes # 11 and #12.

Great Sales Close #11: The "Will You Level With Me?" Close

This is an honest ending to an honest effort. Since much of my sales approach is about relationships, certainly honesty and a genuine desire to please are unmaskable. So the “Will You Level With Me?” close supports your entire approach. It goes like this. . .

You’ve been thorough and have overcome objections, having arrived at the closing point, wherein you’ve been given good signals to close. After you quote the figures, your prospects just want to “think about it” or they “need to weigh some other options first.” We’ve heard it all before — but they haven’t heard this.

At this point, you say, “I understand completely that you’d want to delay, but I believed this system was perfect for you. So, will you level with me about something?

“I’m not selling anymore, but asking you to let me know how I failed to show you enough value to get your okay on this.” Then you’re quiet.

You’ve openly and honestly asked for their input on what did not meet their value expectations.
I’ve heard people say some incredible things at this point. Once I heard that they didn’t even want to call our company because of something that happened five years before, but at the insistence of a neighbor they called. After we aired it out, I closed the deal.

Once someone said that “It sounded too good to be true,” which allowed me to explain how we could offer all we did, and why we felt that was a compliment beyond measure since our competitors clearly weren’t in the same league as far as benefits were concerned. I sold this one, too.

I’ve been told by a customer that he thought that such-and-such option was “too expensive” but that I seemed so convinced it was right that he didn’t have the nerve to not request it. (I guess I oversold something I was excited about. It happens.) We laughed out loud about this, and I explained my over-exuberance. He correctly saw this as belief in our product and company. He bought, too.

What I’m telling you is that you can ferret out the honesty in people and their replies as long as you are honest in how you deal with them.

The “Will you level with me?” close is really an open heart and an open mind that opens nearly closed doors.

Great Sales Close #12: The Repair or Replace Close

There used to be a school of thought in selling that there were two types of buyers: logical and emotional. This stood up for quite awhile, and, as the theory went, you were to determine which of these types of buyers you had, and then proceed down the path that appealed to this type.

As you’d imagine, there were (and are) detractors to this school due to the complexity of human beings. The variables are endless.

In the end, however, I feel that the “emotion” school wins out. Even our logic is driven emotionally to a degree, which puts most of the logic as servant to the emotion.

Therefore, give people a logical foundation to exercise their emotions, and you’ll win more sales. This can be done by creating a “Repair or Replace” form. Show prospects what they’ll spend by repairing their old unit today, versus buying a new one.

Here’s how to use this with a prospect:

You say, “Let’s look at your repair cost here at $470. Now, that’s no small amount of money, but may I point something out to you so you won’t waste that money? (They’ll say, “Sure.”)

“Your unit is seven years old. We see compressors that need replacement at this age, at about $1,000 each. So, after these two repairs, you’ll have spent $1,500 on a unit with maybe 3 years of life left, no warranty, and one that costs you about 40% more in energy than the new ones. After all that expense, you’ll still have to buy a new one, which like most things, will go up.

“Okay, so that’s repairing your current system. Now let me show you something that I’d consider if this were my decision to make.

“In energy alone, using an average monthly energy bill of $x, a new system would save you $x per month. Multiply this by the three years yours has left and that’s $x in just energy saved. You can take off the expense of the $1,000 compressor replacement, since there’s no cost of repairs – parts or labor – for five years.

“You can also take off the $470 repair. And you can take off another $420 for the trade-in on your old system.” (This can be a discount, rebate, or price book allowance as deemed by your company.) “And with our payment plan, you wouldn’t make even one payment for six months (or same as cash 90 days, etc.)”

“So you see, you’re paying for a new system – but not getting the benefits. Doesn’t it make sense to replace it now?”

If done correctly in the right circumstances, you’ve just let logic win a customer for you.

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 for other free marketing articles and reports.