How many times have been been in this situation:
You are sitting down with more than one prospect (The CEO + the VP of Sales, the CFO + CMO or a husband + wife).
You close once and they don’t bite.
You close a second time and they still don’t bite. One of the two is hesitant and effecting the other from saying “yes”.
They squirm but you can’t tell why they are not buying.
Most salespeople have been taught to keep talking and keep closing in these situations (Always Be Closing).
But I learned a simple trick that helped me close far more sales when I was in these situations:
Huh? Let me explain.
So when two people are squirming but they aren’t telling you “no”, there is something they need to discuss privately between themselves.
Maybe the company just announced budget cuts.
Maybe the couple has massive credit card debt they need to pay off and agreed not to purchase anything until they are debt-free.
Maybe the company did business with a similar product and got screwed and they are skeptical.
When I sensed they needed to talk privately with each other, this is what I said:
“I know it’s important for you two to talk privately with each other. I’m going to step outside. Take all the time you need. No rush. When you have decided that it’s a “yes” or “no” come get me.”
Their face would light up and I sensed a huge relief
I always left some positive ammunition with them (a names list of active customers, a review of product benefits and a list of awards my company had received)
About 70-80% of the time, they found me outside and told me “yes”.
If I had sat at the table and closed, closed, closed then I would have been asked the dreaded question “Do you have a business card?” – which usually ends up being a “no”.
One time I actually had a prospect say “I didn’t know if you were legitimate, so I called one of the clients on your names list who I know. She vouched for you and said your product is wonderful.”
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t pull the trigger on this too soon. Don’t say “This is only $820. Now I’m going to step outside so you can make a decision.” 🙂 Attempt to close at least twice, and then decide if you need to step outside
- Don’t ask them if they want you to step outside. They will always be polite and say “Oh no, you can stay here.” Be assertive. Tell them you are stepping outside. There is a big difference between “Do you want me to step outside?” and “I can see you need some privacy to talk amongst yourselves. I’m going to step outside”
- Leave behind positive ammunition. “While you are talking privately, here are a few things you might find helpful. Here is a list of all of my active clients. You might know several of them. Here is a list of benefits the product can do for your company. And here is a recent newspaper article on my company.”
- Your prospects will be wowed by this approach. They expect you to close them hard. When you volunteer to leave, they have tremendous respect for you. That alone makes them want to do business with you.
After being in commission sales for 27 years, I have learned that many of the 100-year old sales tactics like “always be closing” do not generate the most sales.
Oftentimes, the complete opposite works the best.
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Happy selling, y’all! Kate 🙂