Temperature Testing using Closed Questions
Once the salesperson has resolved it’s a practical time to close the sale, and has determined to apply a Closed Question, it will serve one of two purposes – to either Close the Sale or to Temperature Test the position of the prospect. Whichever of these the salesperson chooses, it should work as a Win/Win scenario where neither the seller nor the prospect end up worse off.
Here is all you need to do:
- “If I can arrange for delivery by Wednesday, can we finalise the paperwork today?”
- “If I can arrange for the same model in black, can we arrange for the deposit to be paid today?”
- “As I see it, if that unit was available in a burnt silver, you would give me an order today?”
These closes may not seem “pretty” to the flamboyant seller, but they work.
Uncertainty Can Work in your Favour
When we are uncertain about something, we tend turn to other people for advice, and we generally also assume they know what they are doing. We do exactly the same with the things we believe in. The reality is, the more other people believe something, the more likely we will be to accept that to be true.
When confronted with a situation such as this, there is an easy way to capitalise on what they believe without compromising integrity.
- “If you were to believe others, everyone is saying that it’s the best thing to invest in.”
- “Your family all like the colour of the new extension.”
- “I know it’s priced lower than all the others, but in a recent survey, 8 out of 10 intuitionalists agreed that this newest product could have some unpleasant drawbacks. Are you willing to take a chance that it’s the safest available to you?”
Uninformed Pre-judging and Misinformation
Here the prospect may have pre-judged a product or service type, or simply had been misinformed by some well meaning, but ignorant person (believe you me, these well meaning, but ignorant people do exist and are generally close to the person that has taken their advice on board), and at the very least, become confused about the facts whenever confronted by a salesperson (no matter how gently).
These prospects generally have made decisions based on heresay, which implies they haven’t taken the trouble to consider the facts before condemning the product or service to an unfounded evaluation or judgment of some kind.
The salesperson should be aware that this type of unfounded evaluation can be revealed and explored for weaknesses with the most basic of probing techniques.
For example, if a prospect says “that wouldn’t work”, then how hard would this statement be to probe to a conclusion that is beneficial for the prospect and seller alike. To further discover both how judgmental they are and how they may be evaluating the situation, you could use some carefully chosen Evaluation Questions.
Here are some examples:
- “How really good would you say it is?”
- “How do you know that it’s worthless?”
- “What do you see are the pros and cons about this situation?”
Also see Closing Open Questions with Added Tags. In that sector a similar scenario is handled effectively, and once the truth is put on the table, the prospect begins to ask Closing Questions.
Alternately you could use the Porcupine Close to test the temperature of the prospect.
- “Do you want if it does work?”
- “Will you buy it of it does work?”
Sometimes Prospects Won’t do Anything on the day – despite it Costing Them Dearly
I have often read that most prospects are inherently lazy and are often quite comfortable doing whatever they are currently doing, or have been doing in a certain way for quite some time. There will be the times when your products or service could necessitate that your prospect needs to make some sort of effort to adapt to the change or may need to adapt a new way of doing things.
Many will recognize that they may be better off with your product, but the trouble and expense that they may need to go to installing it, may at the time seem hardly worth the effort – even though the product and installation costs could be far greater even a year or two from now.
They seem so short sighted that they see no immediate need or any urgency to cease what they are doing and start doing something else far more beneficial and cost effective if only they signed your order. Whenever you seem to be facing situations similar to these, don’t give up.
Go away, repackage your proposal, arrange for a few of your clients to help you with phone referrals and go back and give things another try. The worse that can do is say no.
Copy and distribute this content as often as you want. You are encouraged to share it. © Copyright Peter Collins, Sydney, Australia, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies of his books over 49 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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