Closing the Sale
After introducing yourself begin gathering information about your prospects wants and desires. The simplest
question to begin with is "What brings you here today?" This starts the process, but the prospects answer will
not provide you with much information. Use his/her answer to lead you into a line of questioning that will
uncover your prospects underlying motivation for being there. You may have to rephrase the question and
ask it again to get to the information you seek.
Many times, the answer you receive will be a cover for some other motivation. For example, a standard
answer to the question above is "I was in the neighborhood." This does not provide any information, nor does
it justify why your prospect took the trouble to get out of his/her car, open a door, and seek you out. With
answers like " I was in the neighborhood," You may want to rephrase the question to overlook the obvious
response. A follow up question to the answer above would be "Aside from being in the neighborhood, what
brings you here today?" By eliminating the obvious answer as a prelude to asking your question, you increase
the likelihood that the answer that you receive will contain information that is of value to you.
The underlying idea behind asking these questions is to uncover the motivating points, or hot buttons, that
will help you close your prospect. Every person has reasons for wanting a product or service. If you can
uncover these reasons, it will be much easier to close the sale. For this reason, it is imperative to ask questions.
Use open-ended questions to uncover motivation. If the prospect wants to lose weight, find out why. Is it to
feel better, to fit into their cloths, or to look good at their high school reunion? This information will be
invaluable to you throughout the sales process.
Along with open-ended questions, it is wise to use closed ended questions (questions that can be answered with
yes or no) to guide your conversation. With closed-ended questions, you can lead the prospect down a path of
agreement that concludes into one final yes. When using closed ended questions, it is usually a good idea to
ask questions that result in a yes answer; "Do you think that you would look and feel better if you lost
weight?" Many psychologist and professional sales people argue that people in general like to please and
agree with others. Use this to your advantage by providing your prospect with the opportunity to practice
saying yes. It will help to put them in a mindset where they will agree to your services. After you have
gathered some information about your prospects motivation, initiate a trial close.
The trial close is intended to feel out the prospect and determine how close you are to completing the sale.
Some of the time you will be lucky and the customer will buy right then. However, most of the time it will take
a bit more coaxing.
For the trial close, summarize a little bit of the information that the customer has volunteered. Touch on some
of their hot buttons, then ask them, "When would you like to get started?" Judge their response to determine
where you are in the process. Do they ask for additional information, do they provide you a start date, or do
they seem a little bit confused? Use the response to determine the next step in the sales process.