Closing Techniques

May 6, 2005
Top closers offer two interesting sales approaches

About the author: Carl Davidson is president of Sales & Management Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales and management video training and live seminars exclusively for the water equipment industry. He has authored several books including Financial Secrets of the Water Improvement Industry and numerous articles. Send comments to [email protected]. For a free demonstration video, newsletter and list of products, contact Carl at 800-941-0068;;[email protected].

The best part of my career is meeting great closers around the country and seeing the different and innovative measures they take to sell more equipment. Here are two outside-the-box techniques that are disarming and work well when practiced. Remember, no close or technique works unless you try it, and practice is essential to success.

Guess the Price

This technique involves getting $50 gift certificates to a good restaurant. You should be able to buy these at a serious discount from the restaurant as some will never be used and it is a good promotion for the restaurant. When you have completed a demo for a couple who are reluctant to buy, return to the “table” and instead of trying to close, say, “I have a $50 gift certificate for you if either of you guesses the price of the equipment within $100.”

This puts the prospects in an interesting situation. If they want to get the certificates, they have to guess a realistic number and that means you have made them think about the value of your equipment. This sounds like a small advantage but if you try this with a couple who are reluctant to buy, it can be an ice breaker.

Let’s say the system you are selling is worth $3,995. We will examine three possible answers: the high guess, the low guess and the right on guess.

The High Guess

Let’s assume you get a guess of $4,995. In this case, the couple is telling you they think your equipment is worth $1,000 more than the actual price. All you need to do to close is say, “I’ve got great news. You didn’t win the certificate but all the equipment you saw tonight is only $3,995; that is $1,000 less than you feel it is worth. It is a great bargain and most folks also guess high. I’ll get the paperwork started.”

The Low Guess

If they guess low, at least you receive some feedback. You could say, “Well, that’s a little optimistic isn’t it? I’ll give you another chance to get closer and win the prize and as you guess, don’t forget…” At this point you want to list the features they liked to help build value. They will likely guess higher the next time, which means they are raising the price they are willing to pay. If you can make them want to win the certificate, they will lose track of the fact that the higher they guess, the higher will be the price when you write the order.

The Right on Guess

Congratulate them and tell them they certainly know a true value as you write up the order. Their guess implies that they know the value of the system and think the price is in line and acceptable.

The guessing game is powerful but you have to try it to make it work. There are those of you who may have doubts this will work. You will never know unless you try it.

Taking Trade-ins

Here is something that will set you apart from all your competitors—take trade-ins. We all know we can discount a little on the price, but it can be much more powerful to take a trade. This is especially effective if the customer tells you another company is offering him a better deal. For example, let’s say you saw a rusted, old lawn mower in the yard as you approached the house. When you go to close and they say the price is too high, you could say, “I saw a lawn mower in your yard and I know my boss needs a mower for around the store. How much would you take to trade it on our system?” As soon as the customer gives you a price, they have told you they want to buy yours, haven’t they?

Even if the mower is worth zero and you give them $300 for it, it is only a $300 discount, but that customer will be able to tell his friends about how he got the water guy to pay him $300 for a mower he was going to put in the trash. An amazing change takes place. The customer is now trying to get you to buy instead of the other way around. He is chasing the deal instead of running from it.

You can take anything on trade. You just need to be open to the idea, and most of all, be creative.

How do good closers come up with this stuff? By trying different things before they walk away. If you are about to leave from a sale, you might as well try something new because you are never going to see those people again. Relaxing, laughing and trying new things is what makes closers better.

Don’t stick to the normal and safe closing techniques you use. Have fun and get all the sales you deserve. I hope you will try these unusual techniques, and if any of you would like to tell me about your unusual techniques, I would love to hear from you. You can e-mail me at [email protected].


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About the Author

Carl Davidson

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