On the following pages in this chapter are basic closing techniques used in the selling industry today. Some of the techniques are very simple, while others require more skill and persuasion. Learn these techniques and start using them every day. Only through practical application will you find the best group of techniques that will work for you.
The Trial Close
The trial closing technique is probably the most effective one to use. By using this technique called the trial close, you can get a feel during the presentation of how close the prospect is to making the major decision to buy. This closing technique is to be used at any time during the presentation and usually precedes one of the other major closing techniques. In fact, this technique is a good introduction to the other techniques. Because there is not one specific closing time during the presentation, you must make continual efforts to get the buyer’s order at the time that will be easiest to make the buying decision. A good rule of thumb is for a sales professional to close often and early–the trial close allows you to do this.
Every presentation has a closing clock, ticking away from the moment the sales presentation begins. This closing clock consists of several opportunities to close the sale. Trial closes are the tools you can use to gain signals from the buyer that will indicate how close the customer is to making a buying decision. A trial close is an attempt to find out if the prospect is ready to buy without actually insisting on a final decision. An example of a trial close is to ask the customer if he/she is interested in the color or some other minor point about the product. You might say, “Do you like the brown or the blue chair best?” If the prospect shows real interest even on this minor point, an order clinching close attempt could be your next step. You will find out as you use this technique that the trial close will usually lead you into using one of the other closing techniques. This is why the technique is called a trial close; you can use it several times and fail until you become aware of the best opportunity to capitalize on. It takes some of the pressure off of you by letting you ask the buyer to make a minor decision instead of the one major decision. Below are some examples of some verbal and nonverbal signs that may indicate a good time to use a trial close.
■ The customer asks questions on price, delivery, or warranty.
■ The customer’s voice or tone changes.
■ The customer looks at the product favorably.
■ The customer reaches out to touch or handle the product.
■ The customer attempts to look at a checkbook or wallet.
■ The customer makes a positive statement about some product feature. ■ The customer nods his head repeatedly or leans forward in the chair.