Tag Archives: close

The Best Time to Increase the Average Value of a Sale

You can simply and easily increase the average value of your sales by cross selling and up selling.

When you increase the average value of a sale you generate more revenues in less time.  You’re happy, your boss is happy and your client is happy. Regardless of whether your sale is complex or simple, all it takes is a little bit of finesse and timing.

The Complex Sale Timing

For more complex sales (i.e., a sale that has a higher ticket price, a somewhat longer sales cycle and perhaps a number of decision makers) the absolute best time to up sell or cross sell is about half way through the first sale. Typically, complex sales take a while to implement.  Midway through the implementation (and provided it is appropriate to the clients’ needs) is when you should make your recommendation and suggestion; not at the completion of the first sale.

You ask at this point because your client is typically very receptive to any suggestion you might have for four compelling reasons:

  • The client is appreciative and grateful for your effort and work
  • The client trusts you because you have ‘delivered’ on your word
  • The client knows you and is comfortable with you
  • The client is ‘aglow’ with satisfaction i.e., happy because there has been nothing to sully the purchase

Assuming your first sale is progressing well your client, at the very least, will listen attentively and seriously consider your recommendation. You don’t have to worry about rapport building and dealing with hidden agendas or competitive inroads. Now is the time to make your next sale.

The Simple Sale Timing

For a simple sale (i.e., a routine, transactional purchase, usually a lower priced item that typically does not require a lot of thought and typically has a single decision maker) the best time to up sell or cross sell is literally seconds after  the client says ‘yes’ to your close.

Clients are receptive to your offer at this stage because the ‘major’ decision to buy has already been made. In effect, the wallet is open and the client is more receptive to any suggestions you might have.  It is psychologically easier to spend and the buyer tends to be a little more impulsive. Provided your offer is relevant and provided it is reasonably priced (no more that 25% of the value of the original sale), you stand about a one in five chance of succeeding.  Good odds.


Be alert to cross selling or up selling opportunities. Be sensitive to the timing and present an appropriate offer.  Then watch the average value of your sale begin to increase.

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The ABCs of Tele-Sales – 26 Powerful Tips for Tele-Sales Success

A is for “ask for the sale” or “advance the sale. Don’t leave a call lingering by NOT asking for the order.  Close it, for Pete’s sake.  Or if you have a longer sales cycle “advance” it by asking the client for some sort of action (accept a proposal, quote, attend a webinar etc.) and then getting a commitment for follow up DATE and Time.  Go here for more information (http://www.telesalesmaster.com/category/closing-and-advancing-the-sales/ )

B is for “body language.” In tele-sales there is no body language. The tone of your voice accounts for about 85% of your message. This means you must deliver your message with conviction.  People are more convinced by the depth of that conviction than the height of your logic. (Go here for more information:  http://www.telesalesmaster.com/892/uncategorized/)

C is for cross sell. Increase the average value of a sale on 20% of your orders by as much as 25% by offering a related item at the end of every call, when appropriate.  You’ll not only educate your customer you’ll put more change in your pocket.  (Go here for more information http://www.telesalesmaster.com/946/add-on-selling/)

D is for Discipline… especially when it comes to prospecting (cold calling). Schedule it. Then do it. When it’s time to dial, dial.  If your day starts at 8:30, start dialing at 8:30. Or earlier. Not 8:50. Not 8:45. Not 8:35. Arrive on time. Start on time. Stick to it. It is your diet to good sales.

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The 7 Closing Habits of Highly Effective Tele-sales Reps (Habit #7: Wrapping Up)

The final habit that great closers employ to their advantage is the ‘wrap up.’

The ‘wrap up’ occurs after the “Thank you” (Habit #6).  It is there that the nitty gritty details are discussed and the sale is completed.  It is not a particularly glamorous part of closing but it is vitally important because little things, if ignored, can throw a wrench into the works. Good closers proactively take steps to avoid any nasty surprises that could cancel the deal or impact customer satisfaction down the line.

At this stage of the sale everyone is happy.  You are happy because you closed the deal and the client is happy that the decision has been made.  This is the perfect moment to quickly wrap up, handle the details and finish the call. There are four things that should occur:

Step #1: Explain what happens  next

Here is where you outline what will occur next relative to getting the sale completed. Be thorough. For example,

“Okay Tracie, I’ll process that order now and it’ll be shipped out _____ (tonight, tomorrow, whenever…)  by UPS Ground and you’ll get it by _______ at the latest.  I’ll send you the tracking number  by e-mail the moment the delivery is processed.”

It’s nothing elaborate and special, is it? But it covers all the bases.  Your ‘next steps’ might be a little more complex. Whatever. Be sure to detail it.  And another thing: even if you have processed similar sales to this one with the same client, continue to provide the details. (NOTE: ideally, you should go over the order/sale details; line by line. Not all clients want this and will tell you.  And of course, some orders might include multiple lines of product which makes the task rather onerous.  But where possible, review the details of the sale. It shows you listened and understood. It shows that you are a detailed individual.)

If you’re out of stock, if the client has missed the shipping deadline for today, if there’s ANYTHING that will impact the processing of the sale, NOW is the time to reveal it.  Goodwill is stronger at this point than any other time. Consequently, the client is more forgiving and accepting.  In short, practice full disclosure.

Step #2 Get Payment

Like duh! Don’t forget this step.  After you’ve given the client the ‘what’s next’ summary, conclude by giving the client the total price of the product or service.  You can include taxes if you want or you can say “plus taxes.”  Some people argue that there is a risk at this stage; that the client might shy away from the sale if they hear the total price; sticker shock or whatever.  I disagree. Better to ‘surprise’ the client now then when they get the invoice.  If they are surprised ‘after the fact’ they tend to get resentful.  Some will think you hoodwinked them.  Don’t risk it.  Again,  practice full disclosure.

Then say,

“All we need now  is to wrap up the payment.  How would you like to proceed?”

“ The only thing left to do Mark is tackle the payment. How will you be handling this?”

“Eva, to get us started I’ll simply need a deposit of 30% on the total price. That comes to $700.  How would you like to handle that?”

“Jenna, the way our billing works is this …”

Step #3: Add on Sell (if applicable)

The real difference between a good closer and a GREAT closer is the ability to leverage the moment further and increase the value of a sale through a cross sell or an up sell.

Mediocre closers are so glad they got a sale that they say no more.  What they don’t realize is that the client is in a positive frame of mind. Receptive.  The major decision of buying is already completed. In effect, the wallet is open.  Great closers know that it is easier for a client to say yes to an item that complements the original purchase or that provides greater value. Of course, not all products or services lend themselves to an Add On. Smart closers know this and utilize this step only when appropriate.

The trick to a good add on is to make the suggestion sound casual and easy.  This eliminates any sense of pressure or hype.  You do this by using  trigger phrases like this,

“Oh, Steve, before we wrap up, did you know you get a price break of 15% if you order 5 or more? You’re only two items away… would you like me to add those on?”

“Maria, I see that your order comes to $465.85.  Did you know you can get free shipping with orders of $500 or more.  Is there anything else you might like to add?”

“Gordon, before I enter this, do you need any sleeves or socks for those devices …just so you’re not caught short?”

“By the way Chantal, how does your stock look for test strips?  You haven’t order in awhile and it might save you some time and hassle to order now.”

Notice that these offers are consultative in nature and benefit oriented.  Good closers know that clients don’t see the effort as ‘salesy’ but rather as value added.  So they don’t hesitate to ask.  The worst a client can say is no but good closers are well aware that about 25% of buyers say yes.  Good odds.

Step #4: Say “Anything else?” and Good-Bye

Effective telephone closers ask one more question: “Anything else?”  The vast majority of the time, there is nothing else. But they ask because it is a quick   way to conclude the call and not draw out the conversation.  There’s nothing worse than strained, awkwardly polite chit-chat where overly grateful sales rep  sputters niceties. Meanwhile the client is anxious to get of the line.

Look,  if there’s nothing else, simply say, “Great, look forward to speaking to you again. Good bye.”


The final habit is a tidy habit. It cleanly completes the sale. It nips any potential problems in the bud.  It paves the way for future sales.

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The 7 Closing Habits of Highly Effective Tele-Sales Reps (Habit #6: Say Thank You)

Here’s a secret tip that highly effective tele-sales reps use to their advantage after the prospect has said ‘yes’ to the sale.

Great closers say “thank you.”

That’s it. That’s all.

Doesn’t seem like much,  does it? Seem like common sense, right?

But when was the last time YOU said thank you when you got the order? The fact of the matter is that most sales reps don’t say thank you.  It is not that they aren’t grateful for the sale, it’s just that they forget.  This might have been the fifth, sixth or seventh sale of the day. The thank you gets lost in the ‘busy-ness’ of the transaction or the day.

Others don’t say thank you because they don’t feel it is necessary; that the buyer has made this decision many times before with the sales rep and dozen like him/her.  In other words, it’s not all that important; part of the routine; no big deal.

But it is.

Why ‘Thank You’ is So Important

The best closers know that from a psychological point of view that the close is often the most critical phase of sale. They know that at some level – subconscious or otherwise- the buyer feels that he or she has ‘bestowed’ a sale on the rep. In an odd way, is not unlike a ‘gift.’  The buyer had a CHOICE. The choice was you and not someone else.

It doesn’t matter that this is business. It doesn’t matter that you had the best price, the best product or the best service.  At a gut level, the buyer is looking for something reciprocal; something that acknowledges the sale; something that balances the scale of the relationship.  It’s human nature.

A polite, sincere and quiet thank you is typically all it takes to even the scale.

Delivered well, it says to that buyer “I know you had a choice and I appreciate that you chose me.” It says,  “I don’t take you or the sale for granted.”  It says, “I’m  not complacent and I remember that YOU’RE the customer.”

Here’s another thing that highly effective closers know.  They know that the thank you is important for this sale, but they also know that it is extremely important for the next sale and the sale after that and the sale after that. And so it goes.

The Card

Here is one other thing that top closers do to make the NEXT sale easier to close.

Depending on the nature of the sale, a great closer will send a hand-written thank you card.  If the sale is the first with that account, a handwritten note and card is sent with a real stamp attached.  This small gesture shows the new client that you ‘took the time.’  This is a form of reciprocity. It is recognized and remembered.   If the sale is a large one from an existing client, savvy closers will send a card that acknowledges the moment.  They don’t whip off an e-mail. E-mails are fast and impersonal and easily forgotten. There is little value in an e-mail thank you. Don’t bother.

The Gift

Great closers will occasionally reward clients who have made multiple buys.  Sending a big package of Hersey Kisses or some other candy with a little note that says, “Thank you for all the business” is small and inexpensive but can pay huge dividends in future sales.  A pizza lunch, a bottle of BBQ spices, a coffee mug… any little gesture… can have a powerful effect on the relationship and on future closes.


Say thank you after each and every sale, big or small.  Be discrete, be sincere. Don’t overdo it. Don’t gush.  But do it. It’ll improve your closing rate down the line.

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The 7 Closing Habits of Highly Effective Tele-Sales Reps (Habit #5: Invoke A Vow of Silence)

Top tele-sales closers always invoke a ‘vow of silence’ after they ask for the sale.

Highly effective telephone sales reps ask for the sale using a traditional or a nouveau close and then they ‘zip it.’ Nothing passes their lips until the prospect speaks.  They let the silent pause go to work for them.

Silence is particularly powerful and effective in telephone selling compared to face to face selling.  Because there are no visual distraction in tele-sales, silence is perceived as three to six times longer than it really is. What this does is create a noticeable gap – a vacuum in the conversation and, in turn, this creates a degree of tension. It literally compels the prospect to fill the silent void. Silence is an itch that needs to be scratched.

Beware! 2-Way Tension

But tension works both ways.

Telephone reps can acutely feel the awkwardness of silence just as easily as the prospect.  Maybe even more so because there’s a sale at risk!   There can be an overwhelming impulse to fill that gap with a rush of additional information on the product or service.  Or even worse, some reps go to the extreme and torpedo the effort with comments like,  “Well…ah…maybe you’d like some more time to think about it,” or “Why don’t I send you some information and you decide then.” Yikes!


Effective closers resist the urge because they know with absolute certainty that additional conversation of any sort detracts from the objective of closing.  Instead they invoke a vow of silence. They doodle or file their nails or clear their desk. And they wait it out.

Give your client the time to digest your offer. Give them the time to weigh their options. Give them time to say yes.

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The 7 Closing Habits of Highly Effective Tele-Sales Reps (Habit #2: Recognizing Buying Signals)

Highly effective closers are acutely tuned into buying signals.

A buying signal is anything that a prospect says that indicates a legitimate interest in purchasing the product. Buying signals are sign posts that indicate if the call is on the right track.  Closers follow the signs.

Buying Signals 101

Okay, here’s the skinny on buying signals.  First of all, buying signals don’t necessarily occur at the end of the call.  Depending on the situation, a client can indicate interest at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the call. So what that really means is that you have to been tuned in 100% of the time. Missing a sign post at the beginning of a call may take you away from your final closing destination.  Following at buying signal at the beginning of a call may act like a secret path and take you to the close immediately

Next, buying signals come in hot, medium and mild.  In other words, some buying signals are stronger than others. When the client speaks as though she has already taken possession of the product, you have a hot signal. On the other hand, if the client simply says, “That’s interesting” in a non-committal manner, it’s mild. Highly effective closers understand this and can separate the two.

Third, a lack of a buying signal doesn’t necessarily mean the client is not interested but your spider senses should be tingling.  Great closers will actively solicit a buying signal to assess where they are on the trail.  (More on that in Habit #3: Trial Closes)

And finally, buying signals over the telephone fall into two categories:  verbal and tonal.

Verbal Buying Signals

Verbal buying signals are questions or statements from clients that indicate specific interest.

“Will that integrate with my current software?”

“So there is absolutely no charge for the trial?”

“That would be easy for us to implement…”

“What sort of support do you provide?”

“That sounds interesting…”

“That’s a neat feature!”

“Can it be leased?”

“How long does implementation typically take?”

Another verbal buying signal is when the client speaks as though he or she has already taken possession of the product or service.

“So, when we are ready, you’ll do the training, right?”

“How often will I get updates?”

“So, we’ll get unlimited access to the resource center, correct?”

“I’d need to speak to our IT guy to see if there’s room on the server.”

“So after you give the training you can show us how to coach?”

Tonal Buying Signals

Tonal verbal signals are “sounds” that prospective buyers make that indicate interest or value.  Unfortunately, trying to provide a tonal example in a written format such as this article is a bit of a challenge but I think you know what I am talking about, don’t you?

For example, suppose you make a key point and you hear a positive “Ohhh…”  This suggests a sense of delight or interest. It’s a buying signal.  Similarly, if you hear a thoughtful “hmmm…” chances are the prospect is contemplating the benefits of ownership.

The effective closer listens for these indicators because she doesn’t have the benefit of face-to-face contact.


Highly effective closers are keenly aware of buying signals. Of course, it is not enough to recognize a buying signal.  You need to do something with it. Leverage it. Shape it. Use it.  And that’s where the third habit kicks in.  A great closer uses trials closes to make the most of the signal. See the next article in the series.

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The 7 Closing Habits of Highly Effective Tele-Sale Reps (Habit #1: Be Prepared for a Close)

Ever notice that some tele-sales reps consistently out sell other reps?

Why is that? Why do some reps continuously lead the pack in terms of sales and revenues and others don’t?

Sure, knowledge and experience play a role in their success, but when you scratch the surface you quickly discover that highly effective tele-sales reps all have one thing in common:  they are exceptionally good closers.

They know precisely how to get the client to commit, take action and buy the product. This is not an accidental trait. It’s a habit they have formed.  In fact, there are seven closing habits that highly effective reps share.  Here is the first.

Habit #1: Great Closer are Prepared for the Close

Hide behind a corner in your office and watch a top closer.  Very rarely do you see them pick up the phone and start dialling and smiling. What you’ll see is that virtually every top closer takes a few extra seconds to plan out their call on a pad of paper.

A good closer begins by assuming a sale has been made and then works backwards from the point. They ask themselves, ‘what must be done to get me here?’  While each rep will have their own individual approach they all focus on three core components of the call:


First, highly effective closers have two sets of well-defined objectives.

Primary objectives are those objectives that they want to achieve on that particular call. Depending on the situation, the primary objective is often to get the sale – dollars in the door.  But not always.  For example, the primary objective might be to get the prospect to attend a webinar . The primary close is not the monetary sale but rather the commitment to the webinar. The sale might come next. Whatever the case, the rep knows the end game of that call and writes it down.  This sets the tone for the rest of the planning.

Great closers also have secondary objectives.  A secondary objective could be a contingency objective. For example, the primary objective might be to close the monetary sales but failing that, a webinar might be the contingency objective.  A secondary objective might also be an action that the closer would like to accomplish in addition to the primary objective. Perhaps it is a cross sell or a referral.

The Strategy

Once the objectives are clear, the next step is defining a strategy. A strategy is nothing more than the ‘way’ the objective will be achieved.  Typically, a good closer will address three issues.

Questions – Prior to the call, a highly effective closer will have a handful of key questions that are designed to direct the client’s thinking. Almost like signposts, these pre-planned questions point to the challenges or the opportunities that a client might be experiencing. These are the motivators that must be tweaked if a successful close is to occur. Motivators are what gets a prospect to take action … and hence, buy.

Selling Points – An effective closer will jot down the key selling points that will have the strongest impact on the prospect.  Usually in bullet form, the selling points revolve around the ultimate benefits the prospect will derive. Writing them down on a sheet of paper ensures that they will not be forgotten or diluted when presented.

Objections – Finally, great closers are never caught off guard. They  will note the major objections that he or she is likely to encounter and are prepared to respond accordingly.

The Close or the Advance

The third area that closers focus upon when planning is the ‘close’ itself.  Top closers are not hesitant about writing down a closing phrase or two.  For instance, “Would you like to give it a shot,” or “When would you like to get started?” “How many do you need.”  The act of writing the close imprints the close on the mind of the rep and increases the likelihood that it will happen.

Similar to secondary objectives, highly effective closers prepare a back up ‘close’ – called an advance – that they can apply if closing the monetary sale is premature.  An advance is action that the client agrees to take (e.g., attending that webinar) by a given date and time.  Effective closers do not say, “Attend the webinar next week and I’ll give you a call later on.”  Effective closers say, “Let’s sign you up for the Webinar on Tuesday, the  9th at 11:00 a.m. , and I will give you a call to discuss the session and the next steps, later that afternoon…how does 2:15 look on your calendar?”


Highly effective closers begin with the ‘end in mind’ (as Stephen Covey might say). They know precisely what they want to achieve from the call and have a written plan on how they are going to achieve it.  Having a call road map is the first step to a higher closing rate.

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Follow Up Calls: 28 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Be Politely Persistent and Follow Up With Your Prospects

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve made the call. You generate interest. Maybe you send a proposal or quote. You make a follow up call and leave a message and wait for reply. And wait…Maybe you make another follow up…no reply.

In a short while you are convinced the client was stringing you along. Frustration sets in. Anxiety. Uncertainty. ‘Do I call again? Won’t I look like I am stalking? He’s not interested. If he were, he would have called right. Why waste my time? Forget about it. Let’s move on.”

This negative self-talk is repeated every day, every week by hundreds of reps. It gets easy to convince yourself not to make that extra follow up call.

The trouble is there can be any number of reasons why the prospect has yet to get back to you.  In fact, at last count there are 28 reasons why the prospect hasn’t returned your call. You should follow up because:

1.   The squeaky wheel often gets the oil

2.   The contact lost your number

3.   The contact inadvertently deleted your voice mail message

4.   The prospect/client simply forgot to call you back

5.   Your e-mail was sent to their SPAM folder and never seen

6.   Your e-mail was lost “in space” and never made it to the client.

7.   Your e-mail was lost, misplaced or forgotten in a pile of other e-mails received

8.   Your client is swamped with work and has been too busy to call

9.   The contact is putting out a major fire and her priorities, for the moment, have changed

10. Your prospect inverted a number or two when copying down your phone number and was not able to reach you

11. The client or prospect expects YOU to follow up and keep them on track

12. Your prospect or client is grotesquely disorganized and needs someone to keep them on track

13. Your contact figures if YOU don’t show interest in following up, you and your product can’t be all that important

14. Your prospect has had a minor delay and needs to someone (you) to get them on track

15. Your prospect has put the project on the back burner or has gone with another vendor and you need to find out to have closure and stop fretting

16. Your prospect figures the ball is in your court and is wondering why YOU haven’t made a further follow up.

17. You did not include a signature file with your contact information on it – and the client did not have it handy to make a quick call back

18. Your voice mail (and phone number) was delivered so rapid fire or slurred that the prospect gave up trying to decipher it

19. You accidentally sent your e-mail NOT to Brian Basanda but to Brian Adams when you used your Contact info in Outlook

20. Most of the other vendors calling your prospect fail to follow up … which gives you the competitive edge

21. Your contact may have a gatekeeper who erased your message

22. Your prospect has a wicked sense of humor and is waiting to see how many times you will call

23. Your voice mail script needs a re-write; it simply lacked ‘umph’

24. This could be the deal of your career – you’ll never know unless you call

25. Your prospect deleted you e-mail on their Blackberry by accident and there’s no “undo” feature

26. A poor, hungry and driven competitor will make the persistent follow up call that you didn’t make …and will get the business you should have got.

27. What do you have to lose?

28. What do you have to win?

So there you have it: 28 compelling reasons to pick up that phone and make a few follow up calls. Print this list on a bright yellow sheet of paper. Post it at your desk and refer to it whenever you hesitate about making that follow up call.  Do it now. And close more sales!

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Closing A Sale: The Absolute BEST Tele-Sales Close …ever

Are you looking for a close that is easy to use, highly effective AND gets more clients to say ‘yes’ more often?

Sound impossible?

Maybe not.  Assuming that you have done a decent job in getting to know your client, understanding his needs and providing a solution that fits, the “Give it a Shot” close can increase your success rate. It can do this because the “give it a shot” close” tackles one of the most frequent but unarticulated objections: the risk factor. If you reduce the risk you increase your chances of selling more.

The “Give it a Shot” Close

Here’s how it works. When it is time to ask for the sale say this,

“So Greg, would you like to give it shot?”

That’s all there is to it. It seems simple enough but frankly, there’s almost a “magical” quality about it. It’s rich in psychology and works exceedingly well because of the phrase “give it a shot.”

Give it a shot implies that the buying decision the client is about to make has a ‘temporary’ quality to it. At subconscious level, the words ‘give it a shot’ suggests to the buyer that her purchase can be rescinded, returned, reversed, changed, or given back. And what this implication  really does is it provides peace of mind to the buyer and gives that little extra confidence to go ahead with the decision to purchase.

In the world of tele-sales, the give it a shot close is powerful especially with first time buyers who are often skeptical. They may not know you or your company or your products so they are ‘skittish’. Furthermore, because they cannot see you over the phone, there is an added disadvantage.  The give it a shot close helps reduce the impact of these factors.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. A person can’t really ‘give it a shot’ when purchasing can they? Either she purchases or she doesn’t. In other words, the client ends up purchasing even if she thinks it’s temporary. And assuming that your product is relatively decent and lives up to your claims, the client will end up keeping it. They’re happy. You’re happy.

Another Tip

Here’s a tip to making the give it a shot close even more effective. Practice. Practice how you deliver it.

Give it a shot has a colloquial nature to it. It sounds off the cuff and that implies the sale is ‘no big deal.’ Bearing this in mind, your tone should be casual and easy going. You want to give a “no-big-deal-about-it” quality to your voice. If you make the give it a shot close sound simple it ‘becomes’ simple and hence, it further reduces the sense of risk.

But What if…

Okay, but what if the client doesn’t like the results of your product? What if she wants to return it? What if she wants her money back?

There are two options here. Option #1, comply. Give them their money back. Stand behind your product or service.  Option #2: do what you currently do with your product returns. The give it a shot close does not mean or imply that the product is free and it does not imply that they will get their money back unconditionally. It means what it says, ‘give it a shot and see what you think.’  The vast majority of clients will understand that.

So why not give it a shot yourself?

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5 Questions To Get Prospects to Take Action (and keep the sales cycle going)

Not all tele-sales calls end with a sale. Depending on your product, the market, and the price your sales call might have a longer sales cycle. But the longer the sales cycle the more time it takes to meet your objectives and make your commissions.

Here are some excellent QUESTIONS that get your client to take some sort of action.

1. How can we make this work?

Talk about a brilliant question! Use this question after you have done your needs analysis and you’ve presented your solution. It’s brilliant because it can act as an actual close or it can act is a propellant to get the sale moving.  Either way, the question creates momentum.

2. What do you see as the next steps?

This is another superb question because it gets the client to open up and elaborate on what must happen for the sale to continue.  In effect, you are getting the prospect to give you a road map to close the sale. For example, the prospect might tell you that they need a proposal, that the proposal goes to a committee of three whose names are ____ and that the final say on the sale rests on Mr. Big.  In one fell swoop you not only have the process for buying but you also have the three influencers and the final decision maker.
3. How would you like to proceed?

Here’s yet another open ended question that gets the prospect to tell you how momentum will continue. Peel back the onion a bit and you’ll also discover that this question can help garner a buying signal. It’s a test close, plain and simple.   If the client gives you specifics on how they wish to ‘proceed with the sale’ they are, in effect, giving you an indication that they want to buy.

4. What do you need to feel comfortable to continue forward?

This question more or less screams “I am in your corner.’  You are empathizing with the client and he’ll sense it because you are appealing to the emotional side of the buying equation. By asking what make him feel comfortable, you are really asking for any objections or concerns. Once those are laid open, you now have the formula to proceed with the sale.

5. To keep the momentum going, why don’t we set up a telephone appointment for Thursday morning,  at, say 8:15 and we can review the proposal in detail and determine the next steps if any.

This approach is often called the “advance” because it moves a sale forward by getting the prospect to commit to an action (review the proposal) by a given date and time (Thursday, 8:15 a.m.)  If the client agrees to this action, date and time she’s engaged. And that’s a good thing.


Moving the sale forward is as easy as asking for a ‘road map.’  Get the client to tell you what needs to by done simply by asking. Try these questions and get a move on!

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