Years ago when I first learned how to close sales over the phone, my manager got all the sales reps in the conference room and drew a big circle on the board and put a bull in the middle of it. Then he used his eraser to break the circle, in effect creating openings for the bull to run out of. He explained to us that the ‘doors’ in the circle were objections and stalls the bull would use to escape the circle, and that our job was to answer each objection and close each door thereby blocking every exit of the bull. Once the circle was complete, and the bull could no longer escape the closing circle, he would have no option other than to buy.
While I recognize that this isn’t a very sophisticated analogy and that some people may even think it crude and not representative of today’s interactive and consultative selling approach, I’d like to point out its essential truth: Prospects often are going to give you more than one reason not to buy, and it’s your job to be prepared to answer these objections, questions and concerns, close the circle, and repeatedly ask for the order.
The important part of the above paragraph is: “repeatedly ask for the order.” Many sales reps may make one or two attempts to overcome an objection and then give up. And once they do, the “bull” simply walks through one of the remaining open doors and gets away. Only top closers have the fortitude and scripted responses to close ALL the doors and get the prospect to buy. And that’s where having a prepared book of effective scripts comes in.
Today’s objection is a great example. Prospects have many “doors” to escape through, and the objection, “We tried this before and it didn’t work,” is one of them. Many sales reps struggle to overcome this objection, but if you’re prepared for it, it’s easy to close this door. Here’s how:
Objection: “We tried it before and it didn’t work”:
“I understand, but there’s something you’ve got to keep in mind. Today, technology changes so fast that a solution that came out just a few months ago is seldom comparable to its updated version even this week. You probably see this with apps. Heck, even Facebook comes out with improvements every two weeks, per Facebook. Do you use Facebook?”
[If yes]: “Then you know what I mean.
[If no]: “Well, I’m sure you know what I mean, though.
“But here’s the point: comparing our cutting edge solution to something that you tried 6 months ago – or worse, two years ago! – is like comparing a model T Ford to today’s feature rich automobiles. It simply isn’t the same – and nor will your experience be the same.
Let me point out just two things that we do differently today than you may have been used to in the past….”
[And then point out two or three features you know are perfect for your prospect, then]:
And there you have it: another door in the circle closed! After you use this close, watch your prospect try to escape through another door, and then simply close that one as well. And soon, once all the doors are closed, you’ll be in the final paperwork, and you’ll have yourself another new client!
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