I don’t know why tie downs aren’t used more by sales reps selling over the phone. I was listening to an experienced rep the other day just pitch and ad-lib to a good prospect, and at the end of the call, she had no idea about the prospect’s level of interest, nor did she qualify the prospect.
Tie downs (and trial closes) serve several important functions, including:
Getting confirmation that the point you just made was understood and accepted by your prospect. This is especially important when selling over the phone because you don’t have the physical clues to tell you how your presentation is going.
Using tie downs is also instrumental in building a yes momentum. If the prospect is agreeing with you, then you can feel confident at the end in asking for the sale.
Tie downs also give your prospect a chance to engage with you—when you use one, you actually have to wait for them to respond.
Trial closes are crucially important as well. If all is going well with the tie down responses you’re getting, then as you head toward asking for the sale, you can use a few well-placed trial closes to make asking the deal even easier.
There are many other value reasons for using tie downs, but let’s look at some of the most effective, and go over in what situations they work best:
#1: Whenever your prospect asks you a buying question (and any question a prospect asks you is a buying question), after you answer it you must use a tie-down.
If a prospect asks you how much something is, after you give them the price—or the range of prices—you can use any of these tie downs:
“How does that price sound?”
“Is that what you were looking to spend today?”
“How does that compare with what you are paying now?”
“Is that within the budget you have for this?”
OR (If selling a commodity)
“That’s a great value today, and I’d take as many as I could at that price—how many can I ship you today?” (O.K., that’s a close, but I couldn’t help myself! Do you see how tie-downs can lead to a close?)
If a prospect asks a question about a feature or a benefit, use any of the following:
“Does that make sense?”
“How would you use that?”
“Do you understand how that works?”
“I think that’s a great benefit – how about you?”
If a prospect makes a statement that seems negative, use:
“How did you come to that?”
“Compared to what?”
“What do you mean exactly?”
“How does your current vendor handle that?”
#2 Use tie downs throughout your presentation.
Most sales reps power through their presentations and use far too few tie downs or check-ins (as the rep I listened to demonstrated last week). And when they do, they are usually closed ended which lead their prospect to reveal little. Use these more open-ended tie downs to engage AND learn crucial buying motives:
“That’s how we drive the leads…. now tell me about how you would get the most out of them?”
“That’s one of our biggest selling points…. tell me: how would this impact how you’re currently doing things?”
“Do you see how this works?”—And then: “How might this work for you?”
“Are you with me there?”—And then: “What questions do you have?”
“That’s a nice feature, don’t you think?”—And then: “How would that work for you?”
“Is this sounding like it might work for you?” (Now we’re branching into trial closes—did you notice that?)
#3: Tie downs can easily become trial closes.
Customize from any of these to fit your product/service:
“What do you think of this so far?”
“Would this location work for you?”
“How many locations would this work for?”
“How many departments would want one of these as well?”
“That’s pretty special, isn’t it?”
“Do you see why this is so popular?”
“Tell me, would that fit into your budget?”
“Most people like this—how does it sound to you?”
“Will that work?”
“What else do you need to know?”
“What other areas are you interested in?”
“Would that be enough for you to move forward with this?”
“Tell me: how close are you to wanting to move forward with this?” (A great trial close!)
Let me reiterate that using tie downs & trial closes gives you the information you don’t have because you can’t see your prospect’s reaction (because you’re selling over the phone). Therefore, it’s critical for you to begin using more of the above tie downs & trial closes during every conversation.
Remember, the more you can get your prospect talking, the more you’ll learn what it will take to close them…
Want more solid scripts you can begin using today to make more money? Buy yourself the best Holiday Present you’ll ever gift yourself (or your sales team!): Power Phone Scripts: 500 Word-For-Word Questions, Phrases, And Conversations To Open And Close More Sales
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