B2B selling doesn’t have to be a somber, serious affair. In fact, I feel the more fun you have, the better you do. Of course, if you aren’t doing so hot in meeting your quota, it’s going to be hard to have fun. But as your success grows, things tend to lighten up.
One of the key ingredients to sales success is having several closing sales techniques in your pocket which you can deliver without hesitation. When you reach a certain level of competence, you can have fun by varying them in each scenario in a creative manner. It’s like watching a basketball player invent an amazing dunk on the fly. He cannot do this unless he’s very skilled and confident in all aspects of his game. It’s the same with salespeople.
With all that being said, there are a few closing sales techniques which have been given some pretty comical names by the competent salespeople who mastered them. When you master them, you also will be able to apply them effortlessly and have some fun while doing so.
The Puppy Dog Close
The puppy dog close is based on the principle that once people have something in their possession, it is very hard for them to give it back. It’s one of the oldest closing sales techniques, and it’s just as viable today as when it was invented.
Imagine being given a puppy to “try out” for a few days. You start to grow fond of it after a while, and your children play with it all day and night. It’s going to be very hard to give that puppy back after a week, so you will most likely buy it.
The same applies with anything a B2B salesperson has to offer. The puppy dog is the basis of trial offers, test runs, and such. It works especially well with office equipment and machinery, such as printers or forklifts. Once the workers get used to the machine, they will usually find it indispensable and demand it stay.
When you have a tough buyer, offer a short trial run with no obligation. If your product truly solves a business pain, you will have a new customer on your hands. That’s the puppy dog close.
As explained in TheBalance.com, the Columbo Close is based on the old TV detective who had a knack for catching criminals off guard. He had a very non-threatening demeanor, and seemed just about ready to give up an interrogation and walk out the door when he would pause, turn to the perp, and say his famous line “Just one more thing…”
When you have reached an impasse in a sales call and are ready to leave, use the “just one more thing” line. The buyer thinks the sales call is over, and will have dropped their guard a little. They don’t imagine you will use any closing sales techniques as you walk out the door. What you ask next must be a very pointed, powerful question which seeks to uncover the real objection that you can then handle.
- Just one more thing…I tried my best but I couldn’t close you. What should I have said or done that would have made you say “yes” today?
- Just one more thing…when are you making your final decision on this?
- Just one more thing…what is more important to you: the lowest price or high quality?
You will likely get a very honest answer here and that is when you can answer the objection and close the deal before leaving. But you have to be sharp, because the buyer’s guard will be back up quickly!
The Benjamin Franklin Close
The Ben Franklin close works well with analytical types who like to weigh benefits against risks. It is based on the way Ben Franklin supposedly made decisions, which was to draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and list the pros on one side and cons on the other.
Now, in the old days you would tell a story, such as “Ben Franklin, as one of the Founders of our great nation, was a very wise man. Wouldn’t you agree? Well, he used to make decisions by taking a sheet of paper and…”
Nowadays, this can come across as kind of corny – especially if your buyer is well-versed in closing sales techniques and has heard it before. So just say, “Okay, so let me take some notes. Some of your concerns are _____. And some of the benefits we talked about are _____.”
Either get the buyer to list them, or you name them off based on the conversation. Then show the buyer the paper, and say “Well, weighing the pros and cons here, I see a lot more pros. Right?” Then deliver your closing, such as “How do you feel about moving forward, then?”
Note: if your buyer is a very emotional or impulsive type, skip this close. While the analytical buyer will go for the side with the greatest quantity of items, the emotional buyer will value things differently. They might assign much more weight to one negative item than the entire column of positives – because they do not decide rationally.
The Thermometer Close
The Thermometer Close is one of several closing sales techniques used to uncover objections which the prospect has not voiced, or to move stalled deals forward. It’s called the “thermometer” because you are gauging the “heat” of the deal and whether it is hot or cold.
Ask the buyer “On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being absolutely ready to proceed and one being very far from it, how high would you say you were on this scale?” When you get an answer say, “Okay, well what factors are keeping you from being at 10.” Now you will get to the bottom of why he or she is not moving forward.
Vary the wording to your liking. As an example, you can say “What’s it going to take to get you to 10 and move forward?” That will uncover the objections which you then address.
Fellow sales trainer Tom Hopkins describes this in his book, How to Master the Art of Selling.
Say someone throws a porcupine at you and you catch it. What are you likeliest to do? Throw it back, of course!
This is one of those classic closing sales techniques that never grows old. The way it works is after your buyer has shifted into buying mode, they tend to ask a question showing they are really interested. Sharp salespeople don’t answer, but instead feed it back in the form of a yes or no question. When the buyer says “yes,” they have just about closed themselves.
Buyer: “Does this have a one year warranty?”
Seller: “If I offered you a two year warranty, would you be ready to move forward today?”
Buyer: “How long would it take to install?”
Seller: “How fast do you need it installed?”
Buyer: “Within a month.”
Seller: “If I could have it installed within two weeks, would you sign the purchase order?”
As you can see, this can be very effective! If he or she says yes, you just closed the deal. If he or she says no, then you can uncover more objections with “What else would have to happen?”
Video Link – http://video.asherstrategies.com/old-brain/part-1-old-brain-makes-the-decisions