Silence is golden

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by Kelly Kramer

Early on in my sales career I decided if I had to use negative and deceptive closing tactics, I would have to find a different profession.

Everything I was taught was to “never stop asking for the sale.” Terms like “over come the objection and close.” Then repeat that until the customer said yes or walked out. Another was “ABC: Always Be Closing.” Basically meaning that you never give your customer any information without it ending with a closing question. For example: If I could get you the upgraded eight pound pad at no additional charge, would you buy today?

All the time I was thinking, why don’t I just find out what my buyer really needed and simply find that product and give her a fair price on it. But my fellow old-timer salespeople told me that method was a waist of time. My thoughts back then were if I followed their advice, I would become a person who basically hated and disrespected others.

So I studied hard to learn my products and understand how they would or would not benefit my buyers. Then I figured a knowledgeable shopper could make up her own mind and the best part was, I never had to close because she felt confident enough about the experience to close herself.

The objective is to direct and advise enough so your buyer asks you for the sale.

Throughout my writing and training career, I’ve been a strong advocate of not letting customers take samples home. And, believe me, salespeople around the country fight me tooth and nail on this one. Besides the obvious aspect of her shopping you with your own sample in hand and having relatives, friends and neighbors tell her she made a mistake, you lose control of the sale and ruin the best advantage yet: The advantage of bringing the samples to her home when you go out to do the measure/estimate.

Here’s how you make sure that your buyer never even asks to take the samples home alone. Early in your presentation and customer interview, you set the stage. Here’s word-forword what I say: “What we do here is find two or three samples you think will work and we’ll bring them out to your home when we come to do the measure/estimate. While I’m measuring, you can narrow down your choices. Then, in most cases, I will give you an exact total cost on the spot, and if you are happy with your choice and the price is right, I’ll have you give us half down. The rest is due when the job is complete and you’re happy with the work.”

If you follow that statement by actually doing a good customer interview and showing her some good choices for her situation, she will ask you when you can come out with the samples and give her an exact estimate. Now she is inviting you into her home. Right product, right price and confidence are terrific silent closers.

In my book, “Selling Clean,” is the full treatment of showing respect and actually showing buyers you want the best for them beats hard closing every time. When the average salesperson tells you just how high his closing ratio is, he doesn’t count the lazy times he let samples go home alone.

I don’t have to count those either. But at the end of my measure/estimate most of my customers simply ask if check or credit card is better for the half down deposit. No closing needed, my silence is golden.

To get more of my honest methods and huge product knowledge, buy my books. Thanks for reading.

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