Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Direct Question Close

There are many different closing techniques that will make the sale a positive experience for both you and your prospects. My personal favorite closing technique is also the simplest. It’s the direct question. It’s my favorite because I’m a pretty direct person who likes to say things clearly. I also believe most prospects appreciate this type of close because it’s the most honest. It doesn’t try to sneak up on them and it gives them credit for being mature, responsible business people able to reach a quick, firm decision. The direct question also eliminates much prior thought about technique on my part, which allows me to concentrate on what the prospect is saying rather than on what my next lines are going to be.

My favorite direct question is, “Would you like to make this investment today?” Since I’m usually selling a fairly expensive consulting service proposal that will pay off in the long run for my clients, the term “investment” suits the offering very well.

I also use the imperative “today” because I’m trying to get a commitment from the prospect now—not later. That word serves as a signal to them that it’s “yes or no” time. If you want to use the direct question method, find words of your own that fit your product or service line.

Some other direct questions you might try are
-Would you like to do business today?
-Can I order this for you now?
-Do you want this plan?
-Are we in agreement on the deal?

The direct question needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. It should not have any “wiggle room” in it for the prospect to use to back out of the commitment. It should be strictly a “yes or no” proposition. If the prospect wants to say “maybe” to a “yes or no” question, they have to work at it.

It’s important that the words you choose for the direct question close be your words. They have to seem natural to you when you say them and natural to the prospect when they’re coming out of your mouth. If you seldom use twenty-dollar words in normal conversation, don’t stick any into your closing question. If you’re a distinguished-looking professional man or woman, stay away from an MTV vocabulary.

You should write down your closing question (and a few variations) and read them out loud to see how they sound. You’ll probably be able to tell pretty quickly if those words belong in your mouth.

Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, hiring, firing, and motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.

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