We’ve all experienced at one time or another a sales presentation we believe is going well, only to have the customer go into a big stall mode just as you try and close.

What makes this worse is many times the customer has been very engaged with you throughout the entire sales call process.

It seems as if the customer has a type of split-personality to suddenly go cold.

Challenge in this type of situation is knowing what to do.  The best way to handle this is by not allowing the stall to pop up at all. The way to do that is by providing the customer with trial close questions along the way.

When I say “trial close questions,” I’m referring to those types of questions that are focused on getting the customer to agree with you on key parts of what you’re selling.

An example might be to ask something in reference to the exact quantity they may want to buy.   Objective is to get the customer to essentially sign off on parts of the close before you actually close.

What you’re doing with this approach is making the close a much smaller part of the process.  For many customers, they start to hesitate when they suddenly come to the realization they’re going to make a decision that may seem monumental.

Breaking things down gives you the response you’re looking for should the customer suddenly get cold feet when you close.  Your response to their cold feet is to then recap for them all of the elements they already agreed to.   By doing this, you’re allowing them to see it in smaller pieces, which in turn can make it easier for them to say yes.

There is another approach to consider if you are not able to use the closing questions during the call. Use the element of time combined with their most critical need.

An example of this is a customer may have shared with you how they want to get the upgrade you’re selling in place to allow them to begin working on the next phase.   Your comment could be something that references how it’s essential to get the order in today to allow time for the upgrade to enable them to stay on track with everything else.

Key is linking time and critical need.

Are both of these approaches going to be successful 100% of the time a customer is stalling? Sorry, I can’t make that promise.

What I can tell you, though, is by using one or both of them, you’ll definitely increase your ability to successfully overcome the last-minute stall.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.


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