The Two-Party Indecision Close

The Two-Party Indecision Close is to be used when there is more than one decision-maker. In this type of situation, you are likely to run into a situation where one is ready to go ahead and one is not. This may be a husband and wife or it could be two business partners. When you reach what looks like an impasse, use this strategy:

Phraseology: “John and Mary, when two people are involved in making a decision, it’s often impossible to find one simple solution that satisfies both of them. So life then becomes a matter of compromise. Now, the measurement of the decision becomes this: Does it satisfy most of the wants of each of the parties?”

If it does, you’ve just closed the sale. If it doesn’t, you’ll at the very least uncover an area of concern that you haven’t fully addressed. Grab hold of that concern and handle it properly, then go for the close again. Remember, the average sale is not closed until after five closing attempts are made.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (

Learn even more closes from Sales Closing for Dummies.

Financial Services Guidelines for Asking Questions

Three Guidelines for Asking Questions

Because asking good questions is such an integral part of good selling I’ve given the matter a lot of study and thought over the years. I’ve boiled down all that knowledge into three basic guidelines.

Guideline #1. Establish a bond before you attempt to control the process with questions. Establishing rapport is essential because people want to do business with people they like and trust. They’ll never get to the trust issue if they don’t like you. There’s no need (or reason) to attempt to become “best buddies” on the spot, but it is important that your prospect comes to like you very early in the process. This is one of the reasons for the brief chit chat that takes place before the selling begins. [Read more…]

The Inflation Close

As much as we all hate the idea of entering a period of inflation, indicators are showing that there is very likely going to be one in the not-too-distant future. I don’t want you to be caught by surprise or to wonder how to make sales during an inflationary time. The recent Great Recession has been tough enough. Let’s be well-prepared to sell during the projected upcoming inflationary times.

The Inflation Close is used to help people rationalize parting with their money for something that either earns a greater return than the inflation rate (such as certain investments) or to improve their lifestyle with products and services whose investments are likely to increase. [Read more…]

The Alternate of Choice Close

In my sales training, the Alternate of Choice question is usually used to get a date or time commitment to visit with a future client. The Alternate of Choice is a question with two answers — either answer is an agreement. The key is to give two solutions that both lead toward the sale.

Another great use for it is regarding a location for a meeting or to deliver product. By giving two choices, one or the other is usually chosen. This is much better than what happens when you give one choice and the only other option is “no.”

The Alternate of Choice can also be the most simple close you will ever use.

Phraseology: “John, you’re really a whiz with that new software today. Would you prefer to train your staff yourself, or shall we provide the training?”

Either way, he needs to own the software in order to train, doesn’t he? [Read more…]

The Competitive Edge Close

If you’re faced with a client who doesn’t want to make a decision about your product, service, or idea, you can tell a competitive-edge story to help them along. These stories don’t need to be elaborate, and they’re not meant to talk your clients into anything they don’t want or need. The stories just remind clients that they have competitors. So if you’re not telling them anything they don’t already know, what’s the appeal in competitive edge stories? In a word, survival.

“John, remember that many of your competitors are facing the same challenges today that you are. Isn’t it interesting that, when an entire industry is fighting the same forces, some companies do a better job of meeting those challenges than others?

My entire objective here today has been to help provide you with a competitive edge. Gaining a competitive edge, no matter how large or small, makes good business sense, doesn’t it?”

To read all of my closes, get a copy of Sales Closing for Dummies. To listen to them delivered and learn how to write your own, listen to my audio titled, Academy of Master Closing — available in both CD and MP3.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (

Qualify All the Time

While the qualification process is critical in making an initial sale to clients, it’s not something you can do once and forget about it. In challenging times, you may need to continually re-qualify existing clients. When anything changes, think of them as if they’re new clients all over again. The key element is what they might want or need to change about their current situation. You can never assume you know whether or not they remain highly qualified candidates for your product or service.

Changes that are impacting just one of your clients could be making an impact on all of them. Fastco manufacturing might be a good client when they’re running three shifts each day. But with any change in their production, such as cutting out a shift, or running 24/5 instead of 24/7, their needs may change…and your services may need to change as well. Maybe they’re no longer an ideal candidate for product X that you offer. Getting in there and truly working to serve their needs might show that they’ve become a better candidate for product Y. If you had just let them ride along with product X, they may have been tempted away by a competitor who pointed out a different solution to their needs. [Read more…]

Understanding People’s Natural Fears

Think for a moment about what the greatest enemy is to the process of helping people come to a decision that’s truly good for them and getting an agreement for them to own your product or service. What is it that jumps in and brings presentations that were previously sailing smoothly along to a screeching halt? You may think it’s the competition or maybe the financial aspects of your proposal. Perhaps you think it’s the prospective client’s inability to make a decision.   Well, if you think any of those things, you are right. But, with selling being what it is — a bottom line business — let’s dig deeper and find the bottom line of what lies between you and your ‘future client’ coming to an agreement.   If you look at all the enemies you and your associates can come up with, you’ll find they have a common denominator. That common denominator is a thing called FEAR. [Read more…]

Barriers to Closing

What are you really doing when you close a sale? There are four issues you are addressing, and, perhaps overcoming.

The first issue is that the client really does want to make the decision to go ahead and they need your help rationalizing it. That puts you in the position of the “rationaliz-er”–the one who validates their emotional decision or backs it up with facts and other evidence that they’re making a wise decision to go ahead. [Read more…]

Asking Final Closing Questions

final closing questionFinal closing questions are part of a topic I’m asked about quite often.

The key point is that after you ask your final closing questions that your presentation is finished. You should not say another word. In most sales situations, whoever speaks first after the final closing question has been posed will own the product. If you speak first, you will likely keep it in your inventory. If the buyer or potential client speaks first, they will likely buy.

After that final closing question the buyer is obligated to answer one of two ways. They either accept the offer you’ve made or they don’t. If they do accept it, you can quickly move onto the paperwork or whatever method you use for completing a sale. If they say “no” or hesitate in any way, hopefully, you can keep the discussion about their needs open. You will then need to discover what about your product does NOT serve their needs (in their minds anyway). If you can keep them talking about their needs and the solution they’re seeking you will have an opportunity to save this sale. If they just say “no” and do not utter another word about the product, you may need to ask for permission to continue to speak with them about your products.

A lost sale is never truly lost. Do not burn bridges with non-clients. If they buy from someone else today, they may be unhappy with their decision. By checking back with them regularly, you may win their future business.

Qualification Defined

If I asked a room full of experienced salespeople how many of them qualify their clients, every hand would go up. If I asked that same group to define qualification, the answers would probably vary to the extent that a newcomer in sales would be somewhat confused. If I then asked these experienced salespeople to deliver their qualification sequence to the group, I’d have to guess that many would not be able to do so. Too few salespeople, even veterans, have proven, practiced methods of qualification. And that’s a sad truth. [Read more…]