Those questions were raised at a recent sales course we ran, and they are interesting because most salespeople are trained to present and close at every opportunity.
In fact, in one of my favourite films, Glangarry Glenross, Alec Baldwin is famous for using the ABC method of closing, standing for Always Be Closing.
So why wouldn’t you always offer the solution? Why would you think of any alternative? Isn’t it strange to think that you wouldn’t close when you have the opportunity?
Well, many people suggest that it might be better to offer up to three options and then help the prospect choose which one would be best for them.
Let’s discuss the reasons for this:
Humans have this innate desire to want a choice. When they have a choice they feel in control, as if they are having an influence on the solution and the benefits they will achieve from it. Even if the choice is between Yes and No, we still like to feel that we control the situation.
Also, the optimum number of choices for someone is three. With two choices, it’s an either/or decision. With four or more choices, it can tend to overwhelm and intimidate us. But three seems to be the optimum number; not to many, not too few.
If we’re asked to choose between two options, we may feel pressured, wanting to choose the lesser of the two evils, or asking for more time to think it through.
But when we’re given three options, we tend to see the option of ‘no’ fading away.
Think of this when you next are asked to present a solution, or you feel the time is right to present the solution. Ask yourself, are there three options available to the prospect? If so, offer the choices, then request the prospect thinks through which be best for them or their business. This gives them a wider choice and enables you to help them consider the best alternative of the three for them and their business.
Offer three solutions. Discuss which one would be best for them. Help them make the best choice.
You’ll be surprised how often you’ll get a solution there and then, instaed of ‘I’ll think about it’.
MTD Sales Training
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Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! ;-) Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 3,500 different organisations and 100,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.