A Powerful Way To Close The Husband And Wife Team

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Senior Couple with sales personClosing the sale while sitting across a desk or the dining room table from a married couple can be tricky.  When one spouse is solely dominant and clearly makes the decisions, it’s not so bad.   However, when they begin to use each other to stall and toss the ball between them, it can be very frustrating:

Wife:              “Well, what do YOU think?”

Husband:        “What do YOU think?”

Wife:               “HE usually makes the decisions…”

Husband:        “SHE usually makes the decisions…”

Husband:        “Maybe we need to wait and think about it for a while?  What do you think?”

Wife:               “Yeah.  Maybe we should wait.  What do you think?”

Arrgh!  Here is one very effective way to handle this situation.  Mind you, this close is not for the faint of heart.

The Concept
The concept here is to HELP this couple make a decision.  That is your job—to help them.  Use these steps:

  • Verify that there is no clear objection
  • Unify the prospective couple
  • Address the weaker, less positive spouse while speaking for the other
  • Address  the stronger, more positive spouse while speaking for the other

Here is an example:

Wife:               “Well, what do YOU think?”

Husband:        “What do YOU think?”

Husband:        “It’s really up to you?”

Wife:              “Me? You normally handle these things…”

Sales Person:  “Susan, Ethan, this is great.  I’ve been in this business for a long time and I see this often and it is always a very good sign.  Do you mind if I explain?”

Both:               “No, of course.”

Verify that there is no clear objection: make sure there is nothing you missed in the sales interaction and make sure both answer the questions.

Sales Person to both:   “First, did you like the plan I showed you.  Can you see how it will help your family for years to come?”

Both:                               “Oh, yes.  It’s great.”

Sales Person to both:   “And you feel it is affordable?”

Husband:                      “Yeah.  We can handle that payment.”

Wife:                              “Sure.”

Sales Person to both:  “And you do not have any issues or concerns about me or my company?”

Both:                             “No.  We are familiar with your company.”

Should one or the other object during this phase, with something like, “Well, that is what we want to think about,” then you know what the problem is. 

Unify the prospective couple: bring them together.

Sales Person to both: “It is obvious that you love and care deeply for each other and you usually make major decisions together, or at least in agreement with each other.  Is that right?”

Whatever they answer here is fine.

Address the weaker, less positive spouse speaking for the other

Sales Person to wife: “I see this all the time.  You see, Susan, Ethan really wants this plan for you.  He only wants the best for you.  However, he just needs to be sure that you also feel that it is best for you and the family.  And you do feel that way, don’t you?”

Wife:                          “Well, yes, I think it’s good for us too.”

Address the stronger, more positive spouse speaking for the other

Sales Person to Husband:  “Just as I thought, Ethan.  Susan does agree with you.  You both feel the same way.  Congratulations.  You have both made the best decision in your family’s future that you can make…”

Assume the sale.

Of course, that is a generic example and your words will be much different.  Yet, understand that all you are doing is essentially becoming a temporary arbitrator to help take the full responsibility off each individual to make it a joint agreement.

In addition, when verifying there is no objection, you will often discover one spouse has an objection while the other does not, allowing you to deal with the problem.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 26 September, 2011

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