Never Ask This Question During The Sales Close

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Many questionsYou can find a ton of sales training material and suggestions on what to SAY during a sales interaction, especially at the close. If you have been in the world of professional selling for any amount of time, you also know that asking the right questions is critically important.

However, in this short and sweet piece, I want to focus on one question you should NEVER ask the prospect, in particularly at the close.

What Do You Think?”
Although, this question may seem harmless and often necessary, it is usually harmful to the sale. The question of, “What do you think?” will always shift the prospect’s THINKING in the wrong direction.

The problem is that this question directs the prospect’s mind toward the more “logical” spectrum of the decision making process.

While there will always be a debate on the amount of logic vs. the amount of emotion you should use in a sales interaction, the consensus is clear that people make decisions based primarily on emotion. People make decisions based mostly on emotion—then use logic to justify the decision.

During the close, you want the prospect to be doing more “feeling,” than “thinking.” You want to stimulate the emotion of the situation and the gravity of the problems that a positive buying decision will solve. You do not want to prospect to turn to the logical mind BEFORE he or she has made a positive buying decision.

During the close, you want the prospect to be “FEELING” the emotions:
a. The problems they suffer without the product or service
b. The pain they can alleviate
c. The money they will save as a benefit of your solution
d. The peace of mind your service provides, and more.

During the close, you DO NOT want the prospect to be “THINKING” the logic:
a. Is this the right time?
b. What will my spouse say?
c. What will my boss think?
d. Is this the best price?

Avoid the “What do you think?” question. Instead, try, “HOW DO YOU FEEL?”

How Do You Feel?
The prospect needs the emotion to make a positive buying decision. The customer then needs the logic to back up and justify that decision. When you use too much logic in a sales interaction and not enough emotion, you get prospects that love everything about you and your product or service, yet end up buying from someone else.

On the other hand, if you use too much emotion and not enough logic in a sales interaction, you get buyers who make quick decisions and then cancel the sale.

You always want to use a good mixture of emotion and logic in a sales interaction.  However, the timing for each is crucial. During the close, you want to use mostly the emotional reasons for the prospect to take action now. Then, immediately AFTER the buyer makes the decision to purchase, inundate them with the logical reasons of why the decision he or she just made is a good one.

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 11 September, 2012

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