Why You Should Have A CLOSE A & A CLOSE B

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Close up of someone signing a contractThe excitement you feel when you get a positive response from your prospect is palpable.

All that hard work, all that research, all that grafting and painstaking questioning and presenting has paid off and the prospect is heading towards buyers-ville.

It’s all going so well.

Then, when you ask the prospect for the order, they bring out another objection, or stall you for a few extra discount percentage points.

Your closing presentation didn’t quite work.

Everything you said was correct, but it didn’t hit this particular buyer’s hot button.

You start to feel uneasy and wonder if you simply have to give in to their demands.

Well, there is another way.

You can have an alternative ‘gaining-commitment’ statement available.

This gives you then at least one option to fall back on if the direction your discussions have taken don’t bring the desired results for you or the prospect.

It could sound something like this:

You: Well, Mr. Buyer, we’ve discussed how this new product will give you the results you’re looking for and we’ve considered how quickly the return on investment will materialise. I’m sure you’d like to move forward, so what processes do we now follow for us to get this started?

Prospect: Well, it’s true I do like the product, but I feel we might have to put it back a little before investing, as it’s a lot of money and it’s a big change for us

You (Recognising this is a stall, and you may have to resort to a different strategy to gain their commitment): I understand your concern, Mr. Buyer and, as you say, it can be seen as a lot of money (getting the buyer into the agreement frame).

What if we put the installation back, say, two months? This would allow you to get total buy-in for the new systems that are going to be introduced and ensure a painless changeover. But also, it would mean a longer time before seeing the return on your investment, and that would take it into the slower selling season too. Would the slight lessening of the risk be better for you as a business than the quicker return on investment? (getting the buyer to consider what’s more important to them)

Prospect: Well, if you put it like that, I may have to reconsider the effect of the delay in installation. Let’s work on what the result might be if we had a slight delay, compared with immediate installation, shall we?

Do you see what has happened here?

Your first choice statement (Close A) has been met with reluctance from the prospect because of high risks involved.

Your next choice statement gives them an alternative that would be acceptable to you (in this case, the two-month delay) but you also bring to their attention the implications of the delay in terms that would affect the buyer’s ROI.

The buyer could still make the decision to buy on their terms, but now understands the consequences of the delay.

Your Close B has given them food for thought and enabled them to weigh up the consequences of the delay for their business.

It gives them alternatives to consider that would be best for them all round.

So, by having a CLOSE A and a CLOSE B, you offer alternatives that will still get the sale and enables the buyer to consider which one would be best for their business in the long run.

Work on developing your own A and B close so you offer alternative options to their business.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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Originally published: 31 October, 2018