The Take-Away Sale Can Be A Great Sales Closer

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

the man is standing with his back forward For some reason, an intrinsic part of human nature is to desire that which is forbidden. It seems that whatever it is that we cannot, or should not have, are the very things we want most. Take anything, and deny someone of their right, ability or choice to have it, and they will want it more, simply because they can’t have it.

Hard to Get
Take a child who has no interest in a particular toy. Tell that child that he or she cannot have that toy, and suddenly the child wants it more. As adults, we are the same. We all seem to have an affinity to desire the preverbal “forbidden fruit.”

For some reason, that which is harder to obtain, has more value when possessed. Hence, a cornerstone of relationship theology is that of the act of “Playing hard to get.” A woman may believe that the more difficult it is for the man to gain her affection, the more he will desire and cherish it when obtained. And frankly, that philosophy is often correct.

Going with the Flow
Please understand that I am not going to try to explain the complexities of human nature, nor am I going to try to fully understand such. However, I know that there are ways to capitalize on this inherent human condition. My point is that perhaps you should learn to take advantage of a situation that already exists.

Take it Away
Depending on dozens of factors about what you sell and your selling process; it may be helpful for you to, at some pre-planned point in your sales process, slightly to “take away” the offer or opportunity from the prospect.

You have been pushing benefits and selling throughout the interaction; trying to get the prospect to accept the offer and to envision having it. However, at some point, you may want to reverse that momentum and inform the prospect that maybe they CAN’T have it.

What Do You Mean, I Don’t Qualify?!
This take away concept can easy come in the form of some qualification that prospect may have to meet.

Sales Person
“Susan, as I have shown you, this is a fanatic offer and is guaranteed to make all of your staff more effective and make you more profits. But, let me take a minute and go over a few things…I’m not sure if you qualify for our Super Deluxe Package…”

“What? What do you mean, I may not qualify?”

Stockbrokers in America have always done this very well…

“Ethan, as you can see, all the indicators say that this company is going to explode in growth over the next six months, and the stock is going to pop! It is an incredibly, undervalued bargain at $4.50 a share. However, since you are a NEW account, I am afraid that I can only sell you 100 shares. After we have been doing business longer, then you will qualify for a larger allocation.”

“What do you mean? What if I want to buy more than that?”

The question in the prospect’s mind goes from IF I should buy; to how come I cannot buy as much as I want?

The Water Cooler
This is a complex topic and one that I will devote more time to in the future. In the mean time, don’t get too worked up or go off half-cocked, telling your buyers that they can’t have your product. Calm down and just begin to THINK about this and observe this area of human nature.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Ambro at

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 19 April, 2012

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