Asking for the sale is one question that sales managers and sales trainers spend a good deal of time covering, because it’s one of the most important questions a sales rep should ask, yet the least often asked. Understanding that not all reps feel comfortable using the question, “Do you want to go ahead with this?” as a sales closing technique, the following method provides an effective way to ask for the sale by having your client not only agree that he/she can see how your product/service will help them to solve their problem, but also openly affirm that now is the time to act and close the deal.
I first discovered this sales closing tip in “Ziglar on Selling,” by Zig Ziglar. In this great book, Ziglar refers to it as the “Three-Question Close.” To adapt it to my style of selling, I made some alterations and call it the “C.U.T.” approach. It comes from the term “Cut to the Chase” which was first used when making silent movies. The climax of many silent movies was the “chase scene” and during the editing of a film, when it was time to bring the movie to a close (so that the characters could live “happily ever after”), the director would say to the editor, “Cut to the chase!”
When it’s time for you to cut to the chase and ask for the sale, begin by asking your client:
C – “Can you see how my product will help you to …” (State client’s specific need or problem.) If the client says “No,” then you need to uncover what you missed. However, assuming that your product/service does solve their problem and you have presented your case correctly, the answer should be “Yes.” You then ask:
U – “Understanding that, obviously, you are interested in …” (Solving that problem.) Naturally, your client will say “Yes.” You then ask:
T – “Then, truthfully, if you were going to start (solving that problem), when do you think would be the best time to begin?”
At this point, if the client says, “Well, I guess right now” then you can say, “Great. Let’s get the paperwork started.” However, if the client says, “I don’t know” then you need to use what Ziglar called the “Probability Close.” Ask your client, “Okay. I was wondering, on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being that you want to go ahead right now – where do we stand?”
If the client says 7 or higher, then you say, “Specifically, what can I tell you about how we can help you (solve the problem) to move you to a 10?” Then listen very carefully. Your client is close to making the deal and you need to find the concern and provide a solution. If the client says 6 or less, there is major unresolved issue and you’re far from closing the deal. You’ll need to discover that issue and provide an answer.
In either of the above scenarios, after you have reviewed and answered their objections, you ask, “I think I have answered all your concerns. So, on that scale from 1 to 10 – are we at a 10?”
If the client still says, “I don’t know” or “Not yet,” then you can either further penetrate their concerns or make the decision that, perhaps, you might be “spinning your wheels,” and you need to move on to your next client.
If you have answered all of your client’s concerns, asking for the sale is the easiest part of the sales process. Using the “C.U.T.” sales closing technique is a direct way to emphasize that you truly understand your client’s issue and allows your client to concur that your product or service can help solve that issue and that now is the time for him/her to act. Hopefully, by using the “C.U.T.” approach, your sales call will end just like the old silent movies after the “chase scene”… with everyone living happily ever after.
Recognized as a funny motivational speaker who actually has something to say, Bob Garner has worked with corporations worldwide to improve employee and sales productivity and performance. In addition to being an entertaining motivational speaker, Bob is an author and syndicated writer.
©2011 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use my byline and author resource.