. We often cover topics such as selling and objection handling in this newsletter.  Both are very valuable to the sales process, but let's face it, without a close you are just wasting your time and breath.  

Every sale starts with a pitch (an explanation of what your product or service can provide for a customer.)  This of course is comprised of features and benefits, but this is only a set up for the final question, "Would you like to buy this or not?"

Typically after you ask for money you will hear objections.  If you handle the objections well then you will have another opportunity to pose the question again.

How you pose this question can make or break a sale.  The following are tips to help you build a more effective closing question:  


--  Don't ask, "So what do you think?"  Open ended questions may be good for objection handling, but a closing question needs to be a decisive yes or no (there is a way to get around this, we will explain in the Do's.)   

--  Don't appear nervous.  If you seem nervous in a close your customer will fear that you are ripping them off.  If you are nervous about asking for money maybe you should re-evaluate your product/services's value or price-point.

--  Don't agree or un-sell.  If a prospect gives an objection, handle it.  You can understand their concerns, but don't agree with the customer on perceived deficiencies.

--  Don't offer a way out.  Don't say, "Why don't you go home and think about it."  A money back guarantee is a good idea here.  Let them pay you first, then they can refund if they truly regret the sale.  

--  Don't argue.  Again if you get an objection don't get angry and argue.  Use your objection handling training.

Don't talk
.  After you pose your closing question - shut up.  Sit in silence until the customer says something.  The more they talk the better they will feel about the sale.


There are many types of closes.  Three in particular when used together make a very powerful combination.

--  Do use a "puppy dog" close.  Give your customer a free sample.  This way they will have already experienced your features and benefits in a visceral manner.  They also will feel slightly indebted to you.  

 --  Do use an "assumptive" close.  Assume that your customer loves your product/service and is going to buy.  This confidence will alleviate their concerns about being ripped off and negate any self-deficiencies that you may be harboring.  

--  Do use a "which" close.  Have two options for your customer to choose from.  This way you don't have to ask a yes or no question.

--  Do try to get the customer to admit that they like your product/service.  Once they say it out loud the will feel more pressure to purchase.  

The following is an example of the culmination of these closes:

Say you hand someone a free sample of frozen yogurt.  They say they like it.  Follow up with the question, "Which size would you like; small, medium, or large?"

You might be surprised at how many people will just choose one without any fight at all.

Now consider the alternative.  You describe the flavor and the benefits of the yogurt, and then follow up with, "So, what do you think?"  

Which do you think will get better results? 

For help with handling objections please refer to our
SalesDogs Training School Kit. For help with sales refer to Blair Singer's book SalesDogs.  For help with closing techniques please contact your local SalesPartner.
(An excerpt from "Little Voice" Mastery by Blair Singer, adapted from Lynn Grabberhorn and her book "Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting.")  "Have you ever been excited about a great idea you've had, and when you shared it with someone else, he or she looked at you, unfazed, and said, "Yeah, so?" You were enthusiastic and the other person was apathetic.  

On an emotional scale, they're light years apart.  In fact, you'd find "apathy" somewhere close to "dead" on that scale, just below fear, sadness, anger, or frustration.  And probably right up top, you'd find "enthusiasm."

So, your job in this technique is to identify where you or someone else falls on the emotional scale, and to help that emotion to rise up the scale accordingly.

For example, I might say to myself, "I'd rather be enthusiastic right now."

And then I'd ask myself, "Well, where am I on the emotional scale?"

"Well," my little voice might say, "I just don't care."

"No, it's not that I don't care.  I'm just afraid."

"Is it really fear?"

"No, it's not fear.  It's frustration.  That's what it is.  I'm frustrated."

"So what's the frustration?"

"Well, I can't seem to get the resources I need to get all of these projects completed on time..."

Once I've identified the emotion I'm really feeling, then I can ask myself, "How do I want to feel right now?  Do I want to feel enthusiastic?  Do I want to feel depressed?

Ask yourself how you want to feel and then allow yourself to feel it.  If you can't make yourself feel it, recall a time in the past when you did feel it, or at least a time that put a smile on your face.

One moment I like to recall is when I watched my son kick his first goal into the net in a soccer game.  I smile every time I think of him jumping up and down with that big, Cheshire cat-grin plastered on his face.

Before I know it, I'm back to where I want to be emotionally."

For the rest of "Little Voice" Mastery Technique # 16:  How to CHOOSE How You Want To Feel as well as 20 additional life changing techniques, please refer to Singer's book, "Little Voice" Mastery.
The best way to ensure that you aren't wasting money on ineffective marketing is a two step process.  First of all you need to find and understand your target market and second you need a tracking system.

You've created a product or service that is meant to solve a problem.  To find your target market all you have to do is ask yourself, "who has this problem?"  Once you identified the people who need your product the most the next challenge is to find them.  

Try asking friends and family about their problems or searching the Internet, research is the most important step in any business.  Ideally you should know your target market before you even open your doors, if you didn't now is the time to find out.

Once you've collected your data you should put your collected market research into a one page form.  Lay it out in three sections; demographics, problems, and wants/desires.  Be as specific as possible.

Here is a brief example:

  Single mothers who live within the greater metro area of my city, age 20 to 40.  These women are working to support their children.  They may or may not be well educated.  They average 2.5 children.
Problem #1:  Day-care concerns about finding proper and reliable care for their children.
Problem #2:
  They don't have a social life.

Problem #3:
  Improved Employment.

  They want clean, affordable, and reliable day-care.  They want romance.  Flexible work schedules.

Now you have a guide to work from.  How does your product or service solve their problems, or fulfill their desires?  The answer will be your sales pitch.  Where do these people typically spend their time?  That's where you need to focus your advertising dollars.

Now that you are advertising in the right places with the right sales pitch that hits your target's "hot buttons" you need to develop a tracking system on the back-end of your business.

Survey your clients.  Ask them how they heard about you.  Find out where the spend their time.  If possible watch the percentages of returns from different ad campaigns.  Focus your money on the ads that yield the highest percentages or revenue.

For more on target markets and charting market research please refer to our
Automatic Lead Generator Training Kit.
When it comes to promoting your service or product (whether it be by ad, sales letter, or direct contact) there are 6 major ways to improve your chances at a sale.  

#1 - Make an offer that is too good to refuse.
  Be sure to add bonus gifts or discounts (especially to first time customers.)  

#2 - Grow your business by taking the risk away.
Always have a risk free offer.  Make sure your potential customer understands that you offer a money back guarantee, or store credit, or something of that sort.  The ability to return a product or receive a refund will vastly decrease the prospect's fear of "buyer's remorse."

#3 - Write powerful money making headlines.   The most important line in any add or sales pitch is the first line, or hook.  Spend some time crafting your opening statement into a concise attention grabber.  If you're having trouble with this refer to magazine headlines.  Magazine covers are full of great hooklines.  

#4 - Be unique.
  What do you have over your competitors?  What sets you apart?  What is the #1 reason your clients do business with you?  

#5 - Hand write your adds.   Even if you are modeling your adds after an already existing add make sure to write it out for yourself.  This will create a deep neurological imprint on your brain.  Now you will find the information more readily available when creating new adds or in a direct sales situation.  

#6 - Hire a professional.
  If you are still concerned about creating a successful add campaign look to a pro.  Every SalesPartner has the ability to help you create powerful, attention-grabbing, money making adds.  Contact your local SalesPartner for a free consultation.   If you use all of the tips above when you create your adds, your response rate will increase guaranteed.   For more in depth analysis of these topics with copywriting professional, Alexi Neocleous please refer to our Automatic Lead Generator Training kit.