There are all sorts of questions you can ask on closing calls to move the needle forward.
From discovery questions, implication, close and open-ended to commitment questions, we can both agree that in sales, questions are the answers.
It is my goal, with this article to break down the most common questions to ask on a closing call, that will actually get your prospect to say yes without resistance.
We`ve been accustomed to traditional closing techniques, over the years and even though they might have worked for most sales encounters, today`s buyers are very familiar with them.
They know when you`re trying to close them.
The problem with closing high ticket sales is that the minute you throw in an old school closing technique, you come across too pushy and the prospect shuts down.
When it`s not their decision to do business with you, they don`t feel good about the purchase. Click To Tweet
In order to close without resistance from the prospect, first of all, he has to be familiar with your company and product and secondly, you need to make them feel like it was his or her decision to move forward.
Let`s take a look at some of the questions you can ask that you`ll lead them to a smoother close.
This is where you`ll spend most of your time on the closing call. Discovery questions start at the beginning of the call to get the prospect to open up and tell you a little bit more about their situation and needs.
They are the most important to ask. If you don`t have a clear understanding of what the prospect wants and desires, it will be hard for you at the end to close the sale. Clarity is power. You must get clear on why they`re talking to you.
Let`s take a look at some examples:
“So Mr. Prospect, can you tell me a little bit more about your situation?”
“I`m curious, what motivated you to jump on the call today?”
“Why is it so important to solve this issue, right now?”
“How many team members do you have?”
“What were you doing before starting your own business?”
“What type of ads are you currently running?”
The more questions you ask here, the better you`ll understand how to position your solution and determine early in the call if the prospect is the right fit or not. If he`s not, you disqualify him and get off the phone.
Don`t try to do a good deal with a bad prospect, it never works.
Asking for refunds, backing off from the sale or not going through the program are issues that arise more frequently when you close an unqualified prospect.
Why do you have to memorize a dictionary of closes? Click To Tweet
The most powerful types of questions to ask, also the most underutilized by salespeople.
Implication questions allow you to dig deeper into the prospect`s pains and find out what are the consequences of them not solving a specific problem.
They also help you understand how urgent it is for them to fix the issue.
These questions get the prospect into an emotional state because at this point they start weighing the cost of staying stuck and the cost of solving the problem.
Here are some examples:
“You told me you were losing $5 000 a month in your business. If you don`t mind me asking, what exactly is gonna happen if you don`t fix this?”
“What do you think your wife is gonna say when you tell her that you have no cash reserves in the bank to advertise your business next month?”
“I`m sure you have back up plans but what if this program doesn`t work, like the others you`ve invested in, you`re gonna spend another $20 000. I don`t know, man… what do you think?”
The answers you get from these types of questions are a good indicator of how serious the prospects are about making a favorable decision. The worst type of answers you can get are those“wishy-washy”.
Using words like “exactly” will give you more accurate answers.
Don`t play the guessing game, find the truth and get to the core of what`s really going on with them and their worst nightmare scenario.
Want to get back in control on the sales conversation?
Use these ones. When a prospect throws a “grenade” at you and you get stunned, a good redirection question is all you need to prevent the sale from going down the toilet.
It`s a powerful way to lead them down the path that you want, instead of you getting hammered with questions.
Redirecting can be a call saver when you find yourself in situations where they`re giving you a lot of objections or just being rude.
Let`s see a practical example:
Prospect: “How much does it cost?” (5 minutes into the call)
You: “It depends… tell me, what exactly are you looking for?”
In this situation, your best bet is to put them back in their place. At this point, use this redirection to find out why they`re on the call in the first place.
Prospect: “You still didn`t answer my question!” (in an irritated tone)
You: “Sir, before I get off the phone, let me ask you… are you always this rude?”
Pretty much the same thing here.
The prospect is impatient and trying to test you a bit. Your goal is to find out the reason why he called you. Sometimes, getting off the phone is really your best option.
Prospect: “Tell me what this program includes.”
You: “Great question, sir… what would you like it to include?”
The key here is to keep your cool.
Most salespeople lose sales because they lack emotional intelligence, they`re too reactive and temperamental. Even worse, they get into justifying mode.
Every time you get a “blow”, breath, relax, wait a few seconds and redirect their question. If you fall into the trap of being reactive or defensive, you´ll miss the mark.
Your tonality will give it away and most certainly your question will be a dumb one.
The ones that everybody likes. Most gurus out there try to complicate the process of closing a sale.
You`re bombarded by sales training materials that give you 101 ways to close the sale or the 68 most effective closes to use.
My question to you is… if they`re so effective, why do you have to memorize a dictionary of closes?
Here`s one of the three closes I like to use:
Prospect: “Yes, that makes sense. The $32 000 investment is not a problem, my business partner trusts me and has always been supportive of my decisions”
You: “So, Mr. Prospect, where should we go from here?”
That`s it! This is the only closing question you`ll ever need to use in any sales situation.
You don`t need to memorize 68 closes!
Notice that by asking this question, you`re not pushing them to make a decision, instead, you`re leading him to his own conclusions. Remember, people hate to be sold but they love to buy!
How Many Closes To Use
Neil Rackham, an international sales expert did a study where he compared a certain number of sales calls and determined that when selling high ticket items, the more closes salespeople attempted, the lower the success rate of the calls, meaning, fewer calls would turn into sales.
Don`t try to use more than one close when you’re on the phone or in person closing a deal. The less you use, the better you are.
Don`t try to do a good deal with a bad prospect, it never works. Click To Tweet
Length Of The Closing Call
Generally, closing calls last between 20 and 60 minutes. It all depends on how familiar your prospect is with your offer and how you set up the call.
As you get better, the amount of time you spend closing the sale will decrease, thus making you a more effective closer.
Don`t worry so much about the length.
As long as you properly qualified the prospect and you get a commitment, that`s all that matters, even if it took you 2 hours.
Number Of Questions To Ask
Again, this depends on how “ready” the prospect is. Sometimes, they might even call you, you ask 2 or 3 questions and their credit card is out.
I wanted to demystify these subjects because I see too many salespeople and entrepreneurs getting caught up in the little things.
More than the numbers of questions, you want to pay attention to the quality of the questions. Ask as many as you need to get a commitment.
Is that simple!
Lead The Way To The Close
We`ve all been sold something at some point and felt buyer`s remorse the next day.
These questions will help you not only make a sale that sticks but making the prospect feel like it was his or her decision to move forward.
When it`s not their decision to do business with you, they don`t feel good about the purchase.
As you know, prospects these days have access to all the information they need to make a decision. Salespeople have become more consultants than actual salespeople, over the years.
Prospects these days need a fresh perspective of their problems, a new set of eyes and this is where you as sales professional, come into play.
Don`t try to rescue prospects that act like victims just because you want the commission. Click To Tweet
It`s your duty to be a leader, not a savior.
Don`t try to rescue prospects that act like victims just because you want the commission (it will backfire) or help someone that doesn`t help himself.
Be a leader and guide a qualified prospect to the ultimate decision.
You`ll have more committed clients, long lasting relationships and the joy of working with people that are willing to go all the way.