By the time you get to the end of your sales presentation, you should have no doubts as to how good a fit your prospect is for your offering. You should know exactly how it will benefit them and what they stand to lose if they don’t move forward with you.
Why Buyers Are Your Best People
But even if you think buying your product or service is the obvious path forward, it might not be obvious to your prospect. The truth is, change is scary and you’re asking your prospect to change. It’s only natural that some prospects will be hesitant to commit, even if they understand that buying from you is the best way to achieve their goals and overcome their challenges. When that happens, you need to help them find the motivation to commit. One technique for getting commitment is the one to ten closing technique. When the questions in the one to ten closing technique are asked in the right order, you can encourage the prospect to share why they want to buy and then weigh whether those benefits are worth the risk or downside of their concerns. This technique supports them through this decision by helping them talk through and summarize the benefits and risks for themselves as they weigh the pros and cons, many prospects will overcome any lingering hesitancy and find the courage to move forward. Let’s cover a few different scenarios and how you should handle them if they happen.
The first question to ask your prospect is from one to 10, where one is, I’m not interested in working with you and ten is sign me up now, what number you. The second question aims to uncover why they will buy if they give a number higher than six. Let’s let’s say they give a nine. Say something like really I’m surprised to pick the number so high based on our conversations. I figured you’d be much closer to a seven. Why did you pick nine? You don’t have to say seven. It could be eight. It could be six. It doesn’t matter what particular number you use, as long as it’s a number lower than the one they threw out. The key to this question is to get the prospect to tell you why they want to buy, spend some time here, acknowledge what they say by repeating it back to them, ask them to elaborate on the things they say. It’s key to get more than one good answer from the prospect. After they give you their initial reasons, ask them why else they would move forward if you know other reasons they want to buy that they haven’t shared at this moment, don’t be afraid to prompt them. This is also a good place to remind them of how you’re different compared to competitive solutions. Just make sure you do it in question format. You might ask what about reason X? Is that a reason why you chose a higher number than I expected? How important is X benefit after they’ve shared an exhaustive list of reasons? Repeat what they said back to them.
Buyers Versus Sellers
So it seems like you chose a nine because of the following reasons A, B, C, D, E, and most of all F, at some point you need to transition from why they would move forward to why they might not. The third question uncovers their concerns. It seems like there are some good reasons why you’d like to move forward but now I’m confused.
Again, based on all of those reasons, I’m wondering why it’s not a 10. Now they should share their concerns, ideally, it’ll sound something like this, my only concern is X, if I didn’t care about X, we’d be at a 10. Even if your buyer can only come up with one or two concerns, don’t get overconfident. Be sure you explore their objections. Say something like I say, does it make sense to talk about this a bit more? We may be able to work through this issue together or I bet we can avoid this concern altogether.
Do you want to talk about how we avoid this issue with other clients and to make absolutely sure they don’t have any other hidden concerns? Ask if you were convinced this concern can be avoided altogether. Would you be at a 10? It’s difficult to predict how to handle their concerns exactly, because the specific concerns or objections could vary quite a bit. Even if you can’t ease their concerns completely and assuming they gave you a number pretty close to 10, you may still be able to close the deal if they give you a number lower than six in response to your initial question, do not proceed. Instead, back up to the exploratory phase of your sales process and figure out what you’ve missed. You were thorough in getting them to tell you why they wanted to buy, so be equally thorough here if they aren’t forthcoming, don’t be afraid to bring up small concerns they’ve shared with you previously to get the ball rolling, perhaps something like on a previous call, you expressed a concern that your team might not be able to handle X task on an ongoing basis, since completing that task on a regular basis is key to helping you achieve your goals.
Are you still concerned about that? Now that you know all the reasons your prospect wants to move forward and all of the reasons why they might not, you can ask the final closing question in this technique. It sounds something like it seems like there are a lot of reasons to move forward, X, Y and Z. It also sounds like you have two specific research concerns. Now that we’ve discussed them. Has your number changed at all or are you still a nine? If they aren’t a 10 yet, prompt them to weigh the pros and cons they’ve just shared with you. So you’re still in a nine. I see. In that case, are you prepared to walk away from all of the benefits or do you think the benefits outweigh the risks and you should move forward? At this point, you have a list of pros and cons, even if they don’t sign your contract right now, you have plenty of information. Ask them how and when they’re going to make the decision and suggest next steps accordingly. With the one to ten closing technique, you’re fully uncovering all of the reasons why a prospect wants to buy and why they might not. Before you ask for their business, you’re helping them weigh the benefits, risks, upside and downside of making a decision to move forward or not. Remember, when you’re helping your prospects make a decision, you’re not trying to sell, you’re trying to help them buy in sales. You must embrace both closed one or closed lost results. After all, the only thing you control completely is who you spend your time with, not what decision they will ultimately make.
Getting The Right Buyers
That’s why it’s critical that you put in the necessary effort during the early parts of your sales process, when it comes time to advise, you want to be confident that you’re working with a buyer, that you are well-positioned to help and then if you run into any hesitancy, the one to ten closing technique will help you bring the deal across the finish line.