The trial close is an attempt to determine if your prospect is ready to buy. Many salespeople finish a presentation, answer a few objections, and ask the prospect for the order without having any idea if the prospect is ready or not. More importantly, if an answer is not given by the buyer, they leave without knowing how far apart they are.
As the salesperson, if you sense that the prospect has moved from desire to conviction, then find out how far apart you are by using a scale approach in a trial close. You don’t have to finish a presentation if your prospect is ready to buy. Never “sell past the sale” or cover anything that wasn’t agreed upon as being an issue to resolve.
Using a scale approach of 1 to 10, with 1 meaning “no deal” and 10 being “ready to start the service” or “buy the product,” the pressure of a simple “yes” or “no” response is removed from the buyer. If the answer is 6 or less, the prospect can ask if it’s over or what still needs to be covered or reviewed in the presentation. If the answer is 7-9, the prospect can ask what can be said or shared with them to get them to a 10 and keep selling. Then do another trial close to see if that answered the objection or not.
If the prospect responds with a 9 again, ask if no perfect score is ever given, and if “9 is your 10.” When the salesperson gets a 10, it is time to confirm the sale and congratulate the prospect on becoming a new client. This takes the pressure off the seller and puts it on the buyer where it belongs, but now it is easier for the prospect to say where they are and for the seller to know if the gap is gone and agreement has been reached.
1. Imagine you are in a sales presentation. You have brought up the common objections as questions so the prospect could answer them. All seems to be going well and you sense that the prospect may be ready to buy, so you ask the question, “Is this the right solution for you?” The prospect leans back in her chair, and rubs her chin in thought. “This all looks pretty good, and I’d say your solution is going to be given serious consideration. I need to run it past a couple of department heads and you can check back with me in a couple of weeks.” She rises to shake your hand and end the meeting.
Describe what you would do now while you are there, and what actions you would take after the meeting. Use “Buyer” and “Me” (seller) to capture the conversation.
2. Imagine your are in a sales presentation. When you answered objections that came up, you got a strong sense that she understood your answers, but she either didn’t believe or agree with you. You ask, “I may be misunderstanding, so help me if I’m wrong, but I get the sense that I still haven’t gained your trust as someone you could do business with. If that is the case, I doubt there is anything I could say or do to change that, and it’s over. Is that the situation here?” She responds, “No. It isn’t a trust issue, it is I’m not sure it will perform as you said it would for us.” Relieved that you can continue the presentation, you decide to use a scale approach in a trial close to find out how far apart you are.
Describe the conversation from that point until you either close the sale or not. Use “Buyer” and “Me” (seller) to capture the conversation.