Have you ever had a sales presentation where you felt everything went right? You presented the incredible features, benefits, and advantages to your product. You had a friendly dialogue with your prospect that felt authentic. Your prospect liked your product so much that they even acknowledged that it would be of great value to them in their life or their business. Then it happens: you don’t close the deal at the end. Of course that’s happened to you. You’re not alone. Every salesperson has more “no sales” than they have “yes sales.” This is a numbers game. It’s a contact game. But that’s not the subject of this post. Instead, I am going to talk about using a trial close in your sales presentation. It’s a low-risk, high-reward tool in your tool belt
What is a trial close? It’s simple. It’s open-ended questions that seek your prospect’s opinion. The reason I do this is it helps establish customer buy-in. It helps establish how effective my sales presentation is. When using it, you get immediate feedback from the target audience of your presentation. An effective salesperson will utilize a trial close throughout the entire presentation. Here’s how it’s done. After presenting an amazing set of features and benefits to my customer, I pose a question to my prospect. “Prospect, what are your thoughts on my product thus far?” I pause in the middle of my presentation, and I seek feedback. In doing so, I gain important information about my prospect’s take on my product.
The difference between trial closing and closing is this: A trial close asks for an opinion; a hard close asks for a decision. A hard close would be, “Prospect, do you want to sign up “with my company today?” But it’s just as valuable to gather information during the course of your presentation.
If you find yourself on a string of “no sales,” you should evaluate how effectively you are utilizing a trial close. Assess the quality of your trial close questions. If you aren’t using a trial close, you’re going to find yourself in long slumps. But when you implement the trial close strategy, your closing ratio will naturally get higher. Of course it doesn’t mean that you’re going to close every deal. After all, sales is by its nature a numbers games.
That dilemma requires a more in-depth analysis. It requires you to take a deeper look at efficiency. Are you efficient in your sales process?; in presenting the features and benefits of your product?; in understanding your competitors? These are the areas where a sales coach can help you improve and help guide you to a level of success. A sales coach can help you shift the numbers game in your favor. There are many areas where a sales coach or manager can identify an area of weakness in your sales process. But you can only have those discussions when you are committed to improving your own sales skill. And in order to do that, I highly recommend you start by implementing trial closing questions.