How to Navigate Your Sale with Trial Closes

The Trial Close; A Salesperson’s GPS Unit

The sales process; it’s really just a map. You have a beginning point (you’re here) and an ending point (where you want to be). Sure the process is the same but the people you go through the process with are different every time. Some like to take you off track, others like to run ahead and if you’re not careful it’s pretty easy to get lost.

Fortunately, you have a tool in your toolbox, a sort of GPS unit, that can tell you where you are. It’s called the Trial Close and it’s not only great for figuring out where you are but it’s the very best gauge you have for knowing when to close.

On today’s show discover:

  • …what a trial close is and how you’ll benefit from using it;
  • …how to respond to the answers you get and keep your sale on track;
  • …and how to incorporate the trial close into your interactions to close more sales   

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What a Trial Close Is

Now a trial close is really just an open ended question you ask your customer to gauge where they are in the buying process.  

Here are some examples:

  • How do you feel about what we’ve talked about so far?
  • How does what we’ve talked about sound to you?
  • What do you think about the solution I’ve shared with you?
  • Based on what you’ve heard so far, what questions do you have?

You’ll find customers will respond in one of three ways to trail closes.

Green Light Response

Some will give you the Green Light. Their response will be strong and positive and you’ll know now is the right time to close.

You: What do you think about the solution I’ve shared with you?

Customer: “I think it sounds fantastic, it’s perfect for me.”

You: “Great, let’s get you started….”

Yellow Light Response

Then others will give you the Yellow Light. Their response is still positive but a bit more wishy-washy. The best plan here is to continue with the process.

You: How does what we’ve talked about sound to you?

Customer: It sounds pretty good.

You: Great!, now you were saying that sleep has been an issue for you lately, tell me more about that.

Red Light Response

Then there are those who seem to give you the RED light. Their response isn’t positive. The best plan here is to acknowledge the customer’s response, maintain rapport and to try find the obstacle blocking their way.

You: How do you feel about what we’ve talked about so far?

Customer: I don’t think this is going to work for me

You: I understand, what in particular is a concern for you?

Whether your customer responds to your trial close with a Green, Yellow or Red Light you’ll know where you are in the process and you’ll know how to proceed.  

What a Trial Close Isn’t

Since we’ve talked about what a trial close is, we should also review what it isn’t. Asking for the sale isn’t a trial close….it’s a REAL close and yes it is possible to find out if the customer is ready to purchase by closing but if they aren’t; you might damage rapport. A trial close is a much less aggressive way to test the waters.

Close ended questions aren’t good for trial closes either. Think about it this way can you imagine how lame it would be if your GPS only responded with a Yes or No rather than telling you where you were? Good trial closes are always open ended.

How to Incorporate Trail Closes

So how can you incorporate trial closes in your customer interactions?

  • First, save your trial close until you feel the customer is ready to purchase and then test your hypothesis.
  • Second, print out a list of open ended trial closes and keep them posted in your cubicle or somewhere where you can refer to them.
  • Third Practice. Pick a trial close that seems comfortable to you and use it. With practice, they’ll become second nature for you.

Remember: The trial close can tell you where you are in the process and when the time is right to close. It’s one of the most powerful yet overlooked tools in a salesperson’s toolbox.

Today’s one two punch

Use the Trial Close to Write More Orders

Trial Closes Cubicle Post

Download this sheet of example Trial Closes you can hang right in your cubicle!

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