Ask Kathy: Mastering the Trial Close

By Kathy Sisk

Closing a sale occurs when the customer agrees with the conditions and gives the agent his or her firm commitment. Closing a sale should be a natural ending of the sales process, but it should not be viewed as transactional, because customers may hesitate with purchases made over the phone. Don’t try to close without trial closing first.

Mastering the trial close is a paramount for an effective sales agent. It places you in a solid selling position and gives you the perfect time to test for a commitment before the final close.

The Trial Close Is a Powerful Tool: A trial close helps sales agents assess how customers feel about a product or service. It is a powerful sales tool that is critical in closing a sale. However, if you use a trial close in the wrong way or at the wrong time, you may lose the opportunity of selling the customer altogether.

While speaking with customers, a sales agent must constantly note the customers’ reactions. Gauging their interest helps determine when to use a trial close. Practice helps agents become instinctive regarding the process. The use of an effective trial close is a technique to achieve a higher close percentage.

 Trial Close Examples: Prior to trial closing you need to get your customers’ reaction. You are not asking for a commitment. Instead you are asking how they feel about what you have shared so far.

  • Do you have any questions about what we have discussed?
  • Do you have any suggestions about our proposal?
  • Does that sound reasonable?
  • Does that sound fair enough?

The trial close happens after sharing the features and benefits and after you get your customers’ reaction to ensure that what you communicated with them is of interest. When the customers’ response is positive, you can safely go to the trial close, restate the offer with benefits, and give the price.

Trial Close Importance: Many agents make the mistake of asking customers for their commitment without knowing how they feel about the offer. Failing to acknowledge customers’ questions and concerns may result in a “not interested” response.

A trial close helps agents strengthen their sales process and prevent lost sales.

Kathy Sisk, founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc., is a trainer and consultant, contributing thirty-five years of expertise to the telemarketing, sales, and customer service industries.

[From Connection Magazine – November/December 2015]

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