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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Selling, effectively

It's been a busy few days as we prepare to close some of the largest papers we've produced in the past few months. Part of this is because of the season -- things seem to lighten up in the spring in our business -- but I think the main reason is that our team is jelling and connecting, and finding the opportunities where they are.

I promised in yesterday's blog a report on Nicki Joy's speech to the Ottawa-Carleton Home Builders' Association -- the full report will be ready tomorrow or possibly Saturday. But here are some of her tips regarding the trial close.

"Trial closes are one of the most underilized selling strategies, and yet they are the most powerful," she writes.

"Trial closes test to see just how near the prospect is to buying and reveals their interest and involvement levels. The trial close is like a report card that tells you how close they a re to accepting to your solution to their problems."

She writes that trial closes start the decision making process that is a prelude to the commitment making process. "In essence trial closes ask an opinion while the real close asks for a commitment."

Trial closes, she writes, are:

  1. A low risk strategy;
  2. A barometer/thermometer
  3. A compass to help you adjust to the direction of your sale
  4. A diagnostic tool
  5. A control handle
  6. An involvement creator.

"Trial closing questions are especially effective because they give the buyer a chance to make a minor decision-- one they can handle, but remember, little decisions eventually lead to big ones."

I like this stuff -- and her other materials. I especially like the fact that while she has written a book, she did not do the typical speaker thing and hype its sales -- you can find it on (And I am not an affiliate yet, so don't make anything from this referral.)

Here it is:

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