Several years ago, I read an article by a sales expert who suggested that salespeople could close more deals by using the “Yes, no, yes, yes, yes” approach.

This strategy suggested that salespeople ask their prospects a series of questions that will be answered with “Yes, no, yes, yes, yes.” He said that it was important that a prospect say “no” early in the sales process, because everyone who is tasked with a buying decision feels compelled to say no at least once.

The last question would be a closing question. Because the prospect would be used to saying yes by then, he or she would automatically say yes when asked to make a buying decision. I cringed when I heard this because I thought it was a load of crap.

Flash forward to this past week when a participant in a sales training workshop admitted to being trained in this tactic. He said, “We spent a lot of time role playing this tactic during training.” When I asked if the approach actually worked, he snorted, “Are you kidding me?! My prospects aren’t that stupid.” He went on to say, “No one in my office had success with it.”

Suggestions and ideas like this really burn me up. Sales is a tough profession and it is chock full of people who give sales a bad name. So-called sales experts who dispense this type of advice only add to the negative stereotype.

Professional selling requires hard work. There is no quick fix, magic answer or easy way to close a sale. So please, if someone tries to offer you a “surefire” way to close more deals, consider the advice very carefully. If it sounds too good — or too easy — to be true, it probably is.

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