When I was a very young sales associate, one of my trainers tried to teach me his self-proclaimed “ultimate closing technique.”
The set-up is that the prospects are somewhere between a yes and a no. My trainer had a foolproof technique for getting someone to give you the answer you need.
It goes like this: “Mr./Ms. Decision Maker, we’ve been talking about this for a little while now and I feel like we’re making progress, but I want to be sure I’m not missing the signals. My question is, is this a slow yes or a slow no?
If it’s a slow no, I’m guessing you’re not going to do it and just don’t want to hurt my feelings. I appreciate that, but I make my living on two words: “yes” or “no.” “Maybe so” doesn’t help me, or you, because I’ll keep coming back until I hear one of those answers and it becomes awkward for both of us. So if this is a slow no, let’s end this right now.
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If it’s a slow yes, though, you’ve seen value in what we’ve discussed but there’s some question I haven’t answered that’s keeping you from moving forward today. Do you mind me asking what that is?”