Home > Closing > The Either or Close?

The Either or Close?

The Either / Or Close
This question gives an alternative choice, leaving the client with the option for either one or the other. The question could be “Do you want the Monday start or the Wednesday start for the campaign?”
:dun

Your thoughts on other EITHER/OR Close questions?

- by Snowboy
If it's not used in a manipulative manner this is a productive question. I've seen this called "alternative close" too. - by Houston
The Either / Or Close
This question gives an alternative choice, leaving the client with the option for either one or the other. The question could be “Do you want the Monday start or the Wednesday start for the campaign?”
:dun

Your thoughts on other EITHER/OR Close questions?

They're good. Keep the choice to two. - by Wonderboy
Yeah - I agree with this. Make the customer make a simple choice that both benifit the sale.thmbp2; - by Indep Rep
Good point Houston. - by Snowboy
They're good. Keep the choice to two.
Thank you For your Comments - by Snowboy
Yeah - I agree with this. Make the customer make a simple choice that both benifit the sale.thmbp2;
Thank you for your post Henry - by Snowboy
I think these days we all get more people knock on our doors, ring us up and try to sell us things. I feel that such closes as the either have been very succesful. But there comes the problem, because of the success of such classic closes they are now overused to the point of become cliched, and i would guess most prospective clients would have heard this before and associate it straight away with a sales pitch.

A good salespersons job is to appear that he is not selling, to set himself aside. The fact that most sales people use the same old closes, makes it easy to set yourself aside with a new approach! - by adammead26
That comes after the person says: I want it! I don't need to ask that because it's not an important question until the person says: I want it? That's when I would ask: when? BUT usually the person comes to me and says: NOW.

In other words, I've talked with people about our products and they want to know more or not and if they do BUT are stalling or not willing to commit I let it go. I move on BUT keep in touch. If the person is sincere he/she will eventually say: NOW.

The best of the best to everyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
I think it's especially helpful to new sales people. It takes some of the fear out of closing. Would you like to do a check or credit card? You're not asking IF they want to buy, just what payment method works best for them. - by susana
I see the merits with this... in a way it's soft selling the customer by getting them to make a choice and start agreeing. You're also weeding out any potential issues before you believe you closed a deal.

I'll often ask simple questions like

"Would you prefer a morning (7-12) or afternoon (12-5) installation"

"Is there any day in the week which isn't good for you? Our average wait is between 3-20 days and they are available Monday to Saturday"

Once you get that out of the way, I'll ask for their business and 80% of the time, it's a sale. - by MrCharisma
I think these days we all get more people knock on our doors, ring us up and try to sell us things. I feel that such closes as the either have been very succesful. But there comes the problem, because of the success of such classic closes they are now overused to the point of become cliched, and i would guess most prospective clients would have heard this before and associate it straight away with a sales pitch.

A good salespersons job is to appear that he is not selling, to set himself aside. The fact that most sales people use the same old closes, makes it easy to set yourself aside with a new approach!
Good post.
Take it a step further, don't just appear to not be selling. Do not sell.

Communicating for Commitment works much better. - by JacquesWerth
Take it a step further, don't just appear to not be selling. Do not sell.
Selling by not selling. Hmmm.

Now if I could just learn how to pay my bills by not paying my bills. - by Skip Anderson
Selling by not selling. Hmmm.
Now if I could just learn how to pay my bills by not paying my bills.
That’s very cute.
Surely you can also dream up another non-sequitur as a put down of “Communicating for Commitment works much better.” - by JacquesWerth
I understand what Jacques means and it's not just a clever thing to say - Jacques doesn't say things just to be clever as he doesn't need to stroke his own ego that way.

When you don't sell i.e. convince through persuasive techniques intended to make a sale whenever you can regardless of what the other person wants BUT RATHER come to a closure with someone committed to what you offer in the first place it's a done deal from the start - most of the time.

I pay the bills, Skip, by not selling in the conventional sense of how selling is typically defined. Look, a retired professor came down the street the other day as I was raking leaves and he initiated a conversation. It was one of those rare and delightful conversations when banter and interest, questions and listening were active and intellect was actually being used for wit and happy discourse.

Rusty asked me what I did and I told him also telling him - as he had indicated a drop in energy and zest - that I sold a product that helped many people in that way. "Rusty, does that sound like something you want." I asked to which he replied, "Mike, I really am doing okay and am just happy tp still be taking my walks."

So I dropped it. We spent another ten minutes having one of the best conversations I've had in a while and when he left we decided we should meet for a cup of coffee sometime.

THAT may or may not happen BUT my point is I stopped cold when he said NO and thus preserved a great new relationship selling as is conventionally defined and done would have killed.

Maybe one day should we meet for a cup of coffee he'll want what I offered him - maybe not - but to my thinking what I did and most importantly didn't do is what Mr. Werth teaches.

The same principle applied to cold or prospective list calling is exactly the same and what Jacques is talking about.

He'll say if I got this wrong if he reads my reply.

MitchM - by MitchM
I understand what Jacques means and it's not just a clever thing to say - Jacques doesn't say things just to be clever as he doesn't need to stroke his own ego that way.
MitchM
Hi MitchM. I know you're a disciple of Jacques' theories from your posts. I sincerely think it's great that you've found a body of information that has helped you. Believe me, I'm all for that.

But I think you may have understood me. I didn't accuse the post of being clever. To me,

"...don't just appear to not be selling. Do not sell"

is not clever. - by Skip Anderson
I haven't found Jacque's book to be much of a body of information but rather a serious of sales dialogues that show how high probability selling works. Along with that are some clear definitions and a conditions of satisfaction check list, Skip. And I'm only a disciple in that I find what I've read to be a discipline I can use.

Mr. Werth, I believe, offers much more and in that - trainings, etc. - there may be a much larger body of information but I've not taken his courses - so I'm very much not an expert nor a professional in using his revolutionary approach to selling. I'm amateur all the way and I expect to stay that way in the truest sense of the word.

Okay, if that quote isn't clever what is it? Is it a nonsense statement? What does it imply? How does it reference the poster he alludes to in that which you've quoted? What are you saying?

These are simple questions - I'm trying to understand what we're talking about here.

MitchM - by MitchM
It's my experience that sales people have 3 or 4 closes with which they're comfortable. But when making 2-man calls, they seem to use only 1 or 2!

There might be 40 or 50 closes out there (who knows). I have about 30 in my sales training presentation which I use with the team. When you get comfortable with a large number, it becomes virtually conversational. You'll find yourself using all of them and finding it second nature.

There's nothing more entertaining than getting to the "Lost Sale" close and dropping your briefcase for effect! (I'm sure that I'm dating myself ...)

Good luck & good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Closes in your pocket? I find that reprehensible and contrary to the being the best anyone can be in a selling situation. One of the reasons is that having those closes waiting is contrary to mutually agreed upon conclusions AND establishing a relatinship of trust and integrity.

MitchM - by MitchM
When a rookie SR endures their first month on patch, the only way to get through with their clothes in-tact is to provide a set of tools.

The only way to get through the next period is to layer more detail (objection handling, probing skills, closing, etc.). When these get to the level of being "2nd nature", it really is quite enjoyable.

Closing is simply one tool in the sales arsenal and having lots to work with makes using a particular technique less daunting.

"Reprehensible" is a pretty strong term, by the way, Mitch. There is nothing untoward about a SR who is completely comfortable with an array of professional closes. To use a particular close, when properly qualified, there is NO misrepresentation or unprofessional act involved. Rather, we're taking a qualified client through to a logical conclusion.

In fact, it's a "thing of beauty" to watch an adept closer at work!

Good luck & good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Mitch is lightened up, Pat. I don't use those terms lightly but neither do I use them in personally unenlightened way. Neither do I have a sale's arsenal which I also find represensible - I'm not doing battle or waging war to win a sale.

BUT if that's all the beauty of to you it I'm no one to convince you otherwise, Pat. Like I posted in another post - I'm not a professional and choose to think of myself as a life long amateur in the oldest sense of the word - so there's no competition between us as to what's the This or That way to look at these things or do them.

I'm successful in what I do without having a pocket of perfected and internalized closes and arsenal of tools and what I teach and train is likewise what I do and it proves itself successful.

The best to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
MitchM, during sales conversations do you ever find yourself using the same or similar examples, stories, questions, etc.? - by Liberty
Mitch, maybe I'm missing something as I thought that this was a forum (this particular thread related to closing). My input wasn't intend to sway anyone to my camp and your response (actually both) were more than a little combative.

The point which you seem to have missed has to do with SRs becoming comfortable right through to the close. In my experience that happens when a broad set of tools are used consistently. To the extent that these tools can become conversational or second nature, the SR will be comfortable.

However, when only 2 or 3 closes are within their grasp, these will not always "fit" the situation at-hand.

Your approach may well work for you Mitch. Congratulations and continued success (seriously)!

In my experience (especially at Xerox), the approach portrayed in my post is proven to work.

Good luck & good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
I'm following the conversation to understand these things better. Obviously you believe SRs need closing promots and techniques and I don't - that's a good discussion point in itself.

BUT I'm not the professional many are here and I haven't been in any other situations other than what I do presently so my experience is limited.

Still, I stand by what I post.

MitchM - by MitchM
The point which you seem to have missed has to do with SRs becoming comfortable right through to the close. In my experience that happens when a broad set of tools are used consistently. To the extent that these tools can become conversational or second nature, the SR will be comfortable.
I couldn't have said it better myself Pat.

In my opinion the confidence that comes from believing you can handle what comes your way because you possess a broad set of tools shouldn't be underestimated. - by BossMan
Nor be over estimated as being necessary or absolutely useful in being successful in sales. I can only speak for myself in that when I went from learning an arsenal of tools and putting them to use to trashing it up and speaking directly from the need/want/willing to buy or do position my business improved and so did those who do the same.

My conversation with prospective buyers has to do with understanding the details, answering and asking questions, and coming to a mutually agreed upon conclusion that usually is a sale. BUT that's understood from the start - not always 100% though.

My conversation isn't to slot in the right close at the right time nor to slip in the right over coming objection at the right time - I don't sell that way.

Having given up over coming objections and slotting in closes which seem to fit a certain situation my sales, my group sales, have all improved as has moral and confidence for those who work this way.

What I'm saying shouldn't underestimated because of learned notions and even experience - going from the subjective to the objective, from the known to the unknown, isn't easy to accomplish even for a moment.

BUT again, I'm an amateur and not a professional - the success I've had comes from that approach and feeling about what I do.

MitchM - by MitchM
My conversation isn't to slot in the right close at the right time nor to slip in the right over coming objection at the right time - I don't sell that way.
I don't think anybody is saying that. Having different ways of asking a question or responding to a question in your repertoire is good salesmanship. - by BossMan
Maybe we're not talking about the same thing then, BossMan. I don't look at intelligent questions and conversation as a bag of closes - as a pocket full of over coming objections and 30 - 40 closing techniqies.

But again, I don't attempt to get a sale - what I do is meet with people who say they want or want to know more about what I'm offering them. It's not exactly what Jacques Werth calles high probabliity selling - I've never taken the course but I have read the book four times.

It is though close to that in that I'm not listening to over come objections, to get to the heart of the matter, or anything. I'm listening to understand and in that meeting of the minds come together BUT I begin from the agreement that what I offer is what someone wants or wants to look at.

When we leased a car recently the salesman did all the closing stuff - at least he began to do it until I stopped him and told him to just listen to me and not "add value" or convince or spice up the deal. In other words I knew what I wanted and told him to turn off his salesmanship jargon and tactics and do what I wanted or I'd look someplace else.

Since he knew I wanted this particular auto he shut up, became a nice guy and not a closer acting like my friend or educator and we made a deal.

After the closing I told him if he were smart he'd send me a call or give me a call in a couple of weeks or months to see how I'm doing. I told him that was smart because I respect that and because of that would come back to him.

Having told him what matters to me to keep a customer I left thinking he might do what I told him to do. He hasn't. I won't go back to him.

That story has maybe little to do with this topic but it reveals something. Like I've said, I'm not a professional, I'm an amateur in the old sense of the word and will stay that way. In my business which is direct sales/network marketing I'm successful and plan to be more successful and my success began when I began thinking and working differently.

The best to all.

MitchM - by MitchM
In my opinion the confidence that comes from believing you can handle what comes your way because you possess a broad set of tools shouldn't be underestimated.
You have to start somewhere. You have to know what to ask and how to respond. You could wing it and make things up as you go along but figuring out what to ask and what to say ahead of time is the best approach. - by Seth
Cliches don't do much but it's true that there's got to be thought before as well as listening without an agenda to hear clearly to respond for clarification without scripted agendas. Winging is is as much a misnomer as is being scripted because of thought out questions ahead of time.

The best of the best become a combination of knowledge and well thought out questions - call them questions of clarification or conditions of satisfaction - and being in the moment to respond directly without previously templated replies or questions.

I taught journalism for ten years and one of the things I taught was how to become as objective as subjective people can - something not done much in the news media when opinions and slants are presented as facts or one sided facts. AND I taught curiosity as a principle.

BUT I also taught interviewing and how the most productive interviews come from following the answers NOT from following a script - the best of sales is also like that.

Confidence also comes from sorting out people from the start so that you only talk with people - that is open a condition of satisfaction inquiry conversation - when you get a commitment.

I'm not perfect in that yet but I continue to improve. JNust winging it isn't a good idea.

MitchM - by MitchM
Okay, if that quote isn't clever what is it? Is it a nonsense statement?

MitchM
Yes, in my opinion. - by Skip Anderson
I don't attempt to get a sale.

MitchM
MitchM, think what fun you could have in you did attempt to get a sale! Selling is fun! - by Skip Anderson
I believe we're using words differently - different definitions for selling, different contexts, Skip. Selling the way I understand many people to use it is to attempt to convince someone he or she needs this or that, over come objections, answer questions along the way, maybe make it either this or that, uncover needs and what's missing, apply more tools to make the sale.

Okay, I converse with people and when one says he or she has this need I find out a little more they say what I have to address that need and ask if it's wanted or not. If the answer is NOT I drop it.

If I were selling as I use the word I wouldn't drop it at NOT - I'd continue to probe - do all of the above. That's what I don't do.

AND I have fun. Maybe I do it all wrong, Skip - maybe I'll change my tune one day and go from amateur to professional - maybe I don't get it.

Hey, I've got an appointment tomorrow - the man said he wants what I got already so the close has happened unless he changes his mind - I wouldn't be sitting down with him if he hadn't already said he wants what I got.

My job tomorrow is to get to know him a little more, show him some options, and let him close the deal on me.

The best of the best to you.

MitchM - by MitchM
Selling the way I understand many people to use it is to attempt to convince someone he or she needs this or that, over come objections, answer questions along the way, maybe make it either this or that, uncover needs and what's missing, apply more tools to make the sale.
MitchM, I agree that attempting to convince someone they need something is almost always barking up the wrong tree (unless you can educate a prospect to the point that they will conclude that they need what you have to offer, then you're adding value).

But for the life of me, I don't understand what's wrong with handling objections (part of broader life), "answering questions along the way", and uncovering needs (as I believe understanding the prospects needs and desires are the single most important role of the salesperson because prospects don't buy anything unless they have a need).

Maybe I do it all wrong, Skip - maybe I'll change my tune one day and go from amateur to professional - maybe I don't get it.

MitchM
I'm sorry if I made you feel that I think you sell all wrong. That's not my intention. Part of me is trying to understand your point-of-view, and part of me is perhaps trying to enlighten you to a broader perspective about selling.

I'm curious: What does being "professional" mean to you? Does that have a negative connotation in your thinking?

Thanks. - by Skip Anderson
In my opinion the confidence that comes from believing you can handle what comes your way because you possess a broad set of tools shouldn't be underestimated.
Well put, BossMan. - by Skip Anderson
No one makes me feel right or wrong, Skip, least so online personalities. It's all objective and disinterested conversation one might reflect on for pleasure and learning - or just passing the time away.

"I'm curious: What does being "professional" mean to you? Does that have a negative connotation in your thinking?" -- Skip

I'd defer to any good dictionary's definition of professional in every sense of the word. It has no negative connotations to me and typically defines someone who is doing something that requires education and skill with a goal toward doing what one does well. But there are other definitions also.

I define myself as an amateur in the oldest sense of the word, at least one of them, meaning the study, discipline and love of doing something.

"Maybe I do it all wrong" is something I reflect on from time to time in the event that I am doing it or some of it all wrong and that I might have the ability to see it. But that's what disciplined amateurs and professionals do I would hope.

MitchM - by MitchM
I believe we're using words differently - different definitions for selling, different contexts, Skip. Selling the way I understand many people to use it is to attempt to convince someone he or she needs this or that, over come objections, answer questions along the way, maybe make it either this or that, uncover needs and what's missing, apply more tools to make the sale. MitchM
That is a fairly accurate summation of what Skip has previously represented as "selling." Furthermore, most other salespeople, sales managers and sales trainers agree.

However, most of the people that we have trained increased their sales substantially by not "selling" - that way. - by JacquesWerth
That is a fairly accurate summation of what Skip has previously represented as "selling." Furthermore, most other salespeople, sales managers and sales trainers agree.

However, most of the people that we have trained increased their sales substantially by not "selling" - that way.
For the record, here is how I feel about the points in MitchM's post which you are referring to in your post:

I do not believe selling is "attempting to convince someone he or she needs this or that" (MitchM's words), but persuasion is a quality of top-performing salespeople and top performers in all types of endeavors, therefore you are incorrect in this.

I do believe that a salesperson has to handle a prospect's objections, so you're partially correct in this. I think it's good to know that your "high probability selling" model does not teach how to handle objections.

I do believe top performing salespeople "answer questions along the way" (MitchM's words), so you are correct in this. It's interesting to know that your "high probability selling" model does not think it's important to "answer questions along the way"

I dont know what MitchM meant by "maybe make it either this or that" so I can't comment on that.

I do believe top perfroming salespeople uncover needs, so you are correct in that. I think it's good for everyone in this forum know that you don't think it's important to uncover needs in your "high probability selling" model.

I do believe in applying "more tools" to make the sale. I just don't think "high probability selling" tools are all they're cracked up to be, but there are lots of other good "tools" like being friendly and likeable, being a good listener, asking questions, asking for the order, treating prospects with respect, etc.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
I have to keep going back to my understanding of the high probability principles - I'm the first to admit I'm an amateur in this and I haven't taken any formal training in HPS - because when I digress, when I slip into using this tool or that, when I get into the "educator" mode of behavior, when I find myself attempting to make a friend by building rapport - when I apply tools to uncover needs or touch a nerve with a dental pick - not only does my self esteem go down immediately BUT - I can recover from that - my sales, my business also takes a dive AND I don't want to recover from that.

So I digress rarely these days.

Since my business - my profit - is dependent on a network of independent distributors their success is my success - this is an extremely challenging thing I do with a body of amateurs from the lowest to occasionally the highest degree - there are exceptions.

SO I have to observe - watch and check myself - everyone and myself and doing that, Skip, I see the same thing: those who do or approximate what I do are having some degree of success and those who don't aren't AND they are frustrated.

Trust and Inquiry and Conditions of Satisfation are areas I'm in study with still learning, still improving.

As far as listening and asking questions - that's an obvious for everyone here I would think. Look, if I meet a guy in a Panera bakery and he says he's tired or he's not making it financially I'll ask a few questions, listen - common sence, civility is what I call that, not a tactic in my mind but let's say it's information gathering.

"I'm with a company called Reliv, our products have helped people feel more energetic. They're balanced nutrition and they're absorbed quickly. Does that sound like something you want?"

OR

I'm with a nutritional company called Reliv, it's a direct sales/network marketing company located in St. Louis. Earning immediate income through personal sales and residual income through group sales are two of our strong points. Does that sound like something you'd want?"

If the answer is NO to either the conversation is done. There's a lot more to HPS than that if the answer is YES BUT when I was really toddling along I wouldn't ask that direct question, I'd beat around the bush using the latest tactic I'd just read, and if the answer was NO I'd find a way to keep the conversation going in the direction I wanted it to go.

Unfortunately, I could force sales; unfortunately most quit eventually; fortunately I quit working that way.

I work the same way today cold calling.

The best to everyone.

MitchM - by MitchM
Trust and Inquiry and Conditions of Satisfation are areas I'm in study with still learning, still improving.
Does the HPS book give instructions on Trust and Inquiry and Conditions of Satisfation? - by Marcus
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.