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Does size really matter?

Do closing techniques become less effective as decision size increases? - by Agent Smith
Do closing techniques become less effective as decision size increases?
It would depend on the technique in question.

Keep in mind though that regardless of the size of the sale, "closing" is often done with regard to a minor decision about the purchase. "Do you want gold lettering on your Learjet or standard silver". At least, examples like that are found in sales texts. I think there is credibility to the idea. Recently I closed a large renovation and design project with a very similar simple question. But is that really a close? Obviously the decision maker's mind was made up. The conclusion was putting pen to paper. - by Gary Boye
Keep in mind though that regardless of the size of the sale, "closing" is often done with regard to a minor decision about the purchase.
Minor decision? I'm not following. :o - by Agent Smith
Minor decision? I'm not following. :o
Gary, do you imply that the major reasons for closing have already happened so that the minor concerns are after the decison has already been made for a purchase? - by MitchM
Gary, do you imply that the major reasons for closing have already happened so that the minor concerns are after the decison has already been made for a purchase?
No--I'm not implying anything. This is nothing new. The concept of closing on a minor decision has been taught for years in selling. I'm simply saying that I believe there is some practical application to that concept.

If anybody wants information on closing on a minor decision, search Google with that key phrase. - by Gary Boye
No--I'm not implying anything. This is nothing new. The concept of closing on a minor decision has been taught for years in selling. I'm simply saying that I believe there is some practical application to that concept.

If anybody wants information on closing on a minor decision, search Google with that key phrase.
Understood, Gary! I'm not aware of that long standing concept on closing on a minor decision being taught. I'll research it as you say. - by MitchM
Keep in mind though that regardless of the size of the sale, "closing" is often done with regard to a minor decision about the purchase.
Are you referring to a "Trial Close"? :confused: - by SalesGuy
Understood, Gary! I'm not aware of that long standing concept on closing on a minor decision being taught. I'll research it as you say.
The concept's advocates use the premise that people have difficulty making large decisions even when those decisions are obviously in their best interest. The technique derived from that premise is to reduce a major decision to a minor decision. The LearJet in the example represents "large". The lettering represents "minor". In theory, the close is executed with the prospects minor decision. In a perfect textbook scenario, picking "gold lettering" or "silver" would be agreeing that they are buying the jet. It is a concept--not a principle--that has withstood the test of time and can bring results. - by Gary Boye
The concept's advocates use the premise that people have difficulty making large decisions even when those decisions are obviously in their best interest. The technique derived from that premise is to reduce a major decision to a minor decision. The LearJet in the example represents "large". The lettering represents "minor". In theory, the close is executed with the prospects minor decision. In a perfect textbook scenario, picking "gold lettering" or "silver" would be agreeing that they are buying the jet. It is a concept--not a principle--that has withstood the test of time and can bring results.
Gary, the way you worded your "gold lettering or silver" example it looks to me like an "assumptive close". Am I mistaken?

Also, earlier you had posted:
"Keep in mind though that regardless of the size of the sale, "closing" is often done with regard to a minor decision about the purchase."

How often do you think this occurs?
- by SalesGuy
The concept's advocates use the premise that people have difficulty making large decisions even when those decisions are obviously in their best interest. The technique derived from that premise is to reduce a major decision to a minor decision. The LearJet in the example represents "large". The lettering represents "minor". In theory, the close is executed with the prospects minor decision. In a perfect textbook scenario, picking "gold lettering" or "silver" would be agreeing that they are buying the jet. It is a concept--not a principle--that has withstood the test of time and can bring results.
I see. So you move ahead in this assumotion that the sale will happen asking about a color choice - so that's a diversion to a minor thing for the sake of closing and a manipulaiton of the contents of the sales process - do I follow you? - by MitchM
Are you referring to a "Trial Close"? :confused:
They are closely related but are not exactly the same thing.

Trial close historically has had at least two meanings (usages). In one usage it refers to conducting a series of minor decision questions en route to a completed sale (close)--almost a synergy type thing. Get enough positive responses and they will add up to one big positive response. In my opinion, a good strategy. The other usage of the term refers to what is sometimes called a "test close". Basically you're attempting to get a sale early in the game, and if not, perhaps uncover what further information your prospect needs to make a decision to buy. The best that can happen is he buys sooner than you thought he would. If that doesn't happen, you'll get some feedback to guide you better in the course of the sales conversation. Again, I believe strategically sound.

Closing on a minor decision commonly refers to a technique at the end of the conversation. In my opinion the particular trial close methodologies that I briefly described above are more effective and professional than the minor decision close as I have described it. - by Gary Boye
Do closing techniques become less effective as decision size increases?
According to Neil Rackham (SPIN Selling) the answer is "Yes".

Here are two quotes from Neil's book:
[Source: SPIN Selling] If I'm asking you to make a very small decision, then --if I pressure you-- it's easier for you to say yes than to have an argument. Consequently, with a small decision, the effect of pressure is positive. But this isn't so with large decisions. The bigger the decision, the more negatively people generally react to pressure.
[Source: SPIN Selling] Since the dawn of history, would-be seducers have know that the effect of pressure is negatively related to the size of the decision. The hopeful young man who uses an Alternative Close such as "Would you prefer that we sit here, or shall we sit over there?" will usually succeed because he's asking for a small decision. However, the classsic Alternative Close of "My place or yours?" has a far lower hit rate because the decision it asks for is much larger."
- by SalesGuy
Gary, the way you worded your "gold lettering or silver" example it looks to me like an "assumptive close". Am I mistaken?
Yes, my thought exactly, you are not mistaken and I know I have posted elsewhere that I do not value the assumptive close. There is a strong similarity.

You said :
Also, earlier you had posted:
"Keep in mind though that regardless of the size of the sale, "closing" is often done with regard to a minor decision about the purchase."

How often do you think this occurs?

I think somewhat less than the advocates of the technique would have us believe. I have used it and it has worked. Sometimes not. Some life insurance companies have put it into their scripts for new agents. My use of the word "often" is pretty relative. I couldn't provide any statistics. I'm not an advocate of the technique. - by Gary Boye
According to Neil Rackham (SPIN Selling) the answer is "Yes".
I'll say it again, "You guys are good."

Neil's book actually prompted my question. :) - by Agent Smith
I see. So you move ahead in this assumption that the sale will happen asking about a color choice - so that's a diversion to a minor thing for the sake of closing and a manipulation of the contents of the sales process - do I follow you?
I don't know what you mean by "manipulation of the contents of the sales process".

To me "diversion" would mean some sort of change of course of the selling process. No--I don't think that's it. There are certainly exceptions--I cited the example of my design project--but, by and large, techniques like reducing a major decision to a minor one are in a game plan for those who practice it. - by Gary Boye
I'll say it again, "You guys are good."

Neil's book actually prompted my question. :)
Thank you, I'll be in town all week. :D - by SalesGuy
I don't know what you mean by "manipulation of the contents of the sales process".

To me "diversion" would mean some sort of change of course of the selling process. No--I don't think that's it. There are certainly exceptions--I cited the example of my design project--but, by and large, techniques like reducing a major decision to a minor one are in a game plan for those who practice it.
Here's what I mean, Gary - the contents of selling this thing has major and minor selling points and to divert attention from a major selling point because it may be easire to get agreement on a minor selling point and assume the major one I manipulate the course of the conversation - I maneuver it - from the major selling point to the minor one because I feel I can get an agreement there.

So I changed the course of the selling conversation by directing it toward a minor selling point. - by MitchM
I'll say it again, "You guys are good."

Neil's book actually prompted my question. :)
You never told us that this was an open book exam.

But that stuff is on Rackham's first few pages. If you get into the heavier stuff, at least give us some warning. - by Gary Boye
So I changed the course of the selling conversation by directing it toward a minor selling point.
In most cases among those who use the technique it is not a change, it is planned. It is routine. - by Gary Boye
In most cases among those who use the technique it is not a change, it is planned. It is routine.
Okay, so this technique is a planned strategy of manipulating the contents of the selling activity as I described it calling it a change? - by MitchM
You never told us that this was an open book exam.

But that stuff is on Rackham's first few pages. If you get into the heavier stuff, at least give us some warning.
Sure thing. :D

I just started reading the book last night. I think it will be intersting to read other's responses to his findings. If this kind of thing isn't acceptable here just let me know I'm easy... wait, no I'm cheap... wait, no I'm... :D - by Agent Smith
But that stuff is on Rackham's first few pages. If you get into the heavier stuff, at least give us some warning.
No kidding! [puts SPIN selling next to monitor for future referrence] :) - by SalesGuy
Sure thing. :D

I just started reading the book last night. I think it will be intersting to read other's responses to his findings. If this kind of thing isn't acceptable here just let me know I'm easy... wait, no I'm cheap... wait, no I'm... :D
Rackham's name comes up on this forum but his stuff does not get enough attention here. In my opinion, open discussion and study of his work would be highly beneficial for forum members and increase the value of the forum.

Being human, we will all tend to think about his ideas through our own lenses. That's good and bad both.

My stuff on reducing a major decision to a minor decision was out of context because I did not know the Rackhamian intent of the thread. Neil has advanced sales education beyond that level. - by Gary Boye
Rackham's name comes up on this forum but his stuff does not get enough attention here. In my opinion, open discussion and study of his work would be highly beneficial for forum members and increase the value of the forum.
I'm not very far into the book. I'd better kick it in gear. :)

My stuff on reducing a major decision to a minor decision was out of context because I did not know the Rackhamian intent of the thread. Neil has advanced sales education beyond that level.
I thought your "stuff" was very informative. :) - by Agent Smith
The concept's advocates use the premise that people have difficulty making large decisions even when those decisions are obviously in their best interest. The technique derived from that premise is to reduce a major decision to a minor decision. The LearJet in the example represents "large". The lettering represents "minor". In theory, the close is executed with the prospects minor decision. In a perfect textbook scenario, picking "gold lettering" or "silver" would be agreeing that they are buying the jet. It is a concept--not a principle--that has withstood the test of time and can bring results.
Good observation:

Also, research suggests that people consciously and unconsciously follow the Law of Conformity in everything they do. Conformity here is not a restrictive concept but rather a freely chosen social and personal way of being.

Regardless of our uniqueness, our way of being must have a structure as a foundation of consistency for us to experience a conforming and unified self over time.

We all have experienced that prospect who has no problem in making that "big" decision. They claim that in this case, what he or she has been presented, conforms to who they are which draws them into the sale.

When a prospect is not confident in the decision making process, it is usually due to the inner fear of a mismatch; bringing in the concept of personal "risk" management.

(What if I bought the jet and it turned out to be like my yacht that I seldom use? What a waste of money that would be!)

Academic studies show that larger ticket items are more difficult, not because the decision itself is harder but convincing the prospect that the item is an Identity match for him or her becomes more difficult due to their perceived greater risk of their poor self-assessment.

(Sales reps often tell women in the clothing industry--"Oh! that dress is stunning on you. It is you." The same with men's suits but quieted down a bit)

The sales rep must persuade the prospect that the Lear Jet conforms to their personal an social identity, functioning as an extension of who they really are.

What consequences would there be if I chose the wrong lettering? Also, which would I identify with most the jet or letters? Lettering resonates personal style of conforming but the jet resonates personal conformity itself.

Beginning with the small decisions brings smaller perceived risks. This method can often ease the prospect closer to the larger decision provided the "reading" of the prospect is consistent.

This is why the advice of seasoned sales reps here focus on exploring and learning as much as possible about the prospect first. Pre-qualifying is so important. - by John Voris
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