Home > Closing > A complete forum says No, to one call close tactics?

A complete forum says No, to one call close tactics?

I can't get over how everyone in a painters forum go against the one call closing systems and call the whole thing a fake and says it just don't work.

This sales tactic is called "the big drop", and most salesman know that its falling out of favor with most customers and sales teams. Today's customers are just too savvy to fall for it. They aren't stupid. When they hear you say you will give them a "considerable savings today" makes them wonder how much everything was marked up to be able to afford dropping off so much money.

If I could understand why they say the things they do, I could be a better salesperson also. I use the one call close very good, I'm signing contracts for painting at higher prices and more of them than ever before. And wanted to share my success on a forum that I have posted on for the last year. - by Mr. Mike
"One Call Closing" is not inherently a better way to sell. Effectiveness and efficiency have to rule. In some areas of selling, learning to harvest a sale with one appointment can be beneficial to both seller and buyer. In more complex selling situations, it would not be advisable, and actually be counterproductive, to pursue an immediate sale.

If time spent provides diminishing returns then it would make sense to work a process centered around a one call close. On the other hand, when time spent provides greater returns, as in complex selling, one should be prepared to understand the very nature of the things that have to take place for a solid sale and return.

In the case of the painter example, or in most home improvement projects, an experienced and attentive salesperson will assess the existing buying pattern of the prospect and make a determination to "break the buying pattern" or accept it. In the latter case, the goal would be to provide the best possible experience for the prospect while outshining the competition in every area. An entrenched one call close philosophy would be foolhardy in my opinion.

I own two companys engaged in direct sales in two vastly different industries. One company engages in a one call close selling process with excellent results. The other company uses a two call process--again with excellent results. The process for each is a "good fit".

The first company mentioned above also is engaged in large projects that require a complex sales and facilitation process that might take several calls before a sale is actually written. Along the way are commitment objectives that lead to the sale. - by Ace Coldiron
An effective salesperson should not worry about "rules" that say one-call or two-calls.

In my very first experience in selling, I was hammered with the "no such thing as a be-back" philosophy and if you couldn't strong arm a sale on the spot, you were a "loser" or a "weak closer."

Now with real-world experience, I realize selling is not a battle of wills--where the "strong closer" is the equivalent of a muscle-bound bench presser.

At first I carried that rediculous notion with me and when I walked away after a call empty-handed, I felt defeated. Much to my surprise I started closing many of those deals on a subsequent call, and even though I was stock piling clients, my victories were somehow less sweet because of the remnants of some useless brainwashing that occurred early in my career.

I am an avid two-call closer, but I am not so small minded to think that my way is the best for every situation. In some selling situations, the prospect is on the market for what you are selling. That means they have ALREADY made the decision to buy, the question to be resolved in the call is WILL THEY BUY FROM YOU? This CAN be done in one-call--in many cases.

In my case, my prospect has NOT made a decision to buy what I am selling before meeting me, so much of my call is spent on bringing them to decision that they NEED TO BUY what I am selling. That is the first objective. THEN comes the question WILL THEY BUY FROM YOU? It is unrealistic to expect to work TWO objectives in one call. That moves too quickly for the prospect and overwhelms them. I sell them on concept and the product in the first call. Then the second call is where they choose ME to deliver that product. The first call sets up the second call, and the process moves at a pace that is comfortable for the prospect.

I live in Florida and I recently did a little research on rip currents because my 10-year old son swims in the ocean regularly. I learned something interesting about rip currents. Even though many swimmers die each year due to rip currents, they are not inherently dangerous. The reason for the drowning is that those caught in the current don't understand the nature of the rip current. Out of fear and panic, they try to swim AGAINST the current (which is pushing them out to sea). They desperately want to get to the shore and they swim with all their might toward the shore--which is futile. They drown from exhaustion. If they understood the nature of the current, they could easily escape it by swimming parallel to the shore until they were free of it, or simply by doing nothing and riding the current until it dissipates.

The point of that story is this: When you understand the nature of the prospect and your situation, you can be very successful if you use the method that suits your situation instead of trying to do it in some preconceived way. - by Rainmaker
Hey guys. I am having a problem with my sales and require your expert advice. I currently sell pay television subscription in various shopping centres in my town. Our service is affordable and exists in about 30-40% of households nationwide. I do quite well but lose many sales from customers who come to collect information from us salespeople, take a brochure and order their subscription through the call centre. This can be very disheartening as I spend quite a lot of time building rapport and servicing the customer as best as possible, but the reality is despite giving away 200+ brochures I have only received about 2 or 3 call backs. On the other hand if I can get their contact details I will close about 30% of the time. Why the disparity? I'm sure it's not always a price concern or perception of value as some clearly want it but are not prepared to commit on the spot. If they don't want to give me their details they either don't want it or don't want to do business with me. If I give a brochure it's because I feel there's sufficient rapport and trust that might result in a call back, but it rarely happens. Any theories why? Advice on how to overcome this? I figure I could try to ascertain their details before launching into a presentation but it's often more tempting to get straight to the point. Any help appreciated. - by sales_ace
Have you tried asking them to call you to set them up? I wasn't sure what you meant by not getting a "call back".

I'd tell them that I'd like to get the credit for their business if they decide to move forward at any rate.

Much Aloha,

Tom - by rattus58
I'm quite sure that's part of the problem.

Spend less time on rapport and the majority of your time on the selling process.

Closing in sales is a progression of consent.

If you spend your time with the prospect striking accord step by step, the closing will come naturally. - by Ace Coldiron
A call back is when I give them a brochure with my name and number on it and they call ME to sign up. Most don't and go directly through the call centre, which is unfortunate given I can sometimes spend up to 15 minutes helping a customer and answering all their silly questions. I suspect a reason might be sometimes they receive something in the mail which promises a better deal than we can offer, so they come to us to find out more about the service and then go home and call up. - by sales_ace
Sure, I do this. By building rapport I don't mean general chit chat, I try to facilitate this through offering help and great service. I explain things clearly and make sure they completely understand what they are getting themselves into. They will ask questions, seem genuinely interested and I will give them correct, honest answers. They will agree, give consent and agree some more, the process breaks down when I ask for their business or contact details. Sometimes they will cough them up and other times they wont. I think for some people it's just easier to walk away, I don't apply pressure and I'm pretty nice so they perceive this as an easy escape. I really don't know. Perhaps I'm perceived as weak and need to be more assertive in my closing. It's also an issue of pride too. I feel like a bit of a goose spending 15 minutes arming a customer with all the info they need and answering questions for them to take their business somewhere else. - by sales_ace
Here's where I'm going with this in trying to help you:

Agree to what? Consent to what? Agree some more to what?

If you're answering questions more than asking them, where's the consent? - by Ace Coldiron
Sure, I do this. By building rapport I don't mean general chit chat, I try to facilitate this through offering help and great service. I explain things clearly and make sure they completely understand what they are getting themselves into. They will ask questions, seem genuinely interested and I will give them correct, honest answers. They will agree, give consent and agree some more, the process breaks down when I ask for their business or contact details. Sometimes they will cough them up and other times they wont. I think for some people it's just easier to walk away, I don't apply pressure and I'm pretty nice so they perceive this as an easy escape. I really don't know. Perhaps I'm perceived as weak and need to be more assertive in my closing. It's also an issue of pride too. I feel like a bit of a goose spending 15 minutes arming a customer with all the info they need and answering questions for them to take their business somewhere else.
It's rare that a guy asks a girl to marry him and gets stood up at the ceremony. Why?

Because there are a series of steps in the process, and when each step is completed, there is more and more momentum toward actually getting married.

- you pick out the rings;
- and the dress / tux
- determine the wedding party;
- decide on a venue;
- plan the reception location;
- select food;
- and music for the ceremony & the reception
- etc.

When one step is completed, you're closer to get married.

Now let's apply this to your question. Similar to what Ace is talking about, I would guess that somehow the series of decisions are not getting made throughout the process. A prospect can back out at any time. From what you're explaining, they back out at the "close." Something isn't working in your process. When you identify what that is, you'll have your solution.

Passing of time is not progress. Mutual decisions along the way is progress.

Does that help?

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
They will usually nod their head and/or verbally acknowledge the information I am giving them is good and factual. I take this as an indication they like and possibly want the service, and I feel comfortable asking for their business, but then come the objections or they just ask for a brochure. I have no problem with people saying no, but if customers wont allow me to take them as leads that means they don't want to do business with me. - by sales_ace
Haha, yeah, but I can't figure out which part of the process is failing. I know one thing, I don't trial close, or I will trial close by asking a question about something totally unrelated than whcih I've just covered. I usually try to gauge their interest by observing their body language and verbal cues etc, and I take that as permission to move onto the next step. Should I say things such as "sounds good?" or "how does that sound?" more during the presentation and not waiting until the end? - by sales_ace
It seems that where you're missing out is that you're not engaging your prospect in conversation. Instead of taking nodding as an indication that they like and possibly want the service, why not ask them? "Is this the type of service that you would find useful?" or "How do you think this service would work for you?" I don't know the particulars of your selling situation, but I take from your comments you do some amount of guessing about what customers are thinking instead of asking them.

Also, when you present a feature and benefit, don't stop there. Ask for feedback. "This phone has a frickfrack button, which will allow you to blah blah blah...Is that something you would use?", etc. One error I see in many, many salespeople is the tendency to dump information onto a prospect without ever getting any information in return. Give a little...get a little. - by Skip Anderson
Yes yes yes!

It sounds like you need to do a better job of "courting" your prospect, rather than ending up at the alter without the customer next to you. Take it step by step, make sure they're with you all along the way. They should be talking more than you, if not, you're going about it wrong.

How are your questioning skills with your prospects, sales_ace? - by Skip Anderson
I understand. I often do ask customers for feedback, for example I will lay out the options and ask what is their preferred package/technology, but I think I can jump from this to that without finding out what the customer really thinks. Another problem is I think some people have a resistence to salespeople and I can have a difficult time overcoming this perception, or that my use to them is to merely serve them with information but not to do business. - by sales_ace
They are OK, not great. When the prospect is receptive to being asked questions, it's quite easy, but sometimes they can be quite stiff and just demand information and brochures. What do you do when someone isn't prepared to engage in conversation? I don't feel like giving them what they want because it will most likely lead to a sale for the call centre. I'm also not a slave, I feel if someone wants something they should be prepared to give a little back. Thanks for your advice.thmbp2; - by sales_ace
Yes, I agree sales_ace. When a prospect enters your space, they are in "quote" mode. They want a quote on your products/services. They want to "get ideas" and "gather information." That's their mindset.

You, on the other hand, are in "make a sale" mode. And you should be.

So you need to get your prospects on your path toward a sale early on, and keep them there. Not everyone will buy of course, but if they're on the path to a sale, you've got the battle half won.

The difference between a salesperson and a product expert is that the salesperson sells, the product expert has information. You need to become more of a a salesperson (not that you aren't one now, but what you're dealing with is that sales issue it seems to me...turning your prospect interactions into sales interactions. By becoming more of a salesperson, I'm not talking about doing so through force or manipulation, but through professional selling skills.

Skip Anderson - by Skip Anderson
I applaud you on your willingness to face your sales challenges head-on. You are developing an understanding of your weakness as a salesperson, and moving forward with seeking solutions. Great!

You said, "...they [the prospects] can be quite stiff and just demand information. What do you do when someone isn't prepared to engage in conversation?"

My answer: Engage them anyway.

We know this about successful salespeople: They do a better job of customer engagement (even of difficult prospects).

There are a variety of personality types out there. We also know this about successful selling: you have to be able to engage all types of people in conversation (fast-paced, introverted, fearful, self-centered, etc.).

One sales hint: Utilize my "3P Law": "Early in the sales interaction, top sales PERFORMERS, focus on your PROSPECT not their PRODUCT." (too many are focused on dumpiing product/technical knowledge from the start).

Perhaps you would also want to check out my 300+ posts on my blog as many have to do with prospect engagement.

Skip - by Skip Anderson
Thanks again skip. It seems I really need to work on my people skills. I definitely have a habit of jumping to the business side of things too early, especially with luke-warm customers. I'll definitely be checking out your blog more often. Cheers! - by sales_ace
I totally agree with rattus58. Don't be shy in asking them to be loyal to YOU - explain YOU want to get credit for this (particularly if you've given them valuable help, gained rapport with them, etc.). Most people (if they like you) will go out of their way to make sure you get credit. - by Ms.Sales
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