The close is always the toughest part of the sale. The goal of this ongoing series is to present you with enough options that you'll be able to close any sale, even one with the toughest customer. Here, in Part 8, I'll present great closes # 15 and #16.

Great Sales Close #15: The Automobile Close

You’ll like this one. This works when you see someone who clearly has the money, but has decided to “cheap out” on their home comfort system. (Don’t you hate that?)

But everyone knows something about their cars. (At least more than they know their heating and air system!)
Here’s the objection. “I can’t see spending this much money on a new furnace or air conditioning. It’s just too much money!”

First thing you do is agree. “Yes, it is a whole bunch of money,” and laugh about it. This disarms the customer and keeps you from feeling the need to argue your point. You argue your point and you lose. So, after allowing the customer to rant for a minute or two, here’s how you respond.

“Let me ask you a question. What kind of car do you drive?” Most will tell you about their cars, and some will even say the price they paid, so this will go over very well.

Let’s say the response is a Buick LeSabre. Guess at the price of a new one and allow them to correct you; perhaps they bought it used. The average price will be anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. Depending on the car, it could be much higher.

If they have a high line car, like a Mercedes-Benz or BMW, you’d say, “Even without knowing the cost of that car, we know it’s more than $30,000.” They may say the actual price then, but you don’t want to offend these people or make them think you’re chastising their indulgence.

Let’s take it a step further now. “How long do you usually keep a car, three to five years?” Let them correct you again, no problem. Just write down their answers.

“One more question — how much time a day do you figure you’ll be using your car on the average? An hour or so?” Same drill, write down the answer.

Now say, “I’m sure you bought a nice car because you need something dependable on the road the same way that I do, didn’t you?” Always go for the yes answer. “And when it comes to a new furnace or central air, you’ll need something there you can depend on also, right?” Yes number two.

“Well, spending $10,000 to $20,000 (or whatever their car cost) for a furnace or air conditioner that you’d only use about an hour a day and would only keep for maybe three to five years doesn’t sound like a very good investment, don’t you agree?” Another yes! We’re very close now.

“Let me ask you this, (referring to the notes you made earlier about their car, point by point) considering both a furnace and central air only cost about $5,000, and you’ll use them upwards of 16 hours a day, you wouldn’t want to buy “The Chevette” of systems, would you? You want to depend upon it, and you’ll end up keeping this system for about 10 to 15 years.”

“So if we really consider our priorities and look at the actual investment and the real value of what we get, it’s very easy to see that the real cost of this system is a much better value than the cars we all buy, isn’t it?” Gotta be another yes answer here! Final Close, “Which system would you like to enjoy for the next 15 years?”

This close goes more quickly than what you just read because you’re writing and talking very conversationally. You also end up with a friendly understanding of true “value” which means you’ll close more equipment sales. Have fun with this one.

Great Sales Close #16: The Forgotten Benefit Close

This is a great one. It can be useful in cases where we’ve pretty much lost the sale, and are ready to head out the door. It can also be very effectively used as a telephone call-back close.

There’s a hidden or forgotten benefit that you didn’t mention. And it is this “new” information that allows a revisit to your proposal, or a reconsideration that opens the door for your close.

At the end of a sales presentation, do this as you have already conceded defeat (as far as the customer knows) so they’ll let their “salesman” guard down. As you have sales folder in hand and are preparing to shake hands, say,
“Oh, (Customer’s name), I’ve talked with so many people today, did I mention the special promotion that ends this week? Or whatever the benefit may be.) After they say “I don’t think so,” you go in with The Something Special Close that was covered in Part 4 of this series, and get your sale back.

Often, this can be used on the phone after a sales presentation the same way. It gives you a perfect reason to call back, other than to say, “Just checking to see if you’d made a decision yet,” which sounds whiney.

You call to mention the forgotten benefit, apologize for missing it the first time and go for the sale right over the phone. I’ve heard of salespeople using this close to say that they “misfigured the deal” to which the prospect is thinking it’ll be higher, only to say that it is in fact lower by $X. To me, this is a little manipulative and not totally true. Only use that IF it is in fact correct.

So “remember” your “forgotten” benefits. Always have something special that you can share later with your prospects when the drama and value of “one more benefit” will be well received.

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a creative marketing firm for contractors. Readers can get a free marketing newsletter and a free 16-page report called “Get More Leads in Less Time” by faxing their letterhead with the request to 334/262-1115 or emailing to moreleads@hudsonink.com. You can also call Hudson, Ink at 800/489-9099 for help or visit www.hudsonink.com for other free marketing articles and reports.