Knowing how to effectively close a sale is often a challenge for people who are trying to sell a product or service. But with some small changes in the way they communicate with a potential customer, they can get much better results.

One simple method is asking open-ended questions rather than closed-ended questions which are questions that they can easily answer yes or no to. Closed-ended questions can close down a conversation whereas open-ended questions can keep it going and lead to the sale. Here is an example of how to use open-ended questions when walking into a business location to sell a service or product.

The Walk-In
Let’s say you are a marketer and you walk into a store to sell your services to them. You introduce yourself:

“My name is____ and I have a marketing business. I am looking to partner with a local store. I looked at your website and you have a beautiful site. Is the owner available today?”

If the answer is no, rather than leaving, ask them an open-ended question that can lead to an appointment:

“When would be a good time to schedule a meeting with the owner?”

If they give you a specific time and day that the owner comes in, then you can schedule a meeting for that time.

If they say that they are not sure when the owner comes in, ask another open-ended question to help you get the owner’s email address or phone number:

“What would be the best way to contact the owner?”

If they say they don’t like to give out the owner’s phone number or email address, ask another open-ended question:

“Who should I address this free business audit to? I am going to mail this free business audit to the owner, who should I address it to?”

This question will likely lead you to get the name of the owner and then you will be able to send them a package with a hand-written letter, your business card, your free business audit information and maybe some marketing materials.

The Meeting
When you are in a meeting with the owner on the phone or in person, ask them open-ended questions:

“What type of advertising are you using right now?”

They might say that they are using Yelp and some newspaper advertising.

Ask another open-ended question:

“How is the Yelp advertising working for you? How many customers would you say you get in your store from Yelp advertising?”

They will probably say that they are not sure how many customers are coming in from the advertising. That is where you come in to provide your value.

Tell them that you want to help them out and offer them a better tool for their advertising and describe its benefits. Maybe the tool is better at tracking ad spend, audience reach, site visits, and sales.

Present your packages to the potential customer. Do not use the close-ended question “Does that sound good?” because they can answer “No.”

Instead, ask an open-ended question such as:

“What package would best suit you?” or “Does the Value Plan or Premium Plan best suit your needs at this time?”

If the potential customer responds by saying that the packages are too expensive for them, you might offer them a free trial to show them the results they can get. You might say:

“I understand, the packages seem like a lot at first but they are an investment so here is what I am going to do for you…”

Set a date to speak with them again after the trial is over.

Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
310.372.8538 | | Contact

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