My friend David Lewis wrote a blog suggesting the 'Trial Close' is an outdated concept and that it bothers the customer and you should stop using trial closes immediately.  But really? 

One of my favorite trial closes, "do you guys have any other reservations or reasons for not moving forward?"  Is this one question going blow a deal?  Can any one thing or question cause someone not to buy from you?   Or is David really trying to avoid the possibility of rejection unwilling to deal with the reality that he may not have the right product or the customer is not yet sold?

STRONG sales people CONTROL the customer experience and don't just let it happen or wait for it to happen.  Do not believe this nonsense that you have to tiptoe around the customer to get the deal.  Selling scared will result in nothing. The true sales pro's can tell a customer almost anything and get away with it once he is be perceived credible by the customer. 

It is my belief that no 'one' question can blow a sale if the customer truly believes the product will solve the their problem.

A GREAT sales person is not a SCARED sales person.  They don't act scared, they don't tiptoe and they don't walk on eggshells.  You can't worry about what NOT to say. Focus on having control, demonstrating confidence  and being credible. Know you game cold and act like it.  Nothing good comes to people that act scared. The Bible says, "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid."   

Grant Cardone

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Comment by Ronni Jones on August 13, 2015 at 12:01am

Amen Grant! You nailed it cold. Confidence and Integrity sell. Both are equally important, and when combined, unstoppable. They equate to TRUST, something that is difficult to earn in this industry! 

Comment by Roger Williams on January 16, 2015 at 12:04pm
I concur trial closes are for closers, not novices -
I wrote a blog explaining why
Comment by MANNY LUNA on June 14, 2014 at 8:06pm

I always amused the sale and never had to close the customer, they will close themselves and answer their own objections.

After that its just showing them to the winners circle!    

Comment by MANNY LUNA on June 14, 2014 at 7:42pm

Both ways work!

I sold 50 cars a month,  great salespeople know how to read the customer in the first 15 min, trail closes can be used without saying one word.

The correct body language, tone of voice mastered with powerful words will get the customer to adapt, accept and approve the paperwork and sell cars without any trail closes.

Manny "Machine Gun" Luna

Comment by DealerELITE on June 14, 2014 at 7:08pm

This is an excellent conversation and one of the main reason dE was initially developed. Open discussion's on how to improve Sales at our dealership's. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and opinions.    

Comment by Bruce LaVerdiere on June 14, 2014 at 11:54am


The difference between an amateur athlete and a pro is that the pro is always thinking at least 2-3 plays ahead... that being said, when we attempted the trial close, you are 100% correct that we asked for the close! Hence the term "trial" close. 

We have earned the right! And YES! We want them to know that we are genuinely interested in completing their gruelsome, time consuming, shopping dealer to dealer process, (thats why we came to work! We don't get paid by the hour in car sales do we!) ...and that we are genuinely interested in them as consumers, that we are confident this is the right choice for their family. etc etc 

(I did not say we were not at our desk,however, closing always comes when seated folks!) and we have completed the dealership tour/service tour etc.) now... 

We have earned the right, we know OUR customer, they are comfortable with us, and we with them, they are HERE NOW (not at some other dealer), and in our earlier "qualifying" we 'indirectly" without them knowing, or even direcly extracted from them their intentions, time frame, stage of the process, shopping habits, trade cycles, etc etc. Other than figures David, I KNOW they will close..., it's now simply a matter of flushing out anything minor we have missed if anything. Ex: Possible wrong car ( but I doubt it :) accessories, etc.

I appreciate your thought process, I really do David, I want people to THINK! and I understand your trying to train salespeople and come up with something new and different than whats out there, and defending it, I get it, but why not change something that is NOT working...

In a nut shell, If your sales staff are offending or making customers defensive by trial closing, maybe you need to listen to them and what they are exactly saying to an actual customer... They are doing something wrong! or have not earned the right yet. By that I mean they did not complete all steps 100%...

To answer your question directly as to what would I say if they said "no, not today." after my trial close I would say with a smile "Well now folks, that would be completely my fault... not yours!" and next maybe...  "Lets see how this looks all the way through" or "Let me show you how easy it is to do business here at our store" etc etc etc.

Comments folks? 

Good luck! Be deadly! and close like you are a crazy man!




Comment by Deward Gray on June 14, 2014 at 10:53am

Mr. Lewis, I can see you are passionate about your approach and I can see how it could work for you.  But, what does your invitation to come inside sound like?  What does your customer expect is going to happen once they get inside? How is that invitation not a trial close?

Comment by David Lewis on June 14, 2014 at 10:07am

Bruce....the minute you stated your trial close you indirectly asked for the sale.  Might some people give you the answer you want to hear?  Absolutely!  But with some you have put them on the spot.  You are indirectly asking them to make a decision now.  And what do you say to those who state, "no, not today?"  Now you are going to respond in a manner that will overcome their response and thus they get even more defensive.

I do agree after the demo drive we do want to determine one thing, and one thing only, do they like this particular car they just drove.  I would not want to continue the process if they did not like the car.  My statement would be, "Does this car meet all the qualification and expectations you were looking for in your shopping process?"

I am not asking them to buy the car, I will do that in about 10 minutes when I am at my desk.  All I want to do is determine if they like the car.

And I do sincerely appreciate that you do enjoy 90% of my stuff.  Always remember, the right philosophy for you is the one that you agree with.  My job as a trainer is to just keep giving you new ideas and thoughts to choose from. 

Comment by Bruce LaVerdiere on June 14, 2014 at 9:55am

David (and I enjoy 90% of your stuff pal)... your quote.... "Do trial closes work? Of course they do.  Do trial closes make the Customer more defensive? Of course they do."  Someone please explain to me how the following example trial close increases the customers "defensive posture" after the demo/tour phase... (Especially after the salesperson has built a comfortable relationship and done an amazing job completing ALL the proper steps expertly and EARNED the right:) "Mary and Jim,  other than working out the numbers to "exceed"your budgeted expectations, could you folks possibly think of anything at all that you and I have missed here today which would prevent you from enjoying your new car right away?"

Comment by David Lewis on June 14, 2014 at 9:36am

In response to Mr. Gray, I ask for the sale once I have completed the sales process and we are all sitting at my desk.  I used unique verbiage at my Meet & Greet and Qualification to set me apart from the other Salespeople the Customer has already visited, allowed them to select the car they like, took a lengthy demonstration drive, conducted an inspiring walk around presentation, invested a bit of time selling our service department and then once all that has been completed I invite them to join me at my desk.  Then, and only then, will I ask for the sale. 

I assumed the sale in my mind the entire time in my mind as I was presenting my product, personality and dealership. 

Customer expect trial closes, so they come prepared to respond to them.  My thoughts are, lets catch them off guard and not do them.  Present all the value, lower their defensive posture to the lowest possible state and then once all the value has been established, I will ask for the sale. 

Why ever take the chance that any form of trial close will re-engage a person's defensive posture.  My approach never does that.  Am I selling scared, ABSOLUTELY NOT!  I am selling VALUE!

Give it a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how relaxed your Customer become and how much easier it is to earn a sale.

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