Not long ago at a prior job I was severely reprimanded by an inexperienced sales manager for not using a trial close during a proposal. If you are currently in a leadership role and have similar tactics I would strongly advise against it... that’s a conversation for another day.
This article is about why you should steer away from the "Trial Close." By definition the "Trial Close" is a technique used in selling to assess the buyer's readiness to make a purchase decision. It usually takes the form of questions that ask for decisions on minor selling points; if the salesperson gets favorable responses to these questions, he or she can more confidently attempt to close the sale.
Ironically there's a correlation between my prior experiences with this manager and my return to David Lewis and Associates and why I felt that it was time to write this article...
Guess who the presentation was for - none other than David Lewis. A client or past associate of which I have prior knowledge does NOT subscribe to the "Trial Close." Frankly, using this age old technique removes the focus from the most important part of sales - LISTENING to your customer. The trial close that was once widely used in the world of automotive sales and unfortunately for some dealers, it still is - far too often. In a nutshell, it can no longer be considered as a successful means of bringing your buyer together with their dream car.
Pointing out the obvious, there are still those of us that do not give credit to our buyers ability to self educate - the internet is an information highway that has given them more access to knowledge than ever before; not to mention a persons natural ability to have access to resources needed for a decent standard of living. In the end, people have more freedom and opportunities to live the type of lives that they value than in the past.
A car buyer may research their desired vehicle all the way down to how much it will cost to repair it in the future. Consumers have a heightened awareness of every cheesy sales tactic- including all of the basic trial closing questions you throw their way in an effort to write the ticket and collect your commission. These days the buyer recognizes this as a test and making this attempt will only diminish your product, your dealership and above all insults the intelligence of your consumer. All you will do is test what remains of their patience.
There's always a story behind owning an automobile. I'm sure you have one yourself. A car is the second largest purchase in a person's life and one can make that purchase several times in a lifetime. You are selling them part of their story. People are attached to their cars- some even name them. Listening to your buyer and applying a little emotional intelligence is assurance that you wont have to bother with a "trial close " IE: thosed damned questions that will move your buyer to a defensive posture, and may even lie to you in order to avoid making a commitment and a purchase of any note.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Mastering this will increase your bottom line and help you to get control of repeat business, referrals and pre-set appointments.
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