The alternative closure

If you have too many options it’s usually harder to make a decision. Therefore it’s not always a good thing to have too many options. So if you want to sell you have much to gain from narrowing down the number of options the customer has to choose from. One way doing just this is to use the alternative closure. It aims to get the customer to choose between just two things.

Another good thing that can come out of using this method can also be that you might be able to position two options with different price. This might, if presented in the right way, result in the customer going with more expensive alternative. It might sound something like this:

“So would you like to go with this or this?”
“We have the standard and the premium model, which one would you prefer?”
“Would you like the blue or the red?”

See how it goes?

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Think about how you can use this in your next sales meeting. What are two possible options you could present? Can you position two options with different price as well?

Sometimes less really is more. In this example you see how this works. By narrowing down the number of options as described above you might be able to increase your sales. There is always a way – you just have to put your heart to it. 😉


Partial closure

Sales is about adding value. And solving problems. And in the process of doing just that it has a lot to do with making it easy to say ‘yes’ and hard to say ‘no’. But – the more complex things get – the easier it is to say ‘no’ and harder to say ‘yes’.

The solution is to simplify. To scale things down. To take time to think about how we can make it easier to say ‘yes’. One way of doing that is to do a partial closure. To brake a big decision up in to many smaller ones.

Years back I sold houses. It’s probably the biggest deal most people do maybe in their whole life. So it’s a very big deal. Trust me – I know. And it includes tons of decisions that need to be made. So we used this partial closure and it worked fine for all parts. It made the whole process easier for everyone.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Is your value proposition easy or hard to say yes to? If it’s complex, think about how you can break it down in to smaller decisions. And then – don’t forget to try it in the actual sales situation.

Make it easier to say yes! 🙂


Direct closure

The direct closure is just what it says. It’s very direct. You’re going for it. There’s no doubt that you are pushing for a closure. So what can it sound like? Maybe something like this:

“So let’s go for one of those.”
“Ok, you’ll have one of these”
“Great one like that – anything more?”

See what I mean that it’s direct? It can be a bit pushy but likewise it can be very effective.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Try it. To be direct. you might be amazed with the result.

Sometimes we just have to try things. To find out if it works or if it’s a fit with how we work. So go ahead. Give it a go. I dare you to be direct. 😉


Trial closure

The point of doing a sales presentation and having a sales meeting is that you want to sell – I hope. But in order to sell you need to be closing. I thought I’d take you through some different ways of closing in my coming blog posts.

I’ll start with the trial closure. It’s a very soft one. It doesn’t really create much friction at all so you don’t have to worry about that here. So what can it sound like? Maybe something like this:

“So what do you say, do you want try one out”?

See what I mean? It’s very soft. It doesn’t really push the customer. But still it’s clear that you are asking for some sort of decision.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Try the trial closure in a sales meeting. And try to go soft about it.

It might not be ‘your style’ but try it anyways. It’s by trying things we’re not comfortable with that we learn new things… You just have to put your heart to it. 😉


To ask or not to ask – that is the question…

Did you know that most sales people only try to close a sale once? And most customers need more than that to come to a decision. So if you want to sell more you need to close more in your sales meetings.

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
― Voltaire

It’s said that most people need three or more closing questions to actually decide if they want to buy or not. Think about it. Do you decide yourself when you get the first closing question. I think not.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. How many times did you try to close in your last sales meeting? If the answer is ‘one’ you’ve spotted some great potential to develop your sales. Decide how many times you want try to close for yourself – before you go into the next sales meeting. I’m sure you’ll sell more over time.

Many sales people can do a great presentation or even walk the customer through a sales process in a fantastic way but when it comes to closing it’s like some people freeze before the fact that they have to ask ‘that’ question. It’s like in a second they’re back in fourth grade at the school dance standing on the opposite side of the dance floor looking at the boy or girl they want to dance with but are too afraid to ask risking to get a ‘no’. Well, if you never ask – you’ll never now. Right?


4 – closed questions

Closed questions is the type you usually want to avoid. It’s the big ‘No, no’. The reason for this is that the customer can answer to them with a “no”. So closed questions is the direct opposite to open questions. Here are some examples of closed questions:

     “Can we agree on this?”
     “Do you think it sounds good?”
     “Do you have time to talk?”

As you see, by using this type of questions you give the customer the opportunity to say no, and you might move yourself into a corner and might become a hinder for your sales. Even though this is the case, many sales people use closed questions as the main type of question in their sales.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Is this your main type of question? If it is – you’ve spotted some big potential. In your next sales meeting try to count the number of closed questions you ask. After you’ve done this set a goal on how many you want to decrease per week until you are satisfied.

If you do choose to use the closed question you need to be prepared to handle whatever comes out of that. But that’s another blog post. Let’s come back to that later.


3 – alternative questions

Alternative questions give you the ability ask questions that makes the customer choose between the alternatives that present. Alternative questions can be very useful in example, when you are moving toward the final stage of a sales process and the customer is already convinced to buy from you, but you want to focus the dialogue on a specific solution. Here’s an example:

     “Do you want it delivered to your home or do you want take it with you directly?”
     “Would you be interested in an insurance too, or are you satisfied with just the laptop?”

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Think about what kind of options you could use in the sales process. Also think through both how to present this and when would be the best time.

The mind can’t hold too many things at the same time. If you want to move the customer toward a closing you need to narrow down the number of solutions that he or she can choose from. Otherwise you’ll probably sit there and talk forever without not really getting anywhere at all.


2 – the leading question

Leading questions is in one meaning a type of closed question but has its still defined as a separate question type. What defines a leading question is that, first, it’s a presumption in either direction, and that it should be possible to put a “right” in the end. A closed question can for example as follows:

“I understand that you think it is important that the products are of a high quality, right?”

The whole point of using this sort of question is that you want to affect the customer in one way or the other. It’s all a very natural stopover as you are heading down the road to close a sale.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. How do you use this type of question? Do you, at all? Try to think through how you use this type of question as a natural part in your sales talk.

By using the right type of question at the right time in your sales talk you can accomplish great things. Try it and you’ll see for yourself. 😉


1 – the open question

The first question in the sales meeting and the hierarchy among questions to use is the open question. So what defines an open question? An open question is one that you can’t answer with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Here’s an example:

– How can I help you?
– What is your biggest challenge?
– Why do think this happened?

If you always start your questions with the word ‘How’, ‘What’ or ‘Why’ it’ll be an open question by default. There are some more words you can use but I always find it easiest to remember three things so lets start there.

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Create three open questions that you can use in your next sales meeting.

If used in the right way by asking open questions in the sales meeting you will get a lot of information about the customer and his or hers situation.



There are four different types of questions you can use when you’re in a sales situation. And there is a hierarchy in between them. This week I’ll take you through the four different types of questions that you need to master.

  1. Open questions
  2. Leading questions
  3. Alternative questions
  4. Closed questions

Here’s todays task for you:

  1. Which one of the four types of questions above do you use the most?

By learning to master the four types of questions you can avoid becoming a crocodile in the sales meeting. And, you’ll be more efficient in closing sales.