Combat the Closing Techniques – Fulfill Your Dreams Close

The Pug FatherAre you or have you ever been a salesperson? In some cases, I imagine selling is a high speed, high pressure job. I have wondered how difficult it is to spend the entire day working a crowd to sell the latest “As Seen on TV” product.

My more common perception is that most sales jobs consist of hours of boring administrative activities, working the phones with only the occasional spurt of activity. Real Estate for example involves hours spent canvassing neighborhoods alone, keeping track of what is for sale, what is not and trying to find new listings. Have you ever wondered about car salesman? They say most cars sell on the weekends. If so, what do those people do the rest of the week? Insurance, furniture, and wholesale sales; why would we think these are any different?

In those precious moments when a customer is available there must be a rush of adrenaline with each chance to generate income. The  salesman’s challenge is changing a customer that is looking into a customer that is buying.

The Road to the Sale – revised

Many companies have developed unique sales processes to achieve their goal. “The Road to the Sale” as it is known, begins with the “meet and greet.” Sandwiched in between are the steps to identify the customer’s needs and present the features and benefits of your product. Ultimately, if all goes well, the salesperson gets to “close” (sell the product) the customer.

For a few salespeople, they will turn this traditional approach on its head. With the “Fulfill Your Dreams” technique, the salesperson bypasses product presentations or a needs analysis. After a brief meet and greet the salesman tries to “close” the sale quickly.

“If I could sell you the car you want, for a price you are willing to pay, would you buy it today?”

How could you not say “yes?” Customers are not likely to take these questions too seriously. After-all, if you could have a Veyron for less than six figures you would jump at the chance, right?

By answering in the affirmative, you would be telling the salesperson you are psychologically ready and willing to buy. Only after confirming a customer is willing to buy do they proceed with the other steps in the road to the sale.

The sales person’s responsibility is now to build the perception of value in their products before talking price. The sales person will want to begin with the highest number possible, providing the greatest room to maneuver.

Fighting Back

If you don’t want to give the salesperson the advantage, you have two choices:

1) Break the close – If you think quickly and don’t mind being direct you can stop a salesperson in their tracks with a firm and direct “no thank you.” Professional sales people will revert to a more traditional approach of building rapport and then attempting a different closing process if you allow them.

2) Lead the sale – After identifying this closing technique has been used on you, take control by confirming your intent to buy. With the first mention of price laugh it off as if the price is way too high. Counter with a price that is slightly less than half of the retail price.

During a normal economy a 50% discount on anything is not likely. But for each round of negotiation move your price up in 5 – 10% increments. Challenge the salesperson to drop the price further with each effort. If you make it past the third round without getting thrown out, explain politely that you have raised your prices (3 increments of 5-10%) 15% to 30% over your opening bid. Compare verbally your increases to their decreases illustrating how you have given more in this negotiation.

Personally the second option sounds much more fun!

Readers: Have you ever dragged a salesperson through their whole pitch knowing full well you would never buy? Did you ever sit through a sales demonstration so you could earn a free gift? Leave a comment below and tell us what it was.

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photo by The Pug Father

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13 comments to Combat the Closing Techniques – Fulfill Your Dreams Close

  • I like to compliment sales people on their work to disarm them. It’s funny that by doing something nice, you sort of mess up their game. I’ll say something like, “you mimic beautifully” or “that’s a really nice trial close.” I guess that makes me an option #1 kind of a guy.

    If I don’t intend to buy, I’ll tell the salesperson up front, but they often feel obligated (or they actually are obligated) to go through their whole sales pitch. But I’ll certainly sit through the whole thing. Sales people who don’t know what they are talking about often amuse me, and I find really good ones enlightening.

  • I’ve never dragged a salesperson through their pitch knowing I would never buy. For one thing, I used to be a salesperson, and I’d never waste their time or mine like that. (Although many, many people who try to get through a whole pitch without buying — such as at a time share — do end up buying despite there best intentions.)

    When I do want to buy, I’m often a salesperson’s worst nightmare. Sales people are trained to get past objections by asking what they are and then overcoming that objection. So when I don’t want to buy something, I say so. When asked why, I say “I just don’t.” I don’t give a reason. If I DO want to buy something, usually my objection is price, so I just say so.
    .-= Jackie´s last blog ..Now is Exactly the Right Time =-.

  • Unlike Jackie, I have dragged a sales persons through a pitch knowing I would never buy. I had a guy on the phone last night with Traders International talking my ear off while I was falling asleep. Finally I just told him, “sorry man, I have to go to bed”.

    Also like Jackie, I am SOMEWHAT of a salesperson’s worst nightmare. I always want to double check to make sure that I am getting exactly what I need, weather that be the right kind of vitamins, or shoe polish, I want to get the CORRECT, not the BEST item.
    .-= myfinancialobjectives´s last blog ..The Ultimate Motivator: Compounding Interest =-.

  • I always mess up a sales person’s game by starting out every conversation that “I’m on a tight budget”, or at least something to that effect with the word ‘budget’ somewhere. I think the other thing I always find myself is never committing to a decision, regardless of how sweet the offer may be. I always ask for a day or a few hours to think about it. That way, I never get ‘roped in’ to a possible bad deal. I try not to waste anybody’s time, and more importantly my time, so I rarely try to mess with a salesperson’s head unless they’ve really pissed me off in some weird way.
    Nice post!
    .-= The Rat´s last blog ..Setting Up An Online Discount Brokerage Account & Investing On Your Own =-.

  • The LeanLifeCoach

    @ Aaron – “nice trial close” – Never though of it, but will definitely try it!

    @ Jackie – I’ve got a friend right now trying to unload a timeshare he got when he was looking for a free dinner… ouch!

    @ MFO – Nothing more frustrating then having to return to a store because they gave you the wrong stuff! – Now that’s muda!

    @ Rat – Someday you’re going to have to write a story about messing with the salesman and let me know. I’m sure I will love it.

  • I love this series.

    I’m a little embarrassed to admit that once, I accompanied an actor friend to ‘research’ salesman behavior in car dealerships. We pretended to be a couple interested in buying a specific model.

    After a few stops, I noticed that my friend actually seemed close to buying once or twice. He confirmed later that he’d been tempted–too serious about his own game, I guess.

    The experience of watching several sales pitches from a totally research/hypothetical standpoint was quite eye-opening. Incidentally, I’ve never been able to buy a car at a dealer since then . . . I’d rather buy used and negotiate with a real person–as for time shares, OVER MY DEAD BODY–oh, unless I get a free meal at the Red Lobster.
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Spring, sprouts, newborns and new creations. . . =-.

  • Well, if the darn people would let me get a word in edge wise than I wouldn’t let them go through their whole pitch!

    When I closed my Bank of America account, the rep wanted to know why I was closing my account and proceeded to offer me their services. I kindly but firmly explained that taking 19 years, paying annual fees, and paying BofA a $4K interest payment is not in my favor. He didn’t know what to say. Account closed. 😉
    .-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Book Review & Giveaway: Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel =-.

  • I agree with Jackie, I wouldn’t waste a sales person’s time. They are just trying to make a living and I respect that always. I have however, practiced the low ball tactic with some success in car negotiations. I have made the poor sales person keep taking trips to his manager until I hit the price I previously researched as appropriate base on all the factors present at the time. He was sweating when I finally said, Okay.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Eco-Fraud Friday: How Green Is Your Sex Life? =-.

  • The LeanLifeCoach

    @ Simple in France – So you weakness is Red Lobster?

    @ Money Funk – It’s funny how generous companies get when you are ready to walk out!

    @ Tracy – You did good girl, a salesman that had to earn his money!

  • I love this series, and that second technique sounds hilariously fun. I’ll have to give it a try when I next have the opportunity (assuming I intend to buy, that is; otherwise, the first one sounds better). I love learning new techniques to avoid buying things I don’t need; now I just need to learn a few that’ll work on my fiancee…
    .-= Roger, the Amateur Financier´s last blog ..Beware the Ides of…April? =-.

  • Wil

    The whole point of a professional sales person is to find out the clients needs and wants and show how their product or service applies to and can benefit the clients personal situation.

    A professional sales person has the clients needs and wants as their priority and is not interested in waisting their time.

    The only way they make money is by successfully matching the clients needs, wants and desires and as such it is actually one of the most honest professions.

    I went into sales instead of becoming a lawyer because I am not a parasite that leaches of other peoples misfortune.

    If you were paying a salesman $1,000 per hour for their professional expertise as you would other professions, such as lawyers, would you waste their time?

    Of course not.

    Not to mention the fact that to deliberately waste someones time is quite simply exceedingly rude.

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  • […] Combat the Closing Techniques-Fulfill Your Dreams Close – I really like this series, and the second method to fighting this technique sounds like fun, if you enjoy tormenting salespeople. […]