Nick was having trouble trying to close the prospect. Still never having attended any company sales training courses, he hit upon a solution to the problem. One of the most experienced salespeople was in the back, and Nick decided to go and ask his advice.
“If you could excuse me for one moment,” Nick said, “I just remembered that I have an important message for one of the other fellows who is in the back room . . . I forgot to give it to him earlier.”
“You are going to come back, aren’t you?” asked the prospect.
“Of course,” responded Nick, “why would you think I wouldn’t?”
“Oh, I know I’m a royal pain in the butt when it comes to making a decision about buying something,” responded the prospect. “Most of the time, the salespeople get tired of trying to convince me and wander away, and I never see them again.”
Nick wasn’t sure what to say. He really needed to get the experienced salesperson’s advice so he turned and headed toward the back room.
“Wait a minute,” said the prospect, “I don’t want you to leave. I’ll buy.”
“You’re sure?” asked Nick, hoping he hadn’t said too much.
When the customer is out the door, thought Nick, I’ll go back and ask the experienced salesperson what to do the next time this happens.
Nick did something very important for the wrong reason. From the prospect’s point of view, which is the only one that counts in selling, Nick was getting up to leave, never to be seen again. Again, the prospect would be left standing alone, not having bought anything. This pressure on the prospect, which Nick applied without realizing it, was enough to make the prospect give up and buy. Unfortunately, if Nick does ask for advice, he’ll probably be told the wrong thing.
Getting up and leaving a prospect is almost impossible for a salesperson to consider. Why would you ever want to give the impression that you are going to walk out the door?
The reason for getting up and leaving is to let the prospect know it is time to make a decision. The pressure is now on the prospect where it belongs.
This is not a tactic that you want to try with every prospect you come across. But if you have reached the “end of your rope” with one, you have nothing to lose by trying. The worst that could happen is you won’t make the sale. But then, you had no chance anyway.
There are many ways to get up and leave. One approach is to physically start to move away. Another is to simply look at the prospect and say, “Off the record . . . I get the impression that you haven’t come to a decision. Let’s assume that you decide it’s over. You don’t buy. What happens now?”
This verbal getting up and leaving forces the prospect to see a future in which he does not have your product/service. If he is in enough pain to be seriously considering buying, then looking at a future without buying is more painful. The only catch to the verbal leaving is that you MUST wait for a response. Do not rescue him or physically leave him.
Do not change “What happens now?” to “What happens then?” The word “now” brings the future, without your product/service, into the present, and as a result, pressure to decide becomes overwhelming.
“Leaving” the prospect makes the prospect want to come to a decision.