Closing techniques were drilled into me since my first day in sales and I loved trying out new ones. I have a unique collection of closing techniques taught as far back as the Vikings (13th century), as well as ‘snake oil’ techniques from the mid-west in the 1800’s and today.
When I ask business and sales people about their favourite or most successful closing technique the most common response I get is ‘it depends’. I would have thought, with hundreds of years of development, the better techniques would bubble up to become favourite. Modern science sheds some light onto this.
When a person is about to make a decision, according to scientific research, the part of the brain where emotions come from is awash with chemicals – and the more complex or higher impact the decision has the more chemicals the brain produces. These chemicals are the stress chemicals and are the drivers of emotion. What research is telling us is, as a decision point approaches, it is these emotional chemicals in the client’s brain making the decision - not the logical part of the brain. Wouldn’t it be nice to know which closing techniques triggered the release of the chemicals which made a person want to make a decision to buy?
It turns out there are seven emotional genes or buying styles and for each there is one dominate emotional driver as well as green and red emotional buttons.
|Emotional Buying Style||Dominate Emotional Driver|
|The Normal||For Social Acceptance|
|The Hustler||For Material Success|
|The Mover||To Communicate|
|The Double Checker||For Security|
|The Artist||To be Creative|
|The Politician||To Win|
|The Engineer||To Complete Projects|
Here is an example of how these work.
Paul, division head of Australia’s largest telecommunications organization, was a difficult client. I had the perfect solution for him, yet no matter what technique I tried, Paul was just not going to budge. Each time I tried to move the sale forward with a question or trial close, he would just sit there quietly with a strange smile on his face and say as few words as possible as I slowly agreed to his every point.
I shared my experience with Ken, Paul’s counterpart in the user community who had some influence on the decision. He let me in on a secret: Paul was regarded as one of the sharpest negotiators in the organization and had a reputation for getting deals through when no one else could. Ken suggested I restructure my offering in a way that reinforced Paul’s reputation of getting things others could not.
In our next meeting, I asked a simple question: “Paul, if your division could be the first organization outside the United States to implement this new technology without increasing the price above the initial estimate, would that allow you to achieve your goal of staff time to productivity?”
I watched his face, and for the first time I saw a flicker of life. He quickly composed himself and in his normal dry tone of voice asked, “Could you do that?”
Paul primary emotional gene is 'The Politician' and his primary emotional driver is to win, and this win was typically a sharper deal or better terms. In this case, I provided him with an opportunity to win by doing something no one else had done. This enhanced his reputation of getting things no one else could. By pressing his green button (showing how the idea would help him look good), his brain started to flood with emotional chemicals, creating a compelling urge to like my idea. Of course, if I had tried the same technique with “The Double Checker” or “The Normal,” this would have pushed his or her red emotional button with exactly the opposite effect. If Paul’s emotional gene was “The Hustler,” I would need to add something like “…increasing your value on the employment market.”
When a business owner or salesperson responds with “it depends” regarding his or her favorite closing technique, that tells me this salesperson needs to determine the best way to work with a client. Using a simple tool to help unlock the client’s emotional buying style will reveal how the client will respond as the decision point approaches. Pushing green buttons early makes closing so much simpler.
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Business and sales leader, as well as author and blogger, who brings to life the science of human behaviour and motivation. Greg is a graduate from Newcastle University and a lifelong student of the sciences unlocking the complexities of human behaviour. With 30 years operational sales and management experience he brings resources and a wealth of practical ideas when influencing others decisions and their behaviour is critical to success.