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Using the Alternate Choice Close

This is a very popular closing technique that can help you ensure that a customer is focused on the sales process and does not spend too much time vacillating among different options. Some customers simply take too long. They need a guiding hand. The Alternate Choice Close offers that guiding hand. It requires a customer to choose from your choices, not other choices (such as competitive products). An either/or style question is the best way to use this close. 

To use this technique, follow these three steps:

1. To get the customer used to dealing with this close, as you work through the sales process, use alternate choices. This can be done when trying to set appointment or when determining how to proceed. When customers get used to the process of having an alternate choice, they are more receptive when it is used as a close.

2. Be sure to be positive after each response to reinforce the customer’s willingness to an alternate choice.

3. Once the customer has become accustomed to alternate choices, use a final alternate choice close to finalize a sales.  The customer will no longer be a stranger to this technique and will be able to make an important decision by choosing from one of two options.  They will find the decision to be easier and less risky.

Here is this technique in action…

Sales Rep: “Would it be easier for your team to receive the delivery during the February shipment or the March shipment.”

Customer: “The March shipment would be better since ours goes out in May.”

Sales Rep: “Excellent.  We can arrange that.  Now, was this for the opaque panes or the transparent panes?”

Customer: “Actually, we’d like to arrange for both, if that’s possible.”

Sales Rep: “Definitely.  I’ll draw up the agreement with both.  Do you want me to e-mail the agreement or provide you with a hard copy?”

Customer: “Why don’t you e-mail it to me… that way I can shoot it right over to the legal department.”

As you can see, the process dovetails very nicely. It is a simple matter of moving the customer along until the final close. Try using the alternate choice close throughout the sales process and in the last stages to “help” your customer make a decision.

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