When An Order Close Is Not A Close

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Because it is …. a trial close. I’m flat out terrible at traditional order closing statements and I know a bunch of them. You name it … everything from the “Ben Franklin” to the “Japanese Origami Folding Paper Close”. The really good news is that I never need to bend arms to get the order. I am pretty good at doing the other things right before we even get to that point and I am extremely adept at the art of the trial close.

You’ve maybe seen this acronym … “ABC – Always Be Closing”. For me, that’s a little blunt and a little too old-school. I prefer … “ABTC – Always Be Trial Closing”. So, what’s the difference?

A Close requests an action. An example would be … “Please sign this agreement and there are 10 pages so press hard.”

A Trial Close takes someone’s temperature. “Can you see yourself using this product?” More like requesting an opinion. I suppose it could be considered a close cousin to the “minor point close”. Other examples …

  • “How does that look/feel/sound?”
  • “Did that answer your question/concern?”
  • “If you were to go ahead with this, when would you be needing delivery?”
  • “How does this compare to other products that you have looked at?”
  • “What are your thoughts at this stage?”
  • “Does it look like this product or service would fit your needs?”
You get the drift. The beauty of trial closes is that there are so many variants and that they can be asked so many times that they naturally lead to a formal close. And, these questions should not be uncomfortable to ask or answer for any party! In most cases, there is no formal close. If you have done your work correctly, your customer will close themselves. Of course, you need to be aware of buying signs at which point, shut up and get out your pen! We will discuss more of this in a future article.


Author: Craig M. Jamieson

Craig M. Jamieson is a lifelong B2B salesperson, manager, owner, and a networking enthusiast. Adaptive Business Services provides solutions related to the sales professional including Boise's best B2B leads groups, NetWorks! Boise Valley. We are a Nimble SCRM and a HootSuite Solution Partner and a Value Added Associate for TTI Performance Systems. Craig also conducts training and workshops primarily in social selling.