Obviously, how to close merchant accounts is vitally important! While role playing recently through our 6 Week Jump-Start Program, I’ve been reminded how effective the question close technique is and how often I use it.
All sales professionals, whether selling merchant services or not, have difficulty deciding what to do next when ready to close the sale. At this point the prospect is very interested and ready to close. But the question for the agent is, “What do I say next?” About eight of ten times I start my close with one short statement. I simply say to the prospect, “So, let me ask you a question.” The question is framed one of two ways.
#1. Ask a very simple question which could only be answered if the prospect plans to move forward. But the question would offer no opportunity for argument. For instance, I might say (while pulling out the paperwork), “So let me ask you a question, Bob. What is the legal name of the business?” or “What is the physical address here?” or “What’s the phone number?” I write the answer on the paperwork. This technique moves towards the paperwork close. But it all starts with one simple statement, “So, let me ask you a question.”
#2. Ask an “options” question. I’ll say, “So, let me ask you a question, Bob. Would you prefer to move forward with option A, or do you think option B would make more sense?” Here is an example when selling cash discounting. “So, let me ask you a question, Bob. Would you prefer to jump into cash discounting, knowing it is working 95% of the time and is going to save you $7,000 a year. You can also switch back to traditional processing any time. Or are you more comfortable taking the smaller savings of traditional processing with me? A flip of the switch on the terminal can also put you on cash discounting later. Which of those two makes more sense for your business at this time?”
I use a third question framework occasionally when there are not options for a prospect, when only one option would work well. For example, for a larger sale there might be a particular point of sale system preferred. I wouldn’t want to offer the prospect an “off ramp” for using the particular POS. In that case I would say, “So, let me ask you a question, Bob. Based on everything we’ve talked about, it sounds to me like this solution is going to be a great asset to your business, isn’t it?” Use the phrase “isn’t it,” “doesn’t it,” “won’t they.” Here’s another example: “So, let me ask you a question, Bob. Considering everything we’ve talked about today and all the savings I can offer, this great point of sale system is going to revolutionize your business. It sounds like this is a great idea for you. Don’t you agree?”
I dislike giving prospects an opportunity to say “no.” But sometimes that can’t be avoided. If there aren’t options and you know you aren’t ready to start on the paperwork, this framework can be used to move forward. This approach may be necessary when more information is needed for technology sales and larger deals.
Hopefully while driving to your first merchant location or about to jump on the phone, you’ll rehearse this a couple times and try it. Try saying, “So, let me ask you a question.” That should be your closing statement 80% or 90% of the time. Just plan which questions to ask. You only need 3, 4, or 5 variations of the questions you’ll ask. That’s how you close the sale. That’s the question close.
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