I don’t know why tie downs aren’t used more by sales reps selling over the phone. I was listening to an experienced rep the other day just pitch and ad-lib to a good prospect, and at the end of the call, she had no idea about the prospect’s level of interest, nor did she qualify the prospect.
Tie downs (and trial closes) serve several important functions, including:
Getting confirmation that the point you just made was understood and accepted by your prospect. This is especially important when selling over the phone because you don’t have the physical clues to tell you how your presentation is going.
Using tie downs is also instrumental in building a yes momentum. If the prospect is agreeing with you, then you can feel confident at the end in asking for the sale.
Tie downs also give your prospect a chance to engage with you—when you use one, you actually have to wait for them to respond.
Trial closes are crucially important as well. If all is going well with the tie down responses you’re getting, then as you head toward asking for the sale, you can use a few well-placed trial closes to make asking the deal even easier.
There are many other value reasons for using tie downs, but let’s look at some of the most effective, and go over in what situations they work best:
#1: Whenever your prospect asks you a buying question (and any question a prospect asks you is a buying question), after you answer it you must use a tie-down.
If a prospect asks you how much something is, after you give them the price—or the range of prices—you can use any of these tie downs:
“How does that price sound?”
“Is that what you were looking to spend today?”
“How does that compare with what you are paying now?”
“Is that within the budget you have for this?”
“That’s a great value today, and I’d take as many as I could at that price—how many can I ship you today?” (O.K., that’s a close, but I couldn’t help myself! Do you see how tie-downs can lead to a close?)
If a prospect asks a question about a feature or a benefit, use any of the following:
“Does that make sense?”
“How would you use that?”
“Do you understand how that works?”
“I think that’s a great benefit – how about you?”
If a prospect makes a statement that seems negative, use:
“How did you come to that?”
“Compared to what?”
“What do you mean exactly?
“How does your current vendor handle that?” (continued on Page 2)