Sales can be overwhelming because prospects demand more and we want to please them all, but it’s important that we salespeople value our most important resource: time. Some people will never do business with you no matter how much value you deliver or how much time you spend. So why waste yours? It’s important to qualify potential customers properly.
Qualifying a prospect means asking the right questions to determine if there’s a fit between the customer and the solution. Often, once salespeople learn all they can, many rush to write a proposal, schedule a demo, or engage in some other time-consuming activity where they deliver value without gaining commitment from the prospect. Conditional closing is apart of the sales qualification process that helps salespeople save time, uncover objections, and create a sense of urgency so they can close more deals.
We all know the conditional close because we did it as children or have children of our own who use this on us every chance they get. My son is 8 years old and knows that going to the Linnanmäki amusement park in Helsinki is a treat and something we rarely do. He might ask me, Daddy, are we going to Linnanmäki tomorrow?
Me: We might go tomorrow if you’re a good boy
Cody: What do you mean?
Me: You didn’t put your toys away and left a mess all over the apartment last time.
Cody: So if I put my toys away this time we’ll go to Linnanmäki tomorrow?
Me: I said we might go. I’m not sure yet.
Cody: So what else do I need to do to make you sure?
Me: You have to eat your vegetables tonight (he hates veggies)
Cody: So if I put my toys away and eat my vegetables we’ll go to Linnanmäki tomorrow?
I don’t have to tell you how this ends. We would end up at Linnanmäki because he would fulfill his end of the bargain. During our “sales call” my son not only identified my problem, but he kept clarifying and asking questions so he could understand all my potential objections and address them head-on. At the end of the day, he would recap the day and ask me whether he was a good boy and remind me that he ate his broccoli. I’d be left with no choice other than to agree.
Though this is a scenario that is so common to us, it shocks me to find out how many salespeople leave this out at the end of their sales qualification process.
It’s as simple as my son made it. If I can provide enough proof that what I have to offer will help your business, and you agree, is there any reason you won’t sign the order today? In my experience, this is a powerful closing tool that, if done early on in the qualification process, gives salespeople the best chance of uncovering objections to their solution or finding out other challenges that can stall the deal. The conditional close is a simple strategy that can make a big difference in sales results.
*Troy Woodson lives in Helsinki, Finland and has over 20 years of Sales Experience in the US and now shares his sales expertise through e.g. sales workshops and coaching to startups, growth companies and corporations through his company https://cbwglobal.com/