Picture driving your vehicle through a strange town while looking for a particular restaurant or specialty shop. Now visualize seeing your destination as you pass right by as your spouse squeals and points, “There it is; honey you passed it. Turn around right up here as soon as you can. We’ve got to go back.”

Now snap your mind back to selling and apply the same scenario. How often have you missed one or more buying signals and yakked right past the possibility of closing a sale?

Here’s how that happens. When you’re having a selling conversation and a prospect asks a question that would typically be answered by a “yes” or “no,” don’t take the bait and fall for it. What I mean is don’t answer with “yes” or ‘no,” but rather answer their question with a question of your own. This keeps you in the game and positions you to be able to close the sale now rather than going past it like you did that restaurant.

The reason I’m suggesting something that sounds as strange as this is because questions prospects ask are buying signals. If they had no interest in what you were presenting they wouldn’t ask any questions, but would simply want you to finish quickly and go away. So fight the urge to respond with yeah’s or nay’s, even when they are the truth.

“Would I need to sign a contract?” Yes

“Do you send trucks to my area on Wednesdays?” Yes

“Do I have to pay more if I have problems between services and need the tech to come back?” No

All I’m saying here is that these answers, although truthful, unnecessarily drag out the sales process. So instead of answering the question, why not use the question to confirm the prospect wants your offering and close the sale.

This is actually a first cousin approach to the ‘questions and silence’ strategy we’ve discussed in recent months. As we discussed then, be mindful of your voice inflections and tone to ensure you don’t come off as a smart-butt. Now back to the sample questions mentioned above:

“Would I need to sign a contract?” If I answered ‘yes’ would that be a concern? (After their response) Ours is a simple service agreement that outlines what we promise to do, how often, for what price, and how we guarantee the work. Your side of the agreement is to accept our promises and commit to make the property available for us to service. Isn’t that the right way to enter a business relationship? Are you ready for us to get started?

“Do you send trucks to my area on Wednesday’s?” Is that the day of the week you prefer to be serviced? (Assume a ‘yes’ answer) I’ll highlight that in yellow on the work order. Thank you for trusting us with your business.


“Do I have to pay more if I have problems between services and need the tech to come back?” Would you buy from a company with a policy like that? (After their response) I wouldn’t either. Our callback policy is right here on our service agreement, and I’ll read it for you and underline it… As you can see, if the problem returns between scheduled services so will we, at no charge. Are you ready to get started?

From these examples you can see it’s not complicated:

-Respond to questions with questions.

-After prospects answer make a confirmation statement concluded by a closing question.

-Zip it!

This is the best way to stop prolonging sales calls and possibly going right past your objective.

————Another Endorsement for Doug’s DIY Materials————

“Doug, your sales training materials are a dream come true for me, as I stay as busy as a one-armed painter most of the time. With your system all I need to do is recognize where the sales folks are falling short and then pick a lesson that covers that skill focus for them to read prior to our weekly meeting. When I open my Leader Guide to that lesson and ask the first question on the page, an instant discussion ALWAYS begins. It’s like magic; I just ensure they leave the meeting with a new perspective that will help them improve.” Jay Carpenter, Invision Technologies Chief Business Developer of Tech Sales  See these materials for yourself, HERE.



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