Sales closes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are technical, some have a cliché feel to them, and some of them are just old, out of date, and ineffective. To shed a little light on this subject, lets discuss one of the oldest traditional closing techniques on the planet, the “Ben Franklin Close”, which doesn’t work.
Predictable "Franklin" Technique
The “Ben Franklin Close” is supposed to close the sale by helping the prospect make a decision at the end of a sales presentation. This process involves drawing a line down the center of the page and putting the positives on one side of the ledger and the negatives on the other. Then, the sales person is supposed to launch into a terrible, weak, lame, and predictable close saying: "Mr. or Mrs. Prospect, looking at this paper today, what decision do you think Ben Franklin would make given these pros and cons, these positives and negatives?" The problems, sales errors, and bad sales behavior is very easy to spot, but let’s dig down to the real reasons this approach doesn’t work.
The Wrong Reasons
The positives and the negatives are generally all based on the features and benefits of the product or services the sales person is trying to sell. The problem with that aspect are two fold: First, features and benefits are generally the sales person’s reasons for the prospect to have the product or services. Prospects must buy for their reasons not the sales person's. Second, features and benefits are intellectually based. Prospects buy emotionally and they justify their reason for buying intellectually.
The biggest mistake that most sales people make is that they do a sales presentation and then try to close on a decision. The truth of the matter is this, if you are giving your information away in a presentation, without any commitment from the prospect to make a decision or say yes or no, you have engaged in unpaid consulting.
A Non-Traditional Solution
So how do you get the prospects to buy for their reasons? How do you get a commitment without providing unpaid consulting? You need to use non-traditional sales techniques. A non-traditional approach guides prospects to buy for their reasons, not just the reasons a sales person provides.
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