Closing Vs. Trial Closing

Closing the sale is a skill we're asked about frequently - and one surrounded by a great deal of mystery.

One area of confusion that can, when demystified, result in a healthy increase in closing rates, is the difference between "closing" and "trial closing."

Closing is the act of seeking a decision, usually through the use of a direct question. "Can we move forward?" "Would you like to place an order today?"

Trial closing, on the other hand, is not about directly seeking a decision, but is a method of seeking an opinion - in other words, a way of testing receptivity. "Does that sound good to you?" "What do you think so far?"

Trial closing is an extremely important (and often omitted) component of the selling process, because it gives the seller some insight into the relative interest level of the prospective buyer before closing questions are asked.

When a seller receives positive, enthusiastic responses to a few trial closing questions, then he or she knows the buyer sees value in the offer or proposal and will be inclined to move forward with the sale. This is the time to close.

Conversely, if trial closing questions are answered negatively or with little or no enthusiasm, then the prudent seller knows that something has gone off-track; needs were not properly assessed, some form of miscommunication has taken place, etc. In this latter instance, the best track is to go back to assessing and clarifying needs, interests and priorities, and then testing the waters again with additional trial closing questions.

It's important to realize that the selling process is seldom thrown completely off-track when trial closing questions yield negative responses. In fact, the negative responses give the seller an opportunity to correct errors that were obviously made during earlier steps, and increases closing rates in the end.


Improve Closing by Trial Closing First