Career Advice, Staffing Services

Closing the Deal with Reversing

By Andrew Hall on December 19, 2018

There is a problem in the world of salespeople, and that problem is that they are often talking too much. If a salesperson asked a question every time they opened their mouth, more sales would be closed. Let’s take a step back for a second and think of a stereotypical used car salesman with their, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do for you.” That is just a bad sales presentation, and everyone knows it. This salesman’s mouth is constantly moving, trying to force a sale. We all want a professional salesman, someone who lets the client or prospect do the talking by "reversing" to keep the conversation flowing in the direction of a closed deal.

The strategy of asking questions in response to a prospects question are called reversing. There is a plethora of reverses to call on during a sales call, but I'll provide a few examples to keep it short and sweet. Anyone that has been on a cold call knows that prospects rarely ask the real questions up front. To get to that point, you must operate on a rule of three. This means that it should take three questions to get to a prospect's true intent. By the third question, you should be able to find out what influences their decision to buy and their level of emotional attachment. Let's dive into some examples.

What Not To Do 

Prospect: “Do you have multiples of these?”

Salesperson: “Yes of course!” (excited and expecting a close)

Prospect: “I wonder how many are made?”

Salesperson: “Lots of people buy this.”

Prospect: “Sorry to hear that, I like buying exclusives”.

This salesperson placed an unnecessary amount of pressure on himself by not utilizing reversing in a rule of three. Let’s see how that would look if he had implemented the rule of three.

Reversing In a Rule of Three 

Prospect: “Do you have multiples of these?”

Salesperson: “That’s an interesting question, why do you ask?”

Prospect: “I was wondering how many were made.”

Salesperson: “That makes sense, may I ask why that is important to you?”

Prospect: “I like buying exclusives.”

Softening Questions

This time, the salesperson had a lot more flexibility to handle the real issue. Along with the ability to adapt, the salesperson was able to think more clearly because there was less pressure and also the freedom to take the sale in any direction. Now these questions by themselves can seem to be harsh or arrogant, so because of this they require the use of a softening statement. A softening statement generates a less defensive atmosphere for the prospect while still getting a straight answer. Some examples of softening statements would be, “Good question,” “I’m glad you asked that,” “That’s a great point,” or even “That seems to be an important question to you.”

By speaking quietly and using softening statements, you will calm the prospect and all questions will surface in a non-threatening and non-offensive manner. If you’ve implemented reversing well and the sale has been closed, the new client will think that you’ve never opened your mouth. Reversing allows your prospect or customer to talk themselves right into buying, while all you had to do was just keep the conversation moving forward by using reverses at the right time. By using the reversing strategy, you and the prospect both alternatives, and winning comes from alternatives not all of your eggs in one basket.

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