The US Open tennis tournament is being played this week. Of all the sporting events I enjoy watching, being at one of the four major tennis tournaments has to be my favorite.
Your ticket will get you into the event, and it is good for a reserved seat in the main stadium. Now, this is where it gets interesting. There can be up to eighteen matches being played at the same time throughout the day.
You get to move around and see whom you would like to see at any given point in time. You can sit in your seat in Arthur Ashe Stadium and watch a featured women’s singles match, or you can walk out to court sixteen and watch a mixed doubles match with some of your favorite players.
You get to choose whom, when, and where you watch. Some people like the outlying courts, because the bleachers are so close you can almost touch the stars. Some people only like to sit at the stadium or grandstand courts, because they like the comfort of the seatbacks. The bottom line is that you get to move around. You get to choose how you will experience the event. That is the big selling point of a major tennis tournament.
In business and in sales it can be the same way. It is far easier to sell something if you give your prospect a choice. There are three major reasons why you should give your customer choices as part of your closing system.
1. Choice allows the customer to tailor many of the aspects of your product or service to fit their specific needs.
Not everyone is the same. We all have different needs. The first automobiles were only available in black. Today, car colors and trim packages are many and varied. It is not unusual for a car company to sell a particular model just because it is available in a unique color or accessory package.
When you go to the grocery store, you can find fruit packaged in different sized containers. A family of two might only need a pint of strawberries, a medium family could want a quart, and a large family or someone having a party may buy an entire flat of strawberries!
Choice provides the customer the ability to get just what they need. By giving your customer a choice, they feel that you are catering to their specific needs, and they appreciate that.
2. Choice allows your customer to better control how they experience the sale and the ownership of your product or service after the sale is made.
Offering a choice as to how you do business, the warranty you provide, and the different service plans available allows your customer to shape and control how they experience doing business with you before, during, and after the sale.
Allowing the customer to choose where the transaction is made can be very powerful. Do you go to them, or do you have them come to you.
Warranties have an associated cost for you. The more extensive the warranty is that you offer, the greater your costs will be. Some clients want a lot of coverage. Others want or need less. By providing a choice, the client gets the level of security that they need in order to invest in your product or service and not feel like they are paying for something they will not use.
Customer service or ongoing customer support are other areas that you can create choices for your customer. Different levels of support programs can be made available. Many times, you can charge them differently based upon what is offered.
Software companies do this a lot. You may receive limited support with the purchase of a particular product. Then, you can purchase additional support either on a per incident basis, or for a larger fee you can receive unlimited support.
These choices not only allow you to tailor the experience for your client, but they also allow you to generate more revenue.
3. Choice allows you to assume the sale and let the customer determine the details.
Maybe the most powerful reason to offer them a choice is that it allows you to assume the sale first. Then, all you and the customer have to do is work out the details of ownership.
When my children were younger, my wife and I would ask them if they wanted to wear the blue shirt or the white one. The fact that they need to get dressed now is assumed. The only decision to make is which shirt they will wear.
Also, in this example we are limiting choices. I don’t care which shirt they choose. They both look nice, and either way they will be dressed. I have eliminated choices that I don’t find acceptable before they ever arise.
With your customers it can be the same way. You may ask a customer, “Would you like to close on the property next week, or will the end of the month work best for you?”
This popular closing technique is called Alternative of Choice. Either choice is good for you. The question is not whether they are going to buy, the question is only when they will close.
A clothing store associate may ask their customer, “Do you need a belt to go with that outfit, or would you like to look at a coordinating shirt?” Here, the sales associate is assuming both the sale of the outfit and an add-on purchase.
Providing choice offers dialog for you and your customer. You show them that you are interested and are working to best fit their needs. People buy from people who they like and trust. Make it easy for your clients to own your products and services by offering them a choice and you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz.