Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yes or Yes?

Here's a neat little sales trick: when somebody is halfway on board, you give them a choice, but not between Yes and No. Between two different yeses.
"This car is great for you, would you like it in blue or red?"
"You and I will go out, would you prefer lunch or dinner?"

For one thing it's difficult to tell somebody that their question is wrong, it's much easier to just pick one. For another thing it takes away the responsibility of making the actual decision, one can pretend that has happened, when the seller is pretending it has. For a third thing it saves face for those who have a hard time letting the seller "win" by saying yes, if they perceive it as a contest.

Of course this gimmick is also good to know about on the receiving end, so one is aware of when it happens.     :-)


Update: Timo said:

This is called the Alternative Close. It is one of the best known of all sales closing techniques. Sales literature knows tens of others, some very clever.
The more interesting discussion is where to draw the line of ethical and unethical salesmanship. Personally, I'm leaning towards the opinion that most active sales is unethical.

Yes, I agree that real "selling" is ethically questionable at best, since it assumes to know what's best for the customer.

And of course since it often embraces basic fakeness, you "put on" anything which will make the potential customer like you and trust you.

Interestingly, one of the best sales people I know, a lovely woman named Eva, who is always ahead of the pack in her large organization, doesn't seem to use any sales techniques. My guess is that her 100% belief and her inner and outer beauty does all the sales for her.


Update: Bruce points to this comprehensive list of sales techniques. Or to be more precise, closing techniques. The "close" is how to end the sales pitch with a Yes decision.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, November 13, 2011   8 comments links to this post

8 Comments:

At 13 Nov 2011, 23:48:00, Anonymous Anna said...

I remember hearing this trick explained, so now I detect it when they are trying it with me.

But I don't understand your second and third argument.

 
At 14 Nov 2011, 02:18:00, Blogger Timo Lehtinen said...

This is called the Alternative Close. It is one of the best known of all sales closing techniques. Sales literature knows tens of others, some very clever.

The more interesting discussion is where to draw the line of ethical and unethical salesmanship. Personally, I'm leaning towards the opinion that most active sales is unethical.

 
At 14 Nov 2011, 05:46:00, Anonymous Michael Burton said...

I think I've got a mental reflex to resist this kind of thing. On the phone, at least, when someone tries to catch me with something like this, I immediately say, "I'm not interested," and hang up.

I think I would walk out if someone tried this in person, though I can imagine that a good con-man might be able to escape detection, particularly if I was already inclined to buy the product.

 
At 14 Nov 2011, 11:34:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I agree that real "selling" is ethically questionable at best, since it assumes to know what's best for the customer.

And of course since it often embraces basic fakeness, you "put on" anything which will make the potential customer like you and trust you.

Interestingly, one of the best sales people I know, a lovely woman named Eva, who is always ahead of the pack in her large organization, doesn't seem to use any sales techniques. My guess is that her 100% belief and her inner and outer beauty does all the sales for her.

 
At 14 Nov 2011, 18:16:00, Anonymous Bruce W. said...

Here is a link with a long list of such techniques.
http://changingminds.org/disciplines/sales/closing/closing_techniques.htm

I also think that such manipulation is unethical.

 
At 14 Nov 2011, 18:28:00, Blogger Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Bruce.

 
At 15 Nov 2011, 03:31:00, Anonymous kentg said...

The same 'trick' works with children when you want them to do something. "Do you want to do it now or in 10 minutes?" HaHa

 
At 16 Nov 2011, 02:00:00, Anonymous tim said...

Your place or mine?

 

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