Don’t use ’em in corporate sales.
My phone rang today. A perky voice told me that her boss, an insurance dude, would like to treat a bunch of local business owners to lunch. Would Thursday or Friday work better for me?
“Ah,” I said, “that’s the Alternative Close. Rather than ask a yes-or-no question, like would I care to attend, you try to get me to pick one day or the other.” To her credit, she conceded the point without an argument. For which I thanked her. And then declined the invitation.
That’s more than just me playing the curmudgeon. In his seminal work Spin Selling, author Neil Rackham does an excellent job of showing that corporate clients and prospects are on to closing techniques that may work at the small-ticket retail level. Try them and you may end up insulting your prospect.
As you might expect, I highly recommend Rackham’s book. I am grateful to former employee Josh Hauser for recommending it to me years ago. By the way, don’t let that word “spin” put you off. It doesn’t refer to manipulating the facts. It’s an acronym.