Are your prospects ready to buy? Eliminate the surprise factor and find out well before the close. Here's how.

If you knew two little words that could improve your sales, you’d use them, wouldn’t you?

When you see your customer has some reservations, it makes sense to get the issues out in the open, doesn’t it?

And after the ink is dry on the deal, you should make every effort to make sure your customer is satisfied, shouldn’t you?

So why all the questions? They illustrate a simple technique — sales tie-downs — that can help you improve your sales process. By getting your customers to agree with you in small steps along the way, you have a better chance of reaching agreement when it’s time to do business.

Sales tie-downs are short questions you add to statements throughout your presentation to get your prospective customer to start saying yes long before you go for the close. You want to engage your customer and get them used to saying yes.

Too often, sales reps simply regurgitate their presentations and expect to land the sale. It doesn’t work. Prospects tune out because they aren’t engaged in the process. The remedy is to ask little questions along the way and monitor the feedback.

You know what I mean? Are you following me? These are tie-downs. End statements with questions like: Wouldn’t you agree? Is that right?

These questions can be as simple as:

  • Aren’t they?
  • Can’t you?
  • Isn’t it?
  • Shouldn’t it?
  • Won’t they?

Tie-downs have to become a natural part of your conversation before you can use them in your sales presentations. Be aware of your tone so the questions don’t sound threatening or argumentative. Practice tie-downs on your spouse or friends. Have some fun using them in role-playing exercises with other sales professionals. That will help you develop a rhythm that will include enough--but not too many--tie-down questions.

There’s another benefit to tie-downs as well: They keep you in control and confirm that your customers understand what you are saying during your sales presentation, and that it’s OK to continue.

You don’t need a big close, as many sales reps believe. You risk losing your customer when you save all the good stuff for the end. Keep the customer actively involved throughout your presentation, and watch your results improve.

Now let me ask you again, if you knew two little words that could improve your sales, you’d use them, wouldn’t you? I think you know the answer. 

Mackay’s Moral: Use sales tie-downs to lasso more customers.