Which brings me to The Ben Franklin Close. I have seen several versions of this, but essentially it's this...
You take a piece of paper and draw a line across the top, and a line down the middle of the page. You now have a T on the page. At the top of the page you write "Yes" on one side, and "No" on the other side. On the left side of the page you write down all the reasons against buying...and on the right side you write all the reasons for buying. Sometimes these lists are reversed, but that's essentially what you do.
And then you count up the reasons on both sides. The side with the most items listed...wins. And you say "Well, the decision seems pretty obvious, doesn't it?"
Of course, you help suggest items on the side under the word "Yes", and leave the prospect to fill out the other side on their own. And almost always there are more items under the "Yes" side than there are on the "No" side.
I was soooo excited when I read about this close. I tried it just as it was stated in the book, and they didn't buy. And then I tried it maybe a dozen times more...and they didn't buy. They would just say, "Well, we have to think about it"....which is where I was at before trying the close.
The question is...why didn't it get the response I wanted?
Because you are using a logical technique to solve an emotional problem. Nearly all sales objections are just justifications for not buying, because the prospect doesn't really want what you are selling....or...they just haven't spent enough time mulling it over in their mind...to get used to the idea of buying. You see, most buying decisions are arrived at unconsciously. They are just a feeling that they should buy or not buy. There isn't much inner dialogue going on.
Most sales objections aren't thought out before they are given. If they say "I can't afford it", that's what they reflexively told the last ten salespeople..when they didn't want to buy. It's the equivalent of "I'm getting my hair done that night", when a girl doesn't want to date someone. And again, most objections aren't being played out internally in the prospect's mind. It's just a feeling. They just either don't want it, and don't want to be rude, or they aren't ready to commit.
And after decades of thinking about why this close didn't work for me, it dawned on me...this close isn't really logical, it just looks logical. Because it uses a graph (of sorts) and bullet points...it seems logical.
Here's a reality...the things you list, the reasons for buying and not buying...don't have the same importance, the same weight to the prospect. One one side you list 35 features (reasons) that the prospect told you they liked...reasons for buying. You can call them benefits, if you like. But on the side where they list the reasons not to buy? To the prospect, these reasons (true or not) carry an immense importance to them.
Here is a simple example, in the extreme...
You are being shown a cat toy (I know, but bear with me). On one side of the Ben Franklin page you write down 15 things the prospect liked about the cat toy. On the other side they may write anything..but what they may want to write is "I don't care about cat toys" or "I don't like my cat" or "I don't have a cat", or "I don't like you". But they won't want to be insulting, so they say "Well, we'll have to think about it".
You may be thinking "So, Mister Sales Genius! What do you suggest instead?"
When they say "I want to think about it", I say "Oh?"...as though nobody ever says that. And I wait for them to talk. They always do. I want them to describe their hesitation. Usually, the first few things they say are just defenses...not the truth. And after I say "Tell me more" and "Oh? why is that?"...they generally will just blurt it out. "The last guy we bought from, screwed us over. And I promised never to buy from a salesman again"...or "My brother in law says he can buy these for half price"..or "I read online that this thing causes cancer".... extreme examples, I know, but I want them to simmer for awhile, so the idea can sink in that they're probably going to buy this. And sometimes, there isn't a real objection to uncover..it's just a general feeling of unease...uncertainty...hesitation....and they just need some reassurance. One good way to do this is to praise previous buying decisions that they have made. It makes them feel acknowledged, smart, and subconsciously they associate buying with good feelings. Strange, I know. But it's advanced selling.
It's why I like them to know the price going in, or at least at the beginning of the presentation. I want the price to sink in...to simmer...to start sounding normal.
At the end, I want them to feel like buying is normal, even expected behavior.