Salesmanship – Using “Tie-Downs” to Reinforce
Make this technique a natural part of your sales presentation process.
The art of asking questions to close a deal is one of the most important and most difficult skills to develop. Many successful agents do a great job identifying logical recommendations for their clients, but they inadvertently present the logic in the form of a statement. Clients are likely to resist this approach because they recognize that sales people have an “agenda” to get the deal.
A much more effective way to come to an agreement is to ask questions instead of making statements. When a question is asked, it does two things: 1) It verifies the conclusion the agent has developed is valid with the client, and 2) it gets the buyer or seller saying “yes”, making the transition to a sale much easier. Let’s consider the following typical example:
A seller is resisting a price reduction. A good sales person will do substantial research gathering data to support the value of the house and then may say, “The comps and data I presented show you that you’re not likely to get the price you’re asking. I suggest you lower the price.”
A great sales person will use “tie-downs” to get their seller to agreement. These are called “small yes’s” or “mini-closes”. The great sales person will take the same data and ask questions; “I know your home is unique, but if you looked at the data I presented without seeing your home, you’d probably think a home like yours may be over-priced, wouldn’t you?” “And based on feedback we’ve gotten from buyers, it’s possible you could be asking too much, isn’t it?”
“Wouldn’t it” and “isn’t it” are great examples of “tie-downs”. The obvious answer to a tie-down question is always “Yes”, yet they don’t force the seller to concede his or her position. In other words, tie-downs are baby steps toward getting to a successful conclusion. Other typical examples of tie downs are:
- “Couldn’t it”
- “Wouldn’t it”
- “Shouldn’t it”
- “Can’t they”
- “Won’t they”
- “Don’t they”
- “Isn’t it”
- “Haven’t you”
Once you’ve identified the logical conclusion you want your buyer or seller to reach, make every effort to turn your statements into questions by using “tie-downs”.