The puppy dog close
The classic sales technique is the puppy dog close. A customer is in the pet store with a child who wants a puppy. The salesperson offers to let them take the puppy home for a few days, offering a full no questions asked refund if they decide they don't wish to keep it.
How could anyone say no to such a reasonable offer? Of course, the family falls in love with the new pet, and there's no way they can return the dog to the store. Sold. Nothing works better, we use it with our Demo / Trial kit all the time ... and as a bonus, the trial kit is normally "used" and you get to replace it with fresh kit!
Helping them out with the price
Moving your price anchor points is another classic technique, whether you're using the good cop / bad cop technique to getting there or simply by "giving things away for free" ... moving the price towards where your target wants it to be always looks like you're doing them a favour (they may think they're getting a killer deal ... but it’s actually where you wanted to end up anyway). Just remember that DFS have absolutely exhausted this with their "amazing deals" and its watered down their offerings ... make sure you dont.
This technique doesn't just work on current projects...but can also be used to sow the seed on future ones too. When "buttering up" a potential prospect, make sure you go out of your way to help wherever you can. Do them a favour and when they say thanks say...ahh sure, I know if the situation was ever reversed, you'd do the same ... And they will!
As Robert Cialdini states in his book, reciprocation is the most powerful form of persuasion. whether its them owing you something or at least giving you some of their time, most of the time people will feel obliged to give you something back when you give them something. Cialdini also highlights the winning strategy that the Krishnas did with their donation technique.
I helped a prospect (a big competitor account I'd been working on for nearly a year) out when our competitors equipment failed over a bank holiday weekend. Our competitor (with an installed base of over 100 units) gave them radio silence when one of their units broke down. Granted I was a little hung over on the day, but when he called asking if there was anything I could do to help I figured all I would be doing other wise would be feeling sorry for myself on the couch...watching rubbish daytime TV. I drove to a customer site, borrowed their spare unit, and drove to the prospects site and installed it. The next time new equipment was needed the competitors didn’t even get a sniff ... over three years all of their equipment was replaced.
Another thing that’s good to do is keeping them in touch with the industry ... when you find out something, share it with them ... before you know it, they’ll be doing the same for you.
Do them a favour and when they say thanks say "no worries, I know if the situation was ever reversed, you'd do the same" ... they will.
Get them hooked (that's all I have to say)
Think about all of the things you’ve stuck with because of how much you value commitment and consistency ... can’t think of any ? I’m sure I can name a few ... your mobile phone contract, your utility bills, your tv service. You probably know there are potentially better deals out there, but you know what to expect with your current service and its comfortable. Once you’ve got them on board and they’ve agreed on a deal, they’ll be unlikely to go back on it ... work on your idea with them in principle, then increase the stakes!
I hope this helped you with a few ideas to gain a bit more commitment from your customer / prospect. Email me, if you'd like to be sent the next instalment when I've finished it.