Being enterprising – closing a deal

Many staff in social enterprises find the ‘selling’ part of income generation for their charity to be the hardest part. It sounds tacky to take advice from car salesmen when trying to persuade a public sector client to purchase services from your charity or enterprise, but this is how I found myself responding.

So it sounds tacky when I say that I was advised to take lessons from car salesmen when they try to close a deal. They will have been coached to always go for a ‘trial close’. In their case the conversation might be:

Car salesman: ‘so what colors did you have in mind?’
Sue: ‘well I do not want white, or black, or silver, or red.’

(So now he knows I am definitely going to buy a car): that in a nutshell is a trial close:
Car salesman: I will search the database of all our dealerships.
(So now he has closed off the option of me saying I was only looking and may well go elsewhere). And so on.

So the ‘ trial close’ will vary according to the setting and the service but, but it will involve you summarising what you have gleaned that your prospective client or ‘customer’ might want, and playing it back to them as an invitation. For example, ‘ we could offer you a trial session on either of the first two Tuesdays in February, which would suit you best?

Postscript: I bought a blue car.

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