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  • Closing is a Series of Stoplights

    Guest Post By: Emmie Brown

    Does this frustrating situation sound familiar? You get to the end of your presentation and ask, “What do you think?” Or, “Do you want to move forward?” Then, your prospect responds with “Sounds good, but I’ll need to think about it.”

    You did not get the prospect to move forward because you did not create enough momentum to get your prospect over the proverbial fence. Your prospect is left on the fence and you are left without a signed agreement in hand and nothing in your pocket.

    • To create the momentum that you need, one technique that works is the yes-momentum close. It is a series of questions designed to create momentum. The first question in the series is often a general yes question. This is a question to which you know the answer is going to be “yes.” And, you got it- the point is to build momentum.
    • The second question that you ask may be an alternative choice question. When you give people a choice of two positives, whatever they pick is fine with you. It is a question of how they will move forward rather than if they will move forward.
    • Next, you can ask a tie-down question. A tie-down question is a selling statement with a little hook on it, to get you to agree with the selling statement. The “hook” may sound like: “wouldn’t you agree,” “isn’t it,” “don’t you,” “right,” “aren’t you,” etc.
    • Last, you might ask a boomerang question. A boomerang question is when you respond to a question with another question. For example, at the end of the of the presentation, if your prospect is over the buying line and you have started to take them down this closing funnel, and they then ask you “how much is it,” you may answer with a question, “as long as it fits in the budget does this sound like something you would like to move forward with?” If they say “yes,” they have essentially said yes to working with you.

    Now, all you need to do is use an assumptive close and say, “Well, to get started, I just need to get your okeedokee right here.” If you take your prospect down this closing funnel, they are agreeing on minor points along the way to make the major point of working with you a foregone conclusion.

    Closing is never just one question that you ask at the end of the presentation. Closing is a series of incrementally more committal questions that funnels someone logically to a point of agreement. Think of it like a series of stoplights. If you get a green light you go to the next question. If you get a red light then they are a “no,” and you can stop. If you get a yellow light, then you have an objection to answer. Take someone through a series of questions rather than just asking one scary big “do you want to do this” kind of a question. Make closing feel smooth an natural by using yes momentum.


    Emmie Brown is an executive level coach and an expert in the Psychology of Scripting. Emmie started her career with The Southwestern Company as a student intern at the University of North Carolina. She continued to work with Southwestern over the next 10 years as a top producing sales manager until joining Southwestern Consulting in 2009. Emmie has spent the last 4 years traveling the country as a professional sales trainer, executive coach and business consultant with Southwestern Consulting and the Success Starts Now! conference series. She is also the author of the audio series Talk Less, Sell More and a breakout presenter at the Success Starts Now! sales training conference.

  • Navigate Handshakes

    Guest Post By: Dustin Hillis

    When it comes to identifying people’s natural buying behavior styles, one of the best ways to identify someone’s style is by taking note of how they walk, move and shake hands.


    Visual: Arnold Schwarzenegger has just entered the room, straight off of the movie Terminator.  He is coming straight at you!

    Fighters pump their arms and move their feet quickly.  It almost looks like a fast-speed, militant-style walk headed toward you.

    Once they get to you, they’ll often shake your hand in one of two ways.

    1. They’ll extend their hand in a tomahawk chop motion.


    1. They’ll extend their hand in a javelin-jab motion.

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