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The “Alternative” Close

From time to time in the course of making a sale, you come across an objection that the product you’re offering is not what the client is looking for. When this happens you need to change course quickly and adapt to what they want to buy, from what you want to sell.

Technique

The alternative close works by offering more than one clearly defined alternative to the customer.

The number of alternative should be very few – two or three is often quite adequate. If you offer too many alternatives, the customer will then be faced with a more complex problem of how they choose between the many alternatives offered.

Note that this technique works well in many different situations where you are seeking agreement, and not just selling products.

An extra technique that can be effective is to add a slight nod when offering the preferred choice. This can be accompanied by subtle verbal emphasis on the words.

Examples

Would you prefer the red one or the yellow one?

Would you like one packet or two?

Which of these three instruments seems best for you?

Shall we meet next week or the week after?

How it works

The Alternative Close is a variant on the broader-basedĀ Assumptive Close and works primarily through theĀ assumption principle, where you act as if the customer has already decided to buy, and the only question left is which of a limited number of options they should choose.

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