Closing the Sale: Sometimes It Takes “TO”


When closing a sale, sometimes it takes to.  No, I did not misspell that last word of the first sentence.  I really meant to write “t” “o”.  Those two letters are the initials for one of the most long-practiced sales techniques we know.  They stand for “Turn Over.”  The “T.O.” is used in sales environments where the salesperson has other salespersons or sales managers nearby when they are presenting to prospects.  This would usually be in a retail setting or perhaps a group sales presentation of some type.  The “T.O.” is the technique of “Turning Over” a prospect to another representative at a specific place in the sales process.  The “T.O.” is used for two purposes.  It is used when the original salesperson is unable to close the sale and he will “Turn Over” the prospect to another representative.  The other use for the “T.O.” is when the original salesperson HAS closed the sale but there are potential add-on products or services that are best presented by a specialist.  You may have experienced the second method of the “T.O.”, if you bought a new car.  After you bought your new car, you may have been introduced to the “F & I” man.  This is the person who sells the Financing, Insurance and often the undercoating and fabric protection packages to you.  To help you understand this sales technique better, I will tell you a true story that just happened to me and my wife recently.

My wife and I attended a group sales presentation that was offering membership in a type of club that offered services that were appealing to us.  The presentation was done in three steps.  The first step was a 15 to 20 minute meeting with our personal sales representative.  During this meeting we were asked qualifying questions.  The second step was a group presentation with other prospects and us listening to a sales representative for about an hour.  The third step was that we were re-joined with our sales representative so he could close us.

During the first step (qualifying), we were told by our salesperson that he was fairly new.  So, for this article, we shall call him Mr. Green.  Mr. Green did only a fair job in his qualifying meeting with us.  His sales tools were in disorder and he did not use them to his advantage at all.  He did ask good questions and seemed to document the answers well.

During the second step (group presentation), the Features, Advantages and Benefits of the membership were given in a PowerPoint presentation.  This presentation was done in a highly personable manner by an attractive young lady we shall call Ms Pink.  My wife and I were given enough information in this step to understand how we could benefit from this membership.

When we re-joined Mr. Green, he went into an immediate close.  We offered moderate resistance to buying “at this time.”  Mr. Green made several attempts to clarify our concerns in order to overcome them.  He was not successful.  This is when Mr. Green did exactly what he should have done.  He did the “T.O.”.  He suggested that his “newness” on the job may be preventing him from being able to make an offer that we would accept.  He asked if he could bring in a more experienced person who may have a “better offer” for us.  In this case it was Ms. Green.  This “T. O.” was not done as well as it could have been.  (For more information on the four steps of a proper “T. O.” and how they are to be done we will email it to you as one of our regular Sales Tips for Members Only.”  However, Ms. Green graciously came to Mr. Green’s aid.  Ms. Green used her greater sales experience to try to uncover the nature of our concerns.  She was unable to close us.  It was noticeable to me that she did not, in fact, make us a better offer, she only re-presented the offers we had initially rejected.  Now here is the really interesting part of the story.  Ms. Green decided to “T. O.” us to another person.  A Double “T. O.” … wow!  To describe who this person is, let me ask do you know the “Golden Rule?”  You may not be thinking of the “Golden Rule” I have in mind.  The “Golden Rule” to which I refer is this: “He who has the Gold … Rules!”  Well, the person to whom we were to be “Turned Over” we the founder of the company.  So we shall call him, Mr. Gold.  Once again the “T. O.” was not done as well as it could have been.  However, Mr. Gold used his wisdom, skills, and position to address our concerns.  He did, in fact, make us a better offer.  The new offer gave my wife and me enough reason to consider it more thoughtfully.  We asked for a few private minutes to discuss it.  We determined that the benefits of waiting were outweighed by the benefits of the new offer.  We bought.

As we often encourage, this sales technique should be well designed and well rehearsed.  Though it worked in this case, Ms Green may not have needed the second “T. O.” had the first had used the four steps correctly.  Now, we “Turn Over” the sales process to you.  We wish you great selling!!!

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