When you sell, you must go through stages of persuasion, answering questions, and making proposals. The final stage, closing, is the most challenging. If the customer has not indicated a final decision, you can find yourself waiting and wondering. If you’ve presented all the relevant information, the decision might rest in the customer’s hands. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask the customer to decide. Find ways to ask if customers have decided to buy from you.

Avoid Closed-ended Questions

Instead of asking, “Would you like to buy this?” ask, “How would you like to pay for that?” The second question presumes the buying decision has been made, and all that remains is deciding whether to use cash or credit. Other alternatives include: “Let me gift wrap that for you;” “How many would you like?”; and “You really seem to like this. It’s time to decide if you’re worth it.”

Find Out What’s Missing

Sometimes a customer might hesitate for good reasons. Don’t be afraid to ask directly. For example, you can say, “What would help you make up your mind?” This leads the customer in the direction of finding the solution for his own dilemma. You can also ask, “How can I make this decision easier for you?” Make yourself an ally who helps the customer make the decision.

The Trial Close

One way to remove some of the pressure from the buying decision is to ask, “If I offered you our best price, would you buy right now?” This question offers a hypothetical situation for the customer to consider. You can also remove pressure with a question such as, “If I answer all of your questions in a way that satisfies you, would you buy?” This question invites the customer to try out her own version of closing the sale.

Emphasize Benefits

You also can ask questions that focus the customer on the benefits of the purchase, such as, “How will this purchase solve a problem for you?” Another version of this is, “What will be the greatest benefit to you if you buy this?” This forces the customer to consider the positives, which might outweigh any negatives that are causing hesitation.