Limit your presentation to only what is necessary


As the person trying to make a sale, provide the customer with what is necessary to make a close. FILE PHOTO | NMG

john kageche


  • Less talk strategy raises two schools of thought.

Say just enough to close a deal. This advice tends to elicit polar opposite schools of thought. One says it’s cheating, the other it’s necessary. I’m for the latter. But first, what is to close? In sales, closing means achievement of the desired outcome, which is usually an exchange of money or acquiring a signature.

Here’s why sellers should limit themselves to saying just enough to close.

First, buyers don’t need to know all the bolts and nuts of a product or service. It’s not why you chose your favourite hairdresser, the school your child goes to, nor the nyama choma joint you speak highly of. You ‘bought’ all these because they solved a problem for you. Not because you knew all the grains of sand in your hairdresser’s beach, all the shining stars in your child’s school and that your preferred eatery doesn’t have any skeletons in its closet. Thus, when selling, say enough to address how you resolve the buyer’s problem.

Next, those of the opposing school say that limiting information is being dishonest. Well, it would be if you are being unethical. However, if your conscious is clear, by all means limit what you are saying to what needs to be said to close.

There’s no need for the doctor to tell me about his three PhD.’s, where he got them, and who made the medicine he’s about to prescribe plus its chemical composition.

All he asks are questions to elicit my pain and then confirmation that I am not allergic to what he is about to prescribe. Sometimes he doesn’t get it right. Does this make him dishonest? I don’t think so. Just human.

Thirdly, limiting information is not hoarding it. It is opening up about your product or service in a conversational manner. Piling up information slowly by slowly revealing only what is necessary as you go along.

If the battery comes with a two year warranty and you’ve only had to activate the warranty inone per cent of all sales in the past 10 years then speak only of this, if it is the assurance the buyer is seeking, and proceed to ask for payment. (Close).

If, however, the buyer asks how you have maintained such a low return rate, peel off another layer. “Our batteries are locally manufactured and so adapt easily to the local conditions.” Then close.

Here’s a fourth reason. When you focus on revealing everything about the product you end up telling, not selling.

You focus on showing off (inadvertently, or not) as opposed to showing up (to solve the buyer’s problem). You focus inwards, missing the crucial signals buyers send out that, “I am ready to buy, can you tell me how.”

I could go on and on. Imagine having to wait until the girl knows everything about you before trying to kiss her. Likely, there’ll be no girl to kiss by then.