The Take Away Close Examples
If you sell a product or service that comes in more than one configuration and that has a value that increases when additional features are added, you can take away from the Take-Away Closing Technique. This technique is based on the universal human reluctance to having something taken from them. It works well in many sales situations and is fairly easy to learn.
How it Works
Let's say that you are trying to close a deal on a home renovation project and your customer is reluctant to move forward. The Take Away close could be used, for example, like this:
- Sales Pro-"I understand that you may not be ready to move forward with the whole project, so what if we pushed the kitchen renovation, that included the island that your wife really wanted and the custom granite counter top, off until next year or the year after?"
- Customer-"I don't think my wife would be too happy about that."
- Sales Pro-"Well, maybe we push off either the basement renovation that includes your sports bar or the roof replacement, though I think we both agree that replacing your roof is not something you should put off. Which project, the kitchen your wife wants, the sports bar that you want or the roof replacement do you think we should take away?"
Though not always, by revisiting why a customer wanted certain services or features and suggest that they do not purchase them, they close themselves by imagining getting something that doesn't include everything they want.
Another Way to Use the Take Away Close
While suggesting to remove features or services is pretty simple and doesn't take a lot of "sales courage," suggesting to cancel the sale all together takes a lot of confidence. Similar in nature to the Hard Close Technique, using the Take Away Close to suggest canceling the sale is a last-ditch effort to close a sale.
If your customer is really struggling to move forward, making a suggestion that they may not be ready to acquire your product and that they may want to consider either "getting by" or considering a "cheaper alternative," may just spur them to buy. What happens is that when your customer senses that you are not going to sell them what they want, they often get more aggressive with their pursuit.
This works much like the old expression that "people want what they cannot have." If your customer doesn't think that they can own your product because you may not sell it to them, they often want it more. Of course, this only works if your customer has some interest in your product and sees some intrinsic value.
When Not to Use
Never use the take away close as your first means of closing a sale. While this may seem obvious, many rookie sales professionals get nervous when presenting a proposal to a customer that includes more than just the basic features. Their first reaction to any customer objection is to lower the price by either removing their profit or by discounting the value of some of the more expensive features.
You should also avoid using the "Take Away Close" when removing features involves what makes your product or service attractive. If you offer to remove a feature without first discovering what features are "must haves" and which are "nice to haves," you may turn the customer off completely.
A Final Word
The Take Away Close really takes some time to master. Though it sounds simple at first, the real secret is learning when to use it. The danger is always using the take away close and having a customer agree to purchase a lesser product when they were close to committing to a larger sale.
Or worse yet, if you are too convincing when suggesting that the customer does not purchase anything, that they follow your instructions. In many cases, a customer who feels that they cannot buy from you ends up buying the same product from someone else.