What is a Trial Close/How to Use a Trial Close

Sales Training Tips: How to Use a Trial Close near Stamford CT

Sales Training Connecticut
One of the strongest practices a salesperson can use is the trial close. Before actually asking for the order, you use a “trial close” to test if the prospect is ready to buy. One of the easiest ways to avoid a “no” when asking for the order is to test if the prospect is ready to say “yes” before asking for the formal purchase commitment. During a recent sales seminar in Hartford, Connecticut, during the training session I referred to the trial close as a “test close” and as a thermometer to check if the prospect is done/ready to buy.

When a sales person is using trial closes, they are asking questions that are testing to see if the prospect is leaning favorably toward the attributes of your product or service. Even if the prospect isn’t giving off visible buying signals, you can still attempt a trial close. Although all sales people should use the trial close technique, it is essential for those in telemarketing since they do not get to see the prospect’s body language.

Sales Training Tips: Explaining a Trial Close near Stamford CT

Examples of trial close questions:
A. How do you feel about ______ ?
B. Are you leaning more toward ______ or ______ ?
C. Do you think this would meet all your needs?
D. How do think your _____ (boss, spouse, children, etc.) would feel about this?
E. What are your thoughts/opinions about how this satisfies ______ (need or problem)?

Notice that in each of the above examples the prospect can respond to the salesperson with a highly favorable response, a middle of the road response, or a somewhat cold or indifferent response. If the response is “hot” (highly favorable), they are most likely ready to be closed. Ask for the order as soon as appropriate and don’t oversell. If the reply is middle of the road you know the prospect is not ready to be closed and needs to warm up more to your product or service. It is likely that you need to establish more value and allow the prospect to understand how their needs are will be satisfied. If the response is indifferent or cold you have a clear signal a great deal more value needs to be established, objections need to be addressed or that your service is not a good fit for the particular prospect.

How Sales Training Clients in Stamford, CT Used the Trial Close

While doing a sales training for firm in Stamford, they found the trial close made their presentations both more effective as well as time efficient. The presentations became more effective because it allowed the reps to continually tailor the presentations to where the prospect was interested, or needed further reinforcement of value offered. It also served as a way to uncover objections early. Whether a prospect showed excitement for the value offered or was hesitant, each rep learned to structure the presentation for the individual. Previously they had a standard presentation/script with each prospect that covered all of the company’s facts and related benefits. It was a wonderful PowerPoint presentation that addressed all the key elements. However, reps would treat people the same, check that this point and that point was presented, and then went for the close. The simple act of asking trial close questions throughout the presentation elevated their listening skills and allowed them to slow down and build value where needed. In other cases, they avoided boring interested prospects, kept them engaged and moved more directly to closing. In all cases, sales morale, efficiency, confidence, and closing percentages improved.

Sample Trial Closes:

Do you see this giving you the protection and security you need?

Real Estate:
Is this a location (or home) you could see your children enjoying?


Does our combination on quality control and shipping systems exceed your expectations?

The reasons salespeople may want to use a trial close could be because it can tell you when to ask for the order, and often reduces the length of the sales presentation. First, by asking any number of “feeler” questions, you can get a pulse on where the prospect is in the buying process – as in, whether they have made up their mind or still need convincing. Asking questions helps give you the knowledge necessary to know where they stand. Second, the sales talk is usually shortened from this. The sales talk shortened is obviously advantageous because you can close the sale faster, but also because it’s less likely that anything will be said that would interrupt the sale.

In short, you will know whether the prospect is ready to buy when using a trial closes. For example, while in the sales presentation, ask the prospect about how effectively they feel your product/service is solving a particular need. If they give a favorable response, you can close. If not, you’re in the same position as before and still have time to establish more value before they start giving strong “no’s”. The trial close acts as your warning light if the response is negative, and gives you the green light to close confidently if it’s positive.

Closing can be scary because it means you may be rejected. Because many salespeople fear rejection, they put it off as long as possible. By learning and applying the trial close, it gives you the confidence to know it is safe to close and get the commitment. Practice the trial close and it will become second nature.

The trial close is essential to knowing how your prospect feels about what is being presented and if they are ready to buy. Immediately start making it part of every sales presentation.


Write two trial closes. They should act as a road map to see if your prospect needs more value established before being asked to buy or if they are ready – Hot to Move Forward.

Trial Close 1: ______________________________________________________________________________

Trial Close 2: ______________________________________________________________________________

Mark Anthony presents sales training and customer service workshops in Connecticut and throughout the country. For more tips or information on training and one-on-one coaching, call (203) 987-3570.