Feedback is crucial to a successful sales presentation. Without it, we don't know 1) if we're doing a good job, 2) if the prospect is tracking with us as we speak, 3) when we need to change our approach or 4) when, if at all, it's time to close.
The best way to get feedback is through the use of trial closes and tie downs.
A trial close is a smaller close that let's you know whether or not your prospect is ready to close. Trial closes are softer than an actual close and must be used to move the sale along...especially when you're looking to make a point at the end the preliminary segments of your sales presentation
A tie down does is just what it says it does, but in a metaphorical sense. Good salespeople use tie downs to gain agreements from their prospects to keep the momentum going in a sales presentation. Tie downs are small questions that you can ask of your prospect to ensure they are following your presentation and agree with what you're saying and like what you have to offer.
Mike Brooks, know as "Mr. Inside Sales" recommends these trial closes when you are making a sales presentation.
1. After giving any part of your presentation, you can ask, “Are you with me so far?" You can vary this with, “How does that sound?” or, “Do you see what I mean?” and, “Does that make sense?” Always listen carefully to not only what they say, but to how they say it. And always allow a few seconds after they respond to give them time to add something else. 2. Anytime you give a benefit, ask, “How would you use that?" or, “Could you use that?" or, “Would that work for you?” or, “Would that be of benefit in your situation?” Again, LISTEN to what and how they respond… 3. Another good question to ask throughout your presentation is, “Do you have any questions so far?"This is one of the best questions to ask, and it’s also one of the least used. You’d be amazed by the kinds of questions you’ll get, and each one reveals what your prospect is thinking. You must use this question often! 4. Trial closes are always good – “Does this seem to be the kind of solution you are looking for?" or, “How is this sounding so far?” or, with a smile in your voice, “Am I getting close to having a new client yet?” Even though that sounds cheesy, you’d be amazed by how it will often break the ice and get your prospect to lower his/her guard! 5. When you're done with your presentation, always ask, “What haven’t I covered yet that is important to you?"
As you can see, trial closes are very natural questions that when used properly, help you stay on the same page as the prospect and really control the sales process.
Much like trial closes, tie downs can be used easily and seamlessly in your sales process to elicit proper responses from your prospects. Mike Brooks maintains that when used properly, tie downs can actually double your close rate on your calls and sales presentations. Here's a fairly comprehensive list of tie downs that he's come up with that really work: