Seal the Deal

What can you say to make prospects say yes?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the June 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The height of frustration is when prospects read your pitch, have it genuinely pique their interest and then do nothing. Grr!

It's called consumer inertia--the disposition to do nothing. You might even experience it yourself sometimes. You sincerely like an item, but nothing compels you to buy it.

So how does one tweak a prospect's core impulse to buy? Have a bunker-buster of a closing argument. In-home salespeople are usually armed with a final, penetrating closer if a prospect hasn't already said yes. ("I can offer you 25 percent off if you're able to sign tonight.") They know if they leave without a commitment, the sale is usually lost. The same holds true for TV or radio spots and "silent" salesmen--ads and mailings ( or electronic).

Wise advice on the subject comes from the classic Robert Collier Letter Book, in which the late Collier exhorts, "You must hold over his head a 'Sword of Damocles,' the thread of which may be cut at any moment." Indeed, we're so calloused by the constant onslaught of sales messages that such measures are required. A strong offer can do it. So can pushing an emotional button. One online service closes with: "Enroll now . . . or walk away from this opportunity to finally meet the woman of your dreams." Yikes! Where do I click?!


Jerry Fisher is a freelance copywriter and author of Creating Successful Small Advertising.

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