The Secret Sauce to Increasing Your Close Rate

Increasing your close rate isn’t determined by how good of a closer you are.  That can help.  But it’s not the total solution.

It was just another busy day at the Best Buy store that I managed and I got pulled into a computer package sale.  This lady came in looking for a new computer to do graphic design stuff with.  She was tired of how slow her old computer was.  It was also limited in it’s features because it was 6 years old at the time.

So I went through all the “typical” questions so many sales trainers and processes teach for increasing your close rate.

“What will you be using it for?”

“What are some of the features that are really important to you?”

“If you had your perfect computer what could you do with it?”

“What other devices are you currently using for your design work?”

“What was your ideal budget for this purchase?”

Yada yada yada yada.  You get the point.

I found the perfect solution with every feature and benefit she could ask for.  It was well within her price point. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t deliver on all of her request.

And she left without buying!

How To Eliminate “The One That Got Away” Syndrome

As sales leaders, we hear countless stories about “the one that got away”.

So what’s the cause of that?  Is it because they didn’t figure out the correct close to use?  Is it because they didn’t build rapport?  What really causes this to happen?

More often than not, it comes down to the quality and the types of questions that the sales person is asking.

Good questions stir up emotions.  Why is that important?

Danish marketing expert, Martin Lindstrom, addressed this in his article “90% Of All Purchasing Decisions Are Made Subconsciously”.

Asking The Right Questions Are Key To Stirring Up Emotions

Most of our purchasing is done based on emotional triggers.  When we ask the right questions we start to stir up all the necessary emotions that trigger a response to buy.

Without you getting your customer emotionally involved in your product or service, you won’t create the triggers that cause your customer to want to buy, and you won’t be increasing your close rate.

This is why my computer customer that I mentioned earlier walked away without purchasing.  I matched up all the “specs” she was looking for.  It could do everything she “needed” it to do.  But she wasn’t emotionally involved in that moment with my solution.

I didn’t stir up the pain of her current solution.  Nor did I inspire her to feel the pleasure of what it would be like to work with the solution I was offering.

What types of questions do you need to ask to stir up the emotions that trigger your customer to buy?

Great Questions To Stir Up Customers Emotions


  • What types of issues are your experiencing that are causing you to not have the results you’re looking for?  Here you are finding out what the customer is really looking for.  What ever result they are not getting that they mention is ultimately what they are looking for from your product or service.
  • How is that impacting you?  This brings them mentally to the state they are in when they are not getting the result they want.
  • How does that make you feel?  This now stirs up the emotion during that state and then causes them to verbalize it.  This is sales people get uncomfortable.  They think it might be weird for the customer.  But your customer feels these emotions every time they are disappointed with the lack of result.  They will be happy to talk about it.
    • Tell me a little more about that?  Sometimes you’ll need to ask this when you know they haven’t really expounded enough.  When you aren’t quite sure what they mean.  Asking for clarity is always a good thing.  The customer feels like you really are interested.  It also helps you get clear on where you really need to go with your next question.
  • If you weren’t having that issue, how do you think that would impact you?  Here you are providing a pathway for the brain to relate to the issue being corrected.  By doing this you have a pathway to take them from pain to pleasure.  This will help the customer visualize life with their problem corrected.  This will also give you the opportunity to tie your solution to that picture later in the sales process.
  • How do you think that would make you feel?  This is now connecting the emotion to the issue being eliminated or corrected.  This is what will also create leverage for them to want to make a change and purchase.

People don’t buy unless they know or can imagine that your product or service will eliminate the negative emotion of their problem.  By asking them emotionally charged questions and letting them speaking through their answers, you are allowing them to focus on the emotions that are a MUST to motivate them to make a change by purchasing your product or service.

If you can teach your sales team to do this, you’ll be increasing your close rate and you will see your performance increase across the board!