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Sales Training Article:

The One Call Close vs. Regular Selling


by Skip Anderson

Selling to Consumers


“One call closing”… it’s an ominous term that’s bandied about in the sales community (along with the term “One Call Closer). This verbiage implies that there are some very special skills involved in this “style” of selling.


Before we get too far into this topic, let me share my definition of The One Call Close:


One Call Close (v): Closing a sale on a prospect’s first appointment when possible, or, if not possible, closing the sale as soon as possible after the first call.


The term “one call closing” is often used to describe selling when it is important to close the sale at the first appointment because, if you don’t, the likelihood of achieving a sale is reduced dramatically. This includes—but is not limited to—selling higher-end products in customers’ homes, selling time-shares where a sales presentation is attended while the prospect is on vacation, home improvement sales, selling educational programs while the prospect is at a campus visit, and so on.


But I don’t believe one call closing requires a special set of sales skills. I believe it requires the same skills every salesperson has (or should have), but in the one-call closer, these skills exist at a very high level of development (one call closers are the Navy Seals or Green Berets of the sales industry). Please allow me to offer the following for your consideration:


Every salesperson should be a one call closer (Read the definition again; doesn’t it apply to you?).


Sales skills which are required to become a successful one-call closer should be the same sales skills that are required of all sales professionals, whether their product or service has a long buying cycle or a very short one. So, whether you sell in consumers’ homes, in a retail store or showroom, on the phone, or in an office, your goal should be to close a sale on a first appointment whenever possible, or if not possible, as soon as possible after the first appointment.


Here are eight strategies to create phenomenal sales performance (disguised as eight strategies to become a one call closer) no matter what type of selling you do:


One Call Closing: 8 Ways to Boost your Sales Effectiveness


1. Give them what they want. Your job is to identify exactly what your prospect needs as quickly as possible, and provide it to them if you are able. This means your approach must be heavy on discovery, and light on convincing. The only way a salesperson can comprehend the needs of his prospect is to efficiently gather information from the prospect that will shed light on the specifics of his needs and wants.


2. Have a system. You can’t be efficient in any endeavor without an efficient system. Follow a selling process, script, or methodology that is proven, that makes sense to you, and most of all, that works. Golfers follow a system. Traffic cops do it. Surgeons do it. So should you.


3. Tie them down. You can’t afford to go forward with your appointment unless you get clear agreement from your prospect that you’re on the right track. If you don’t get agreement, you’ve got to stop and figure out why, remedy the situation, and then proceed. One way to find out if you’re on the right track is to use tie-downs during your presentation. When you present a feature and benefit, follow up with a tie-down, such as, “Can you see how this [insert feature] would save you money?” (If saving money isn’t the prospect’s goal, insert the precise goal of your prospect at the appropriate slot in the tie down). There are hundreds of tie-downs to insert into your sales appointment. You need to use them throughout your presentation to ensure your prospect is on board with what you’re proposing.


4. Be Likable. If people don’t like you, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. The bond created between prospect and salesperson can be strengthened by likability. You’re a human, your prospect is a human, and humans like to deal with people they like.


5. Attract the prospect. You can’t afford to have a prospect only marginally involved in your meeting. Draw them into your conversation and lock them into it (not with force, but with a compelling presence, good questions, generous listening, and appropriate validation of the prospect). Strengthen your relationship, even if your relationship will last only 30 minutes or one or two hours (it’s still a relationship, after all).


6. Ask for the sale. For Pete’s sake, you’ve spent time, energy, and maybe even gasoline expense, on this appointment. Whether you sell in a retail store, at the customer’s site, or on the phone, shouldn’t you do yourself a favor and ask your prospect if they want to buy? Yes! Always!


7. Be ready for objections. Status quo paralysis infects many potential buyers. Be ready for it. Embrace objections and learn how to handle them deftly. Many objections are not real, but are automatic reactions to a salesperson’s closing effort. If you don’t know exactly how to handle your five most common objections (these five objections will probably account for 90% of the objections you will hear from your prospects in the next year), there’s no time like right now to learn.


8. Ask again. If you’re serious about generating revenue (and, why wouldn’t you be?), you’re going to have to ask for the prospect’s business more than once (not in a row, of course, but after you handle objections or answer questions). Don’t apologize for being a salesperson whose mission it is to generate revenue. Pursue revenue with gusto, pride, and reckless abandon! The more often you ask, the more often you will receive.




Skip Anderson is a recognized expert on consumer selling. He is the founder of Selling to Consumers, a sales training and consulting firm dedicated to the achievement of remarkable sales performance. He is a frequent speaker on improving sales performance. Get the free Selling to Consumers Sales Tips Newsletter at


This article ma may be distributed or reproduced as long as an attribution to Selling to Consumers and Skip Anderson are included, along with either a link to this web page (if in electronic form) or a statement including the web page URL (if in print).


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