You have done everything right. You established rapport with the customer, you identified a need for your product, you asked good questions, you made your presentation, you asked for commitment…but instead of a “yes,” you hear a stall: “Let me think about it.” “Call us next week; we want to mull this over.”

Even veteran salespeople usually are at a loss for a way to overcome stalls. After all, if customers have no specific objection but simply tell you they want to put more thought into a buying decision, how can you argue without making them suspicious or angry?

Most sales training programs have nothing very useful to say about this. But here is Action Selling’s answer: You don’t argue. Our sales training courses and sales coaching sessions teach that a stall is the customer’s way of saying, “I’m not quite sold yet; sell me a little more.” So never challenge a stall. Instead, just comply with the customer’s wish: Sell a little more.

Beat stalls with TFBR

The best way to do this is by using the TFBR process that Action Selling’s sales training programs recommend as the optimum way to structure sales presentations. Instead of presenting a long laundry list of features that may or may not interest the customer, you simply work quickly through a short series of TFBRs:

  • Tie-Back – Connect to a need that you and the customer have already agreed upon.
  • Feature – Describe a feature of your product that relates to the need.
  • Benefit – How will the feature meet the customer’s need?
  • Reaction – Ask how the customer perceives this as a solution.

Our sales training courses and sales coaching initiatives teach that you always should go into a presentation with at least three TFBRs, tied to three important needs that you and the customer have previously agreed upon.

Furthermore, you should have one extra TFBR in your back pocket, as a reserve. So suppose you finish your presentation, ask for commitment and, instead of a “yes,” you hear a stall. What do you do? You pull out your reserve TFBR and use it to do what the customer is asking you to do: Sell a little more. Then you ask for commitment again.

In other words, overcoming stalls does not require that you master some new, exotic, specialized sales skills. It’s just a matter of doing a little more of what you’ve already learned to do.

You will be amazed at how often this method lets you turn a stall into a “yes”. This is yet another reason why Action Selling succeeds while 90 percent of sales training programs fail. Try it. Practice it. Soon you will be unstoppable.

For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling.  He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations.  Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).