Jan 13, 2009

Increase Your Sales with Take Away Selling

How to Increase Your Sales with Takeaways

If you're like me, you're always seeking ways to boost sales success. Whether in an established business or a start-up company, it is imperative to discover ways to take our numbers from 80% to 250% sales success.

On of the techniques I've come to utilize is the powerful sales technique called a TAKEAWAY.

What is a takeaway?

A takeaway is a psychological trigger that lets the prospect know that they CAN'T HAVE what you used to offer at this time. The takeaway is literally telling them "Well, if you'd responded to the letter we sent you six months ago, you could have received the $3,000 discount we were offering for all customers who converted. Because you waited, you now have to pay the conversion fee of $3,000."

That's a take away! Now a take away (or takeaway) is truly only a take away IF you GIVE BACK the original offer to the buyer. In the above example, you could have the prospect write a letter that they never saw the original offer, and if they had, they would have acted. You could explain that "Senior management is approving this discount for this one time, but if they refuse the offer now their name will go in a file to indicate they saw the offer, understood the terms, and refused to accept it. In the future, they will pay the higher price."

Of course, only use this if it is TRUE. Otherwise, you're employing deceptive selling tactics, which I do not advocate. If you can't sell it truthfully, you've got a crappy product. And, why would you sell a crappy product? So, be honest, you'll sell as much or more than the hucksters who make stuff up to sell their wares.

Don't Use a Takeaway As A Low-brow Selling Technique

I've seen a take away selling or closing described as someone who says:

“It makes no difference to me whether you buy this X or not. You have until tomorrow to make a decision and reserve your X or not. If I don’t hear from you by noon, I’ll know you did not want it. No pressure. Bye.”
That is NOT take away selling! That is a dishonest arm-bending process I DON'T recommend using. You'll turn your prospect off and NEVER get a chance to sell to them again. Using this technique is like admitting you suck at selling (they weren't sold) so instead you'll go low-brow to get the close. Don't use this technique - this is what gives salespeople a bad reputation!

What a take away is not:

I've seen another article on the web from a domain hawk seller who claims that a takeaway is something that creates scarcity, or an offer that makes someone feel as if they will only have access to something for a limited time. So, that would include limited release e-books, sale items, buying 3 for 1, and that kind of thing. While those are good tools and they do create scarcity, those are two DIFFERENT sales techniques. One, the LIMITED OFFER, or LIMITED AVAILABILITY, is not the same as a take away. The other, the PACKAGED DISCOUNT, is another tool related, but not the same as a take away.

The LIMITED OFFER/LIMITED AVAILABILITY is highly effective, and I'll describe that in a different post. Is the limited offer a take away? Kind of, but it is a precise selling tool that requires definition on its own.

The Take Away Sales Method Is Not Math

Another salesperson describes a take away as: "A take away is where the prospect is offered a product with A, B, and C options for X price. When the prospect cannot pay X, but only offers Y, you must remove something to achieve the lower price. The answer is to remove B and C or take C off the table. That is a form of a take away selling process." I agree that this process is a good form of negotiation. I don't call this a take away, though. This is the GIVE SOME TO GET SOME negotiation technique. It could also be 6 minus 2 = 4. There's a difference between this and take away selling.

The Take Away Hints At Something They COULD Have Had, But Can't

The real intent of the "take away" in selling is to imply that something was MORE valuable BEFORE, but NOW it is worth LESS. This would seemingly make the prospect feel like you just gave them a negative, which is true, in a way, but once you GIVE BACK the take away, you've now empowered the prospect to do something NOW rather than wait.

The Take Away Is EMPOWERED When You Give It Back!

I describe a take away as saying "We used to offer rooms with a view. The only ones left are those that face the mountain." Then, when closing, if I discover that the ocean view room came back into inventory, I can sell that room and the prospect is more pleased. That's an example of a take away and give back that can be successfully used to close a prospect. You cannot offer this if it is not true, so make sure you're using it when it is appropriate and not just as a manipulation.

Find something with your product that you're no longer including or offering. Then make a deal with management that if you can get the prospect to agree now to include it, for the next quarter only, at the old price, then offer the deal to your prospects. That's using the take away (and give back) to increase your sales.

Let me know how the take away works for you to increase your sales success.
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