How to Close Like the WHO

And not the band but the World Health Organisation or WHO for short.

The WHO has come to prominence during the pandemic as elders guiding countries along the path to eradicating the virus.  Eminent doctors and professors staff them with alarming levels of competence on all health matters.

The first diktat they echoed in 2020, as the pandemic erupted, was “test, test, test”. It’s only now mid-2021 when we’ve gotten good at this.

You can have a real test online 24 hours or rock up at a testing centre with results back within a day. You can have a lateral flow immediately at home or a pharmacist using a device similar to a pregnancy test.

Offices, factories and airports conduct real-time tests with results in 25 minutes and in specific variant hit locations, authorities swoop in to test everyone within postcode areas.

Testing and the results give governments information to make decisions and see the effect of their measures, such as a local lockdown or closing of shops. Without testing, they would be blind.

The WHO told us this over a year ago. They know a thing or two.

Where am I going with this? I’ll explain.

As salespeople, advisers, we either advise or sell things to customers or businesses. It doesn’t matter whether you buy into the selling concept or not, but you have to test the customer to see if they want to go ahead or not.

Test, test, test.

Two types of test are needed, and these fall into one of my six ingredients to gaining customer commitment. It’s called “testing the water”. Ask the customer how they’re feeling. Ask them what they’re thinking or seeing so far in your conversation. You wouldn’t jump headfirst into a hot bath; you would test the water first, so do this when selling—a simple, elegant yet regular test.

The second test I talk about is the Vicar close or test. Thinking back to a church wedding ceremony, the vicar turns to the congregation, “Is there anyone here in the congregation who feel this couple should not be married? She does this before she marries the couple, so she is testing the water but somewhat ominously. She’s not asking how the congregation feels but whether they have any reservations.

You, too, can use the Vicar test next time you’re well on the way to reaching a final decision. Whenever you feel you’ve invested some time with the client and need to know their intentions. “I’ve agreed on another meeting with you, so can I safely assume you’ll be using me for your mortgage now?”

Say it with trust built and rapport, and you’ll know for sure.

Like we know if the virus is subsiding and leaving our shores. Without tests, we can’t say.