In Carew International's Dimensions of Professional Selling (DPS) sales training, the concept of "Response Checks" is introduced as a key component of an effective sales presentation (or any sales discussion). Response Checks are an integral part of solution selling that encourage customer participation and provide valuable insight for the sales professional regarding potential objections as well as the customer's overall acceptance and understanding of the solution being presented.
Be aware that not all Response Checks are created equal! Phrases like, "Am I right?" or "Wouldn't you agree?" lose the intended benefit of the Response Check and can alienate your audience because they come across as insincere, presumptive and even manipulative. Response Checks are only effective when they reflect a sincere effort to gain feedback. When using them, be sure you are prepared for, and then wait for, the customer's response. Not familiar with Response Checks? Here's a recap of the lesson from DPS sales training:
Open-Ended Response Check
Purpose: to check for understanding and acceptance. The open-ended Response Check is lower risk than a closed-ended Response Check.
Example: "How do you feel about the improved delivery schedule I have outlined?"
Closed-Ended Response Check
Purpose: to check for acceptance or rejection. The closed-ended Response Check is more definitive, but higher risk, than open-ended. It solicits a "yes" or "no" response. One would use closed-ended Response Checks when, based on body language or verbal cues, you are confident the customer will respond positively.
Example: "Do you feel the delivery schedule I have outlined will support your inventory reduction goals?"
Purpose: to emphasize an important point or provide thinking time.
Response Checks can be a powerful tool in your efforts to secure the buyer's acceptance, and even ownership, of your solution. Be aware of catch phrases and faux Response Checks that can hinder, rather than facilitate, your connection to customers and your broader sales objective.