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Date: July 1, 2009






Many years ago, when I first became involved with Sales and Marketing, I became aware of a very powerful Sales Technique. At the time it was being called the “Alternative Close Technique”

Over the years, this has become known simply,  as “The Either/or Technique.”

It works for just about everything, and it is a powerful way of getting to a positive outcome.

I was working for 3M at the time, in our divisions Technical Service and Research Laboratories.  I had come up with an idea for a new product in collaboration with one of our clients.  The company thought it was a good idea, and we set up a development team to get the product to market. 

We needed the product tested by a large group of customers. So, we asked 10 of our sales force across the U.S.A. to select 3 of their best customers and ask them if they would mind running a “Field Test” for us. 

After two weeks, we only had 3 “Test Accounts”…  not enough!  Interestingly, the three test accounts were from the same Sales Person.  He was the only one of the ten that was able to secure the three accounts…

Jim, was in Tulsa Oklahoma, and a good friend of mine.  I gave Jim a call and asked him, how he was able to secure these accounts, because we did not have any luck with the other 9 sales people. 

I asked him point blank…  “What is your secret, Jim?”

He laughed.  He told me he only called three clients, the ones that he felt were the best fit for our criteria of being a test account, and then asked them….”When do you want me to come in to field test a new product we are developing, Next week or the Week after?”

Aha! You know those moments when everything seems so very clear. Both Answers were good for our test program... 

We then asked the rest of the sales people to use the same line of questioning with their clients and in less than a week we had all 30 of our “Field Test Accounts”….

If we ask most people for a Yes or No answer? We will most times get an answer which we do not want.  However, if we ask an “Either/Or” question, we will usually get a response that we would like to have.

i.e. “What type of restaurant would you like to dine at tonight, A Sea Food or Japanese restaurant?

How many times do you give your prospects/customers a chance to "slip" away without a sell? Is the way you sell to your customers making the most of your products/services? Sometimes, prospects and customers simply need a gentle nudge in the right direction.

  • Always speak about your products/services with enthusiasm
  • Assume your prospect/customer wants/needs what you have to offer
  • Use encouraging words and phrases such as "when you buy this product" versus "if you buy this product".
  • Use the “Either/Or” technique, to gently move them in the direction you would like them to move towards.
  • Ask for the sale! Later...ask again!
    Tony Alessandra, jokingly says, “Ask for the order, If they, say NO….  Ask again!They may have misunderstood the question you were asking them.”

I have recently posted on my blog  an article called the “Five Step Sales Process for Success:Full Sales”, which is well aligned with this CRM Tip…  It is all about building Rapport and Trust.  http://www.kjbarrettcrm.com/kjbarrettcrmblog/

If you follow these tips, you'll be surprised at the number of customers that walk away with your products and services.

Also remember that you can trial run one of the best software programs for Automating Your Marketing!!

Also, see the "Infusionsoft's Double Your Sales Guarantee" in one year by using their Software. Take the "Infusionsoft Double your Sales Challenge". 

If you want to grow your business instead of just manage it, then you need Automated Follow-up Marketing software. Discover the difference.


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Kevin Barrett

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