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 Ask-the-Manager Close


Disciplines > Sales > Closing techniques > Ask-the-Manager Close

Technique | How it works | See also



Tell the customer that you only have limited authority to give discounts and that you will have to ask your manager to give more. You can at this point ask if the customer wants you to do this.

Then go to speak with the manager. Come back and say you have managed to persuade the manager to give an extra discount.


I'm sorry that's all the discount I'm allowed to give. But we're a bit below target and I'm sure if I ask my manager she might shave a little more off for you. Is that ok?
(Goes to rear of store where animated conversation with much hand-waving can be seen. Then returns).
Well, she took some persuading but I said we are nearly there so she agreed to an additional discount of one point seven five percent...

How it works

The basic principle here is that in approaching their manager, the sales person is setting up an exchange: they have put themself out for you, so you are now obliged to do something for them -- like buy the product. This is amplified as the manager can be a fear-inspiring figure of authority, thus making the salesperson a courageous warrior, fighting on behalf of the customer.

Having to ask the manager also puts a break in discounting and some people will pay the given price rather than add the hassle of the manager's intervention.

There are several variants of what happens when you go to speak with the manager, including whether the manager is visible and whether the manager comes to speak with the customer. A simple but effective method is that the customer can see you arguing with the manager and clearly taking some heat on their behalf. You then return with the final offer.

See also

Association principle, Repetition principle

Books on Sales Closing

**** Tom Hopkins, Sales Closing for Dummies, For Dummies, 1998  **** Zig Ziglar, Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale, Berkley Publishing, 1985  *** Stephan Schiffman, Closing Techniques: (That Really Work!), Adams Media, 1999  **** Stephan Schiffman, Getting to 'Closed': A Proven Program to Accelerate the Sales Cycle and Increase Commissions, Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2002  *** Joe Girard, Robert L. Shook, Robert Casemore, How to Close Every Sale, Warner books, 2002 ** Gary Karass, Negotiate to close: How to make more successful deals, Fireside, 1987

Sales Books

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