Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.


Beware of “risk alarms”here are three:

  1. You THINK that nothing’s wrong, but you have entered the sales Twilight Zone. Something is happening and there is no rhyme, reason or explanation. The prospect is excited one day and no returned calls the next. Reason? Too many perceived risks.
  2. There is also the Charlie Brown factor – the buyer is wishy-washy. Reason? Too many perceived risks.
  3. There is also the tightwad factor. some people take forever to part with a dollar. Reason? Too many perceived risks.

Reprinted from the column on risk:

There is ONE technique that can work to both find the risk, and close the deal. BUT it’s a delicate one that requires mastery through preparation and practice.

The strategy is called: What’s the risk? What’s the reward?
When a prospect hesitates, you simply ask him or her to list the risks of purchase. Actually write them down. Prompt others. If the prospect says “I’m not sure.” You ask, “could it be…” After you feel the list is complete, ask the prospect to list the rewards. Write them down, and embellish as much as possible without puking on the prospect.

Then eliminate the risks one by one with lead in phrases like:

  • Suppose we could…
  • Did you know that…
  • I think we can…

Then you simply ask, can you see any other reasons not to proceed?