One of the more powerful closing tactics is the sales takeaway. This tactic is where the salesperson switches from trying to get the prospect to buy the product to trying to take away the option for the prospect to buy the product.

How to Do a Sales Takeaway
Here are a couple ways to take away the product that you are selling.

Express Doubt
Express doubt that the prospect needs what you sell or is the right person to talk with. Here are some examples:

• I do not know if you need what we provide.
• I do not know if you are a good fit with what we do.
• I do not know if we can help you in the same way that we have helped others.
• I do not know if you are interested in those improvements.
• I do not know if you are concerned about those areas.
• I do not know if you are the right person to speak with.
• I do not know if it makes sense for us to talk.
• Maybe this is not the right time for you to look at this purchase.
• Maybe we are not the right product for you.
• Maybe this is more than you need right now.

When in Doubt, Call It Out
If you start seeing some warning signs that the prospect does not need what you sell or is not very interested, you could perform a sales takeaway by calling out what you are concerned about and playing it back to the prospect. For example, if a prospect does not appear to have any pain or challenges, you could reply with something like this:

Well, it sounds like you guys have done a good job of putting all of the right pieces in place. Maybe it does not make sense for us to spend too much time talking.

Or if the prospect has a pretty good system in place, you could perform a take- away by sharing your concern with something like this:

Well, I am a little concerned. You seem very interested in our system, and that is great. But your current system is working pretty well. I am worried that our teams may spend a lot of valuable time, and then you might have trouble getting funding for this because the current system is working pretty well.

When to Do a Sales Takeaway
You may read those sales takeaway examples and wonder why a salesperson would ever say anything like that to a prospect. The key thing here is when to do the take- away as there are certain moments where this can be a good thing to do. One simple way to look at this is that you may want to do a sales takeaway when your prospect is “on the fence” and between the positions of interested in moving forward and not interested at all. To help picture that, here are three potential positions that your prospect could be in:

  • Position #1—Positive (Interested): This is where the prospect is displaying a high level of interest in your product.
  • Position #2—Neutral (On the Fence): This where the prospect could be described as indifferent or undecided regarding where he or she stands on purchasing your product.
  • Position #3—Negative (Not Interested): This is a prospect who is clearly communicating no interest in purchasing what you sell either in what he or she says or by not responding at all.

When you can lay out those three situations, it is easy to see that it only makes sense to perform a takeaway when a prospect is on the fence as you might be able to trigger some movement in one direction or another. For prospects who are interested, you would never want to do a takeaway because the prospect appears to be moving forward. For prospects who are not interested, there is no reason to do a takeaway because the prospect has already performed his or her own takeaway.