a classroom full of people facing a blank projector screen with one woman speaking into a microphone

Have You Ever Left an Appointment Without Getting The Signature?

dialogue fundamentals sales techniques Mar 14, 2024

If you answered yes, I want you to think back to that appointment and the moment of truth. What was your closing question? What was your signature dialogue? 

Was leaving without the signature you wanted an exception or is it the rule? In other words, do you find yourself looking back more often than not and wondering, what could I have done differently so that I ended up with a positive decision and a signature?


After 15 years of coaching salespeople of all types, it is clear that the #1 most common cause of missing out on signatures is not asking specifically and directly for the signature.

And the #1 cause of not asking is fear.


Whenever you ask for a signature there is pressure. Pressure on both you and on your client or prospect. And pressure can create fear. Your mouth gets dry, your pulse races and your head feels like it might explode. You have been here before, the moment of truth, and all the voices in your head tell you to ask, go ahead ask, but no words come out. 

This is the moment when you need to rely on training and reflexes. Asking for a signature has to become an automatic response to close your presentations. There is a tried-and-true method for developing a winning signature dialogue that you can rely on to erase your fears and make asking more comfortable.


First, write out your closing question and signature dialogue in your own words. For example – “Looks like we’ve agreed on price and timing. Do you have any other questions? If you will just give me your OK right here, I’ll get all the preliminaries started, fair enough?”


Then, practice it out loud, over and over, until you can say it in your sleep. Repetition is the mother of reflex. Practice it alone. Record it and play it back. Role-play with a partner. Video your close and watch it back with the sound off. How do you look? Calm, cool and collected or nervous and jerky? Pay attention to your body language and facial expression. Sales persuasion is 7% in the words you use, 38% body language, and 55% voice inflection.

Finally, track your results from your experience in the field.

Are you getting signatures with the new dialogue? If yes, repeat. If not, fine-tune. Don’t be too hasty to abandon your new dialogue until you have a fair sample of results. Remember, you can’t fine-tune anything unless it is first consistent.

We have a tendency to practice the beginning of our presentation until it is smooth and natural, but not so much the finish. When you can get off to a good start AND have a polished and predictable finish, the middle will almost always take care of itself.


The Floyd Wickman Team Blog by Mike Pallin

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