Prime Prospects with the “Yes” Ladder

By Dallas Ziebell
Marketing Manager, Lessiter Media

From the initial cold call through proposal, price negotiations, commitment and renewal, the selling process can present several different hurdles to overcome along the way, and a "Yes" is never guaranteed until the signature comes back. But there are two techniques that, when used together, can give you an advantage in your sales efforts and make that "Yes" come a little bit easier. They are called the "priming principle" and the "Yes" ladder.

Crowdspring describes priming as "the process of presenting someone with a word, image (or sentence) that prepares them to be more receptive to a particular point of view. Priming can influence action as well as thought."

The "Yes" ladder is a form of priming, and as PhoneBurner explains, "is a methodology that's aimed at getting your prospect to say 'Yes' to a specific situation or question. This could be agreeing to meet again, watching a product demo, or signing a contract. Building commitment and consistency goes hand-in-hand with the 'Yes' ladder. Think of the 'Yes' ladder as an actual, physical ladder, and each rung you climb up is another 'Yes' question you ask your prospect."

Here's an example they share of how a door-to-door salesperson, "Jim," uses the "Yes" ladder to secure free estimates on windows and roofing:

Jim: “This is 116 Main Street, right?”
Customer: “Yes”

Jim: “And we’re still in Dorchester?
Customer: “Yes.”

Jim: “Awesome. And you’d probably say you’ve got about 15 to 20 windows on this house, is that right?”
Customer: “Yes.”

*It goes on for a few more easy “Yes” questions*

Jim: “Okay. And your phone number, is that a 978?"
Customer: “Yes, 978-555-6652.”

Jim: “Okay great. Like I said, we’ll have people in the area all day tomorrow giving free estimates. You’ll be here around the same time tomorrow, or will sometime later in the day work better?”
Customer: “Yes, tomorrow around this time works.”

As you can see, the "Yes" ladder priming technique can give you a psychological advantage in your sales discussions and make the "Yes" come a little bit easier. Just follow the 4 simple guidelines below to apply the "Yes" ladder to your own sales strategy!


Apply the "Yes" Ladder to your Sales Strategy