The Sales Green Light

Every sales manager says you must get the green light. They say you need to trail close to your client. What does this mean?  One of the hardest things to do in sales is “Ask for the business” or continuities with a closing process. I would say the second hardest thing is to confidently use green light statement or questions effectively. Your green light is used to drive urgency, enforce a timeline, and gauge your progress. A green light can be as simple as this:

“If we complete all the processes in this interaction, If we effectively meet all your concerns and objections, and we come to an agreement on both sides, do we have an opportunity to earn your business? Yes or No? “

There are a few things that sales pro’s need to keep in mind when practicing a good green light.

Don’t forget it:

Too often I work with small and major companies sales teams and I can’t believe how often this step is left out of their process. The green light mixed with commitments is what turns a sales professional into a professional instead of a fancy billboard.  If you leave this step out your client is window shopping and you are only there to pass out information. Passing out information is not a very good way to get a paycheck. Focus on your process and try and make sure you’re implementing a trail close or green light statement or question.

Do not give a presentation until a green light is accomplished:

Effective green lights are always asked before the full presentation is giving in any sale. If you give your presentation prematurely without some sort of commitment from your client or assurance, then you appear to again be giving out information to a client. They are not held to any commitment. There is no urgency or level of understanding that a true transaction will be taking place at some point. It is ok to ask but your client needs to respect your effort and time. You need to get confirmation from your client that if you present them with the most amount of value possible is there an opportunity to continue the relationship. This is a green light.

Asses the green light strength leave before you implement:

A green light can be used as a powerful tool as long as you know how you assess and rate the question for strength. Asking for a “Hard” green light is different than asking for “Soft” green light. Examples:

Hard Green Light (used when a client throws you in a corner):

Listen if I give you this deal. If I give you this product for this price! Then you’re going to buy it and sign right now! Correct?!” this is aggressive and intrusive but is to only be used if your client is aggressive and intrusive.

Soft Green Light (used based on the intensity of the group or client):

“Hey John. Let me ask you this. If we come to an agreement and both of us are happy. Could we do business at some point?” This to be used for clients that are pretty much solid and have a good relationship with you


Why not ask? What is the problem with asking?

Most sales pros freeze when they have to ask this because they are afraid of the answer. Listen to this, if you have a client that gets mad when you ask this question then they would have not bought any product from you anyway. If your client takes offense with this question then they are not buyers but people who would like to window shop you and your product.

This could also mean that you asked for the green light before rapport was established. Keep in mind timing of when you ask.


Keeping these things in mind when going for a trail close or green light will help you effectively use this step as a tool to close the deal.

Happy selling!  

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