Last updateWed, 01 Jul 2020 1pm

How to turn over

There are three basic types of Turnovers that I will explain in the course of how to turn over.  They are the Technical Turnover, the Formal Turnover, and the Second Voice Turnover.

The Technical Turnover is one where you simply bring in another person to answer a question or to give some additional technical information.  In these situations, you can either continue the sale yourself or completely turn over the sale to the expert that you are bringing in.  The key is to let the incoming salesperson know if they are continuing the sale, or simply answering a question, then leaving.

I would say, “Thank you” to the incoming person to let them know that I am going to complete the sale and that they should back out.  On the other hand I might say, “You’re in good hands” to the customer to let the incoming salesperson know that they are going to complete the sale and that I am backing out.

The steps of the Technical Turnover are:

  1. Let your prospect know that you are going to call in the “Technical Expert” to answer their question.
  2. Introduce the Technical Expert by name and justification.
  3. Review your prospect’s question with the expert.
  4. Either excuse yourself and leave if the expert is completely taking over the sale, or tell the expert “Thank you” to indicate that you are remaining with your prospect.

The Formal Turnover is one where the sale is completely turned over to another salesperson.  You are then out of the picture and shouldn’t be anywhere near the balance of the presentation.

The steps for the Formal Turnover are:

  1. Excuse yourself from the prospect for “just a second” or give a hand signal to your fellow salesperson to let them know you need help.  (It is optional whether you let the prospect know you are getting the “expert”) By the way, never leave merchandise out on the counter while doing a turnover.
  2. Get the expert.
  3. Introduce the expert by name and justification.
  4. Follow the four criteria for turning over a sale.
  5. Let your prospect know that they are in good hands and excuse yourself from the prospect.

The four criteria for a Turnover

The four criteria for a turnover are the things that you need to inform the incoming salesperson about in a non-pushy, non-aggressive manner.  Giving the incoming salesperson this information will make it a smooth and comfortable transition from you to the new salesperson for you, the incoming salesperson and, most importantly, the customer.  In addition, having this information gives the incoming salesperson a much greater chance of not only making the sale but in making the customer feel they are getting the best service possible. 

The Four Criteria are:

  1. The reason for the turnover
  2. The objection the customer gave
  3. The price (whether discussed or not)
  4. An opportunity for a non-business conversation

Regarding price, make sure you tell the incoming salesperson if you have discussed price, the price range you have been showing and/or that we haven’t discussed price.  This will give the incoming salesperson and the customer an opportunity to start discussing the price and it may just be that they were embarrassed to tell you that you started to high, for example.  The opportunity for a non-business conversation will give the incoming salesperson the opportunity to establish a relationship with the customer and help further eliminate a fear the customer may have.  The name of the game is building relationships and anything you, as the outgoing salesperson, can do will help close the sale. 

The Second Voice Turnover

The Second Voice Turnover is simply a group of people working together in order to close a sale. Should a man be waiting on a man, and the customer isn’t sure his wife would like this item, it may be time for a second voice turn-over. Call in a female, ask her to try the piece on, she comments how much she loves it and thus the sale is made. You can call someone else in by saying that, “they have one of these,” or “this is Bob’s favorite, he merchandises this category,” etc.

There is also a technique called the “Right Hand Rule.” Any time you call another salesperson in for their opinion, make sure you put the piece that you want them to recommend in your right hand. The incoming salesperson will then know, since we have previously communicated, that the one in my right hand is the one I want you to recommend. I just spent 45 minutes with this customer, I know they are about to say yes, I just need someone else to come in and confirm the decision. I really don’t care which one the incoming salesperson likes the best or which one is more expensive, I just need someone to confirm the one in my right hand. Should it be an item that you cannot pick up, then point to it with your right hand.


Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit Brad’s website at www.iastraining.com.