Closing Sales: Techniques and Steps for a Successful Close
Closing a sale is the final step in the sales process that can make or break the deal. It is the moment when a potential customer decides to buy your product or service or walks away.
While closing sales may seem challenging, it is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. In this guide, we will cover the various techniques and steps involved in closing sales to help you boost your sales revenue and grow your business.
The Importance of Closing Sales
Before we dive into the techniques and steps for closing sales, let us first talk about why it is essential. The obvious reason is that closing sales is what generates revenue for your business.
Without sales, your business would not be able to survive, let alone thrive. But there are other reasons why closing sales is crucial:
When you close a sale, you are not just making a transaction; you are also building a relationship with your customer. A satisfied customer is more likely to come back for repeat business and refer others to your company.
Closing a sale requires a certain level of trust between you and the customer. When you successfully close a sale, you’re establishing that trust, which can lead to more sales in the future.
Meeting customer needs
Ultimately, your goal as a salesperson is to meet the needs of your customers. By closing a sale, you are helping them achieve their goals or solve a problem they have, which can lead to a positive reputation for your company.
Understanding the Sales Closing Process
But what comes next is the most crucial part of the process – closing the sale. It is the point where you convince the prospect to take action and buy from you.
Understanding the sales closing process is essential to improve your closing rate and make more sales.
The closing process refers to the steps you take to get a commitment from a prospect to buy your product or service. Here are the steps involved in the closing process:
Recognizing buying signals
Look for signs that your prospect is ready to buy, such as asking detailed questions or expressing excitement about your product.
Anticipate objections and have responses ready. Addressing objections will help build trust and move the sales process forward.
Asking for the sale
This is where you make the ask. Be confident and clear about what you are asking for.
Now that we have established the importance of closing sales, here is the master list of techniques you can use to close deals successfully.
The Assumptive Close
In this technique, you assume the prospect is going to buy and present them with the next steps to take. For example, “So, would you like to pay with cash or card?”
The Urgency or “Now or Never” Close
Create a sense of urgency by offering a time-limited discount or highlighting the scarcity of your product or service. Create a fear of missing out (FOMO). For example, “This offer is only available until the end of the week.”
The Summary Close
Summarize the benefits of your product or service and ask the prospect if they are ready to buy. For example, “Based on what we’ve discussed, it sounds like our product would be a perfect fit for your needs. Are you ready to move forward with the purchase?”
The Objection Close
Address any objections the prospect may have and provide solutions to overcome them. For example, “I understand your concern about the price, but our product offers unmatched quality and durability that will save you money in the long run.”
The Puppy Dog Close
With the puppy dog close, you allow the prospect to test your product or service for a limited time. For example, you might say, “Take this product home and try it out for a week. If you’re not completely satisfied, you can return it for a full refund.”
The Inoculation Close
This technique involves addressing any objections or concerns the prospect may have before they have a chance to raise them. An example of an inoculation close statement could be: “I understand that price is a concern for you, but let me show you how our product can actually save you money in the long run.”
Note that although they sound similar, objection close and inoculation close are not the same.
The objection close is a technique where you directly address a prospect’s objection and offer a solution to resolve it. For example, “I understand that you have concerns about the price, but let me show you how our product can save you money in the long run.”
In contrast, the inoculation close is a preemptive technique where you anticipate potential objections and address them before they arise. This technique involves acknowledging and addressing concerns before the prospect raises them. For example, “Some customers have been concerned about the product’s durability, but let me show you our rigorous testing process that ensures its quality.”
The Takeaway Close
This technique involves taking away an aspect of the product or service to create a sense of loss in the prospect. For example, “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to offer this discount after today. Would you still like to take advantage of it?” This can be effective because it creates a sense of urgency and loss aversion in the prospect.
The Direct Close
This technique involves simply asking for the sale. For example, “So, would you like to move forward with the purchase?” This can be effective because it is straightforward and puts the ball in the prospect’s court to make a decision.
Although they sound similar, the question close and direct close techniques are not the same.
The question close technique involves asking a series of questions to lead the prospect to a positive response and ultimately closing the sale. For example, “Would you like to move forward with the purchase today?”
On the other hand, the direct close technique involves asking for the sale in a straightforward manner without beating around the bush. An example of a direct close statement could be: “Are you ready to make the purchase?”
The Option Close
This technique presents the prospect with two options to choose from, both of which result in a sale. For example, “So, would you like to purchase the basic package or the premium package?”
This can be effective because it gives the prospect a sense of control and allows them to choose the option that best fits their needs. It is also known as the “either/or close” or “alternative close”.
The First Person Close
This technique involves placing the prospect in the position of already owning the product or service. For example, “How will you feel when you start using our product and see an immediate increase in your revenue?” This can be effective because it helps the prospect visualize the benefits of the product or service and creates a sense of ownership.
The Standing Room Only Close
This technique involves creating a sense of urgency and scarcity by emphasizing that the product or service is in high demand and there are only a limited number of units available. An example of a standing room only close statement could be: “We only have a few units left, and they are selling fast. If you don’t act now, you might miss out on this opportunity.”
The Reverse Close
This technique involves turning the tables on the prospect by asking them to sell you on why they should not buy the product or service. An example of a reverse close statement could be: “I’m curious, can you tell me why you think this product may not be a good fit for your needs?”
The Secondary Close
This technique involves using a secondary benefit of the product or service to close the sale after the primary benefit has been rejected. An example of a secondary close statement could be: “I understand that the price may be a concern, but let me remind you that this product also comes with a lifetime warranty.”
The Special Offer Close
This technique involves offering a special discount or incentive for the prospect to make a purchase immediately. An example of a special offer close statement could be: “If you make a purchase today, we can offer you a 10% discount.”
The Emotional Close
This technique involves appealing to the prospect’s emotions by highlighting how the product or service can improve their life or solve a problem. An example of an emotional close statement could be: “Imagine how much easier your life would be if you didn’t have to worry about this problem anymore. Our product can help you achieve that.”
The Combination Close
This technique involves using a combination of different closing techniques to persuade the prospect to make a purchase. An example of a combination close statement could be: “If you act now, you can take advantage of our special offer, and you’ll also be getting a product that can improve your life in so many ways. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Make the decision to invest in your future today.”
The Choice Close
This technique involves giving the prospect a choice between two options, both of which lead to a sale. For example, “Would you like to purchase this product with a one-time payment or through our financing option?”
Note that the option close and choice close techniques are similar but they are not exactly the same.
The option close technique involves offering the prospect a choice between two options, both of which lead to a sale. For example, “Would you like to purchase the standard package for $100 or the premium package for $150?”
The choice close technique, on the other hand, involves presenting the prospect with a choice between buying and not buying. For example, “Would you like to buy the product today or wait until later?”
While both techniques involve offering a choice to the prospect, the main difference lies in the options presented. The option close offers two choices that both lead to a sale, while the choice close presents a choice between buying and not buying.
The Assumptive Close
This technique involves assuming that the prospect has already made the decision to buy and finalizing the sale. For example, “Great, let’s move forward with the purchase. Would you like to pay with a credit card or cash?”
The Reverse Close
This technique involves turning the tables on the prospect by asking them to convince you to sell them the product. For example, “I’m not sure if this product is the right fit for you. Can you tell me why you think it is?”
The Value Close
This technique involves emphasizing the value that the prospect will receive from the product or service, rather than the price. For example, “This product will save you time and money in the long run, and you’ll see a return on your investment in no time.”
The Impending Event Close
This technique involves creating a sense of urgency by highlighting a deadline or impending event. For example, “This product is on sale until the end of the week, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.”
The Direct Close
This technique involves straightforwardly asking for the sale. For example, “Are you ready to purchase this product today?”
The Conditional Close
This technique involves setting conditions that must be met before the sale can be finalized. For example, “If we can offer you a discount, would you be ready to make the purchase today?”
The Testimonial Close
This technique involves using positive feedback from previous customers to persuade the prospect to buy. For example, “Many of our satisfied customers have said that this product has changed their lives for the better. Would you like to experience the same benefits?”
The Question Close
The question close technique involves asking a series of questions to lead the prospect to the desired outcome. For example, “How would you like to proceed with this deal?”
The Sharp Angle Close
This technique involves offering a small concession to close the deal. For example, “If we can agree on the price today, I can offer you an additional 5% discount.”
The Ben Franklin Close
This technique involves making a list of pros and cons to help the prospect make a decision. An example of a Ben Franklin close statement could be: “Let’s make a list of the reasons why you should make this purchase and the reasons why you shouldn’t. Then, we can weigh the pros and cons together.”
The Porcupine Close
This technique involves addressing objections before they arise by bringing up potential issues and then offering solutions. An example of a Porcupine close statement could be: “I know you might be worried about the price, but let me tell you about our financing options that can make this purchase more affordable.”
The Hard Close
This technique involves being assertive and pushing for a sale, even if the prospect is hesitant. An example of a Hard close statement could be: “I understand you have some reservations, but I think you’ll regret it if you don’t make this purchase now. Let’s finalize this sale today.”
The Hard Close and Direct Close are often used interchangeably. They both involve using a direct and assertive approach to close the sale, with a focus on getting a commitment from the prospect. However, the Hard Close is a more forceful approach, while the Direct Close is more straightforward and honest.
The Soft Close
This technique involves being gentle and non-confrontational, and focusing on building a relationship with the prospect. An example of a Soft close statement could be: “I understand you need some more time to think about this. Can I answer any questions you have or provide more information to help you make a decision?”
The Balance Sheet Close
This technique involves creating a list of the benefits and drawbacks of making a purchase, and then comparing them to help the prospect make a decision. An example of a Balance Sheet close statement could be: “Let’s compare the benefits of making this purchase with the drawbacks. I think you’ll find that the benefits outweigh any concerns you may have.”
The Handshake Close
This technique involves physically shaking hands with the prospect to signify that the deal is done. An example of a Handshake close statement could be: “Congratulations on your purchase! Let’s shake on it and finalize this deal.”
The Visual Close
This technique involves using visual aids such as graphs, charts, or images to help the prospect see the benefits of making a purchase. An example of a Visual close statement could be: “Let me show you this graph that illustrates how much money you can save by switching to our product. It’s a no-brainer!”
The Minor Points Close
This technique involves focusing on minor details of the purchase, such as color or size, to create momentum and commitment to the sale. An example of a Minor Points close statement could be: “Which color do you prefer, blue or green? Great choice! Let’s move forward with this purchase.”
The Time Constraint Close
This technique involves creating a sense of urgency by emphasizing that the offer is only available for a limited time. An example of a Time Constraint close statement could be: “This offer is only available until the end of the month. If you wait, you’ll miss out on this amazing deal.”
The Thermal Close
This technique involves creating a sense of excitement and anticipation by using sensory appraisal. It works well for products that generate heat or provide warmth. A salesperson might ask the prospect how it would feel to snuggle up in a cozy blanket on a cold winter night and then introduce the product as the solution to their problem.
The Probability Close
This technique involves using the power of statistics to make the sale. For instance, a salesperson may say something like, “95% of our customers have reported increased productivity after using our product. Can we add you to that list?”
The Bonus Close
This technique involves offering a bonus or extra incentive to persuade the prospect to make a purchase. A salesperson might say something like, “If you purchase our product today, we’ll include a free guide that will help you get the most out of it.”
The Colombo Close
This involves acting hesitant to close the sale, and then suddenly changing your mind and asking for the sale. For example, “I don’t know, I’m not sure if this is the right product for you…you know what, let’s do it, I’ll place the order now.”
The A-B Close
This involves giving the prospect two options, one of which is more desirable than the other. For example, “So would you like the standard package or the premium package? The premium package includes a free upgrade and 10% off the total price.”
The Personal Close
This involves getting personal with the prospect and relating the product or service to their personal needs or desires. For example, “I think this product would be perfect for you, it’s exactly what I use myself and it’s made a huge difference in my life.”
The Blemish Close
This involves pointing out a flaw or weakness in the product or service, and then offering a solution or compensation for it. For example, “I know this product doesn’t come with a warranty, but we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if anything goes wrong we’ll make it right.”
The Referral Close
This involves asking the prospect for referrals to other potential customers who might be interested in the product or service. For example, “Do you know anyone else who might be interested in this product? We’d love to offer them the same great deal we gave you.”
The Feel, Felt, Found Close
This involves empathizing with the prospect’s concerns or objections, and then sharing a story of someone else who felt the same way but found success with the product or service. For example, “I understand how you feel, many of our customers felt the same way, but once they tried the product they found it to be exactly what they needed.”
In conclusion, closing sales is a crucial part of any business that requires time, effort, and skill. By using effective techniques and following the necessary steps, you can successfully close deals and grow your business.
Remember that closing sales is not just about making a transaction but also about building relationships, establishing trust, and meeting customer needs. Take the time to understand your customers’ pain points and provide them with solutions that address their needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale, but also be prepared to handle objections and build trust with your prospects. With practice and persistence, you can master the art of closing sales and take your business to the next level.
April 16, 2022