This can be resolved if you know how to use sales closing techniques properly.
Closing strategies are many, but choosing the best ones for the moment will help you achieve your sales targets.
Not every sales close is perfect for the moment. Some do better in particular selling scenarios than others would. This makes it vital for sales reps to be properly equipped with the various closing techniques so they can seamlessly adapt to any selling situation.
Before that, though, let’s have a quick run-through on why it’s important to know how to close a sale.
Why is Knowing How to Close A Sale Important?
Let’s begin with some enlightening sales facts. 92% of salespeople state they give up on candidates after those prospects tell them “no” 4 times. Alternatively, the same study showed that 80% of potential customers stated they say “no” 4 times before saying “yes”.
Did you see that?
It’s imperative to say that this statistic doesn’t imply that all prospects are 4 “no’s” away from changing their minds to a “yes”, but it reveals that most candidates won’t close immediately on the first interaction.
By committing to build a relationship, staying in touch with potential customers that have the most to offer (prospects that will benefit the most from your product), and lead follow-up, you’ll outshine your competitors.
Therefore, it’s important to know and understand the various sales closing techniques for every scenario.
Closing a deal isn’t as easy as it may seem. In fact, research shows that 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups.
This is responsible for the numerous sales closing strategies available.
The Assumptive Close – 1st Sales Close Technique
The Assumptive Close works excellently when what you’re selling, checks every box in terms of what the prospect is looking for in an offer.
“How about Tuesday to get the Onboarding process going?”
The Something for Nothing Close – 2nd Sales Close Technique
Everyone likes free things, which is why the Something for Nothing Close works so great. This close strategy works by offering a discount or waiving a fee for the potential customer. And through this, you can move the prospect to a state of appreciation and good deeds cannot be ignored.
The Inoffensive Close – 3rd Sales Close Technique
When using this technique to close a sale, you use questions to navigate the prospect to a yes.
However, these aren’t ordinary questions, they’re designed to assert your expertise, showcase value to the prospect, and nudge them towards the next step.
The Inoffensive Close does great with people hesitant to give up control or that naturally opt for a process instead of making abrupt decisions.
“From what I’ve gathered from our discussion earlier today you have certain segments in your organization where our product could help bridge the gap, like the need for more production support, the option of including 4 more extensions to your offerings, a boost in access to organizational resources, and assisting your 5 major operational challenges.
Is there anything else that you may want to include that I missed in our conversation yesterday?”
(If the buyer says no. Then ask one of the next set of questions below)
“Did I get a good grasp of everything you need based on our meeting yesterday?”
“Will our offerings handle those needs?”
“Do you have an alternative method you prefer for addressing those “Do you have an alternative method you prefer for addressing those needs?”
“If our offerings can satisfy your needs and every other expectation you may have, would you be ready to take us in as a partner in working towards your organization’s goals?”
The Now or Never Close – 4th Sales Close Technique
This sales closing strategy is a traditional method that promises additional benefits to the prospect if they act right away. It is excellent for use when the person isn’t so certain about moving to a yes. That is, they’re interested but not yet sold.
By including the additional benefits, you seamlessly craft a feeling of urgency with the prospect.
That said, with this method you’ll want to be careful to avoid being too pushy. And the way to achieve the “non-pushy” approach is to present the prospect with value before making the Now or Never Close move.
The prospect should move from interested to convinced with the nudge you give them via the “limited time or once in a lifetime offer.”
Here’s a great example of how the Now or Never Close may look like:
“I understand that you’ve been wanting to make a switch from your current website theme to ours for quite some time now.
However, it’s a limited-time offer and will only stay available until the end of today.”
The Backwards Close – 5th Sales Close Technique
Normally, the referral request should come after closing the sale to capitalize on the happy feeling that surrounds the creation of a new relationship.
The amazing thing about this valuable sales closing technique is that it puts prospects at ease as they don’t feel you’re trying to sell something. That said, once the conversation is on, you can work your way back to the first stage by describing your product’s or service’s benefits and features to close the sale.
A perfectly worded Backwards Close may sound something like the below:
“Do you know anyone who would benefit from our offer? I would be delighted to discuss how our service can help them boost their business. Our unique product automates and manages loyalty programs with no additional staff and boosts loyalty sales by 15%.”
The Hard close – 6th Sales Close Technique
A hard close can happen at the end of every quarter or month, or even annually. Hard closes assist sales representatives in making last-minute deals with buyers that have been lingering near the close of the sales cycle.
However, as the hard close is beyond the sales rep’s control, it necessitates a deadline for the prospect’s decision. Most times, sales managers include an incentive to make the deal more attractive and facilitate a close.
A Hard Close would sound something like this:
“I have just been informed that our accounting department will close the books in 4 days. After that, we will transition to new package/product/pricing plans. Do you want to take advantage of the current website theme plan we put together for your business before the books are closed on us?”
The Puppy Dog Close – 7th Sales Close Technique
This is an effective technique to close a sale that uses the love a prospect has for a service or product to get them to make a purchase. It works with the ideology that few persons who take a puppy home for some days would be willing to give it back.
You won’t push them to buy but you take their order. That said, the sales rep must ensure that the business is capable of running free trials before they suggest it. Otherwise, the situation gets messy when the candidate gets an invoice they weren’t expecting.
“If you would love to try out our WordPress website theme for 2 weeks for free with zero obligation to make a purchase, I can email you your login details to our download portal right away. If it doesn’t work out for you, hit revoke subscription on our portal. Would you love to give our theme a shot?”
The Option Close – 8th Sales Close Technique
The Option Close is one of the oldest sales closing strategies that gives the prospect the option to choose between the products or services you offer. This sales closing technique is great for scenarios where you feel that easing the buyer into the closing process can build the relationship positively. After all 51% of sales pros direct their efforts towards relationship-building.
The option close gives 2 options to a prospect for them to choose, with a “yes” answer for both.
“We could send you your login details at the beginning of next week or in two weeks. Which works best for you?”
However, there are moves you shouldn’t make when using The Option Close technique.
Here’s an example of such:
“So do you feel like purchasing any of these products?”
The aim is not to nudge them for business, which would most likely be a move too soon, it’s to simply ask what package or products they prefer.
The buyer will then proceed in the purchase process with little to no pressure or reluctance, as they’re just choosing which product they want to buy.
This closing method is a bit similar to the Assumptive Close. That said, The Option Close may sound something like this:
“Now that you’re aware of what we offer, which package do you prefer, the silver package, the gold package, of the Platinum package?”
The Summary Close – 9th Sales Close Technique
This technique guides prospects to a decision, when they have to pick between multiple products, or are handling many purchases simultaneously for a business, or just distracted.
This strategy assists the prospect to visualize what they’re about to purchase and how it’ll satisfy their needs.
The Summary Close may look like this:
“With our product, the double blades make it glide easily over your face for a closer shave, and with our advanced battery life technology, it can work for 6 days per recommended shave time without charging. Plus, if you choose our premium package you’ll get a 3 years warranty and daily tips from professionals on how to get an expert shave.”
This sales closing technique uses a time-limited opportunity or a deadline to close the deal if the prospect can make prompt decisions.
The Impending Event Close works in situations like when a customer cancels on an install schedule and this allows you to put a new prospect ahead in the queue. So you tell them your installation crew will be around their locality for a short period of time and this makes the prospect want to take advantage of the deadline given.
However, this close strategy must be done carefully because if the prospect finds out that the impending event serves your organization better than it does them, it may not be effective and could ruin the close.
This close technique may sound similar to this:
“I just realized that one of our clients had to defer their installation by a week. So we have time for the team to come this week and complete the installation instead of in 2 weeks as we earlier discussed. Should I place you on the schedule?”
The Scale Close – 11th Sales Closing Technique
This sales closing technique assists the move to the closing stage from the qualifying stage. The Scale Close lets you know the interest of prospects regarding moving forward with the deal or if objections that need to be handled exist.
Besides letting you know where you stand in terms of the sales process, it also shows you the next step that satisfies your prospect’s wants.
The Scale Close can look something like this:
“If 10 means you’re interested in our offer and 2 means that you have certain objections that need to be answered, what’s your level of interest in our offer?”
(Say the person rates you a 9)
“Got it. That’s cool. Could you let us know why a 9?”
(The person tells you of a particular feature of your offer they like)
“Awesome, most of our customers like those features as well, so why didn’t we get a 10?”
(Say the candidate states pricing as the objection)
“Oh wow! That’s understandable. We’ve had two other people that were hesitant to switch to our product because of the price as well, but they discovered that the value our product offered was way more than what they paid for in just the first month of use.”
The Ben Franklin Close – 12th Sales Closing Technique
The Ben Franklin Close is similar to the concept that guides a pros and cons list. The idea comes from what Ben Franklin did where he made 2 lists and then made a choice based on the longer one.
The best way to use this closing technique is with prospects who aren’t certain or struggle with making decisions.
However, to effectively use this method to close a sale you need to be sure that you have more pros than cons.
Here’s an example of what the Ben Franklin Close may look like:
“As you’ve probably already noticed, the pros of our app is that it’s versatile, compact and can fix the operational issues that your organization has been trying to solve. However, the con is that it presents a new learning challenge for your team and that it’s a new app.
Though a new app that does a lot better than the current one in use is a better investment than sticking to an operational app that creates more problems than it solves. So we’re just dealing with the fresh learning curve here.”
The Needs Close – 13th Sales Close Technique
The moment you know how your offer can satisfy the needs of prospects, you can be almost certain of a close. This is what Needs Close seeks to achieve.
Send the list back to them with the ticked needs. If the prospect still doesn’t move to the close, then pose a question to them:
“By satisfying your needs, how will your ROI be achieved and how much money will you save?”
This is a fast and seamless way to help the prospect visualize how your product will be of benefit to them, by proving its value.
The Objection Solicitation Close – 14th Sales Close Technique
The Objection Solicitation Close uses a questioning system to transition the sales process to the close stage. The idea behind the questions posed in this sales closing strategy is to get the prospect to state openly the reservations they have about the offer.
This way the sales rep knows exactly why the prospect is hesitant to move forward with the deal and can easily address the issue directly.
The Objection Solicitation Close works best for a sales cycle process that is stagnant or for people who seem reluctant to make a move.
“Is there a reason we can’t send your first bulk order over to you next week?”
The 70/30 Rule Close – 15th Sales Close Technique
This sales close strategy works by using the 70/30 rule, which refers to how much participation the sales rep and prospect should have in the sales conversation. The sales rep should do 30% of the conversation and the prospect 70%.
This ratio is usually termed as a healthy balance. It’s a successful rule because as the potential customer speaks you get to learn what you must need to nudge them to the close stage.
To succeed with this strategy, you need to embrace active listening, both for the relationship between you and the prospect as well as for the sale.
The idea is to simply keep the candidate talking till they uncover every pain point and then you address every one of them with your offer to close the sale.
The Take Away Close – 16th Sales Close Technique
The idea behind The Take Away Close is that humans don’t like losing anything, even if we do not own it yet.
Removing something from an offer can make prospects want to go through with the original offer, so they don’t lose out on certain elements of the product.
A great example of the Takeaway Close is something like this:
“I understand we talked about the cordless version of the device, but based on how you want to use the device, you may not require a cordless version. Also, the portable version won’t be necessary as well, since you intend to use it at home. That said, what you’d lose on portability will save you a couple of dollars monthly. What’s your take on this?”
The Question Close – 17th Sales Closing Technique
The question close utilizes questions to come up with solutions for the candidate while unmasking the potential customer’s objections.
This sales closing strategy builds on the qualifying stage sales reps use in closing sales. It’s an effective strategy for candidates that are very conscious of where to spend or prefer to hide their intentions. This tactic aims to pull them out with the opportunities your offer presents while you learn about their challenges and business.
You can even use a question to close the deal; doing so lets you address any hesitations the potential customer may have or get down to business.
Here’s how the Question Close would go:
“Now that you get the features of our offer, do you affirm it solves your problem?”
(If the answer is yes, then you can transition to the closing details. Otherwise, ask why it doesn’t handle the problem.)
The Probe for Opinion Close involves the sales rep asking a prospect for their opinion of the service or product. Numerous sales closing strategies use questions to get over obstacles that resist the close of a sale, and this technique is just like such.
By asking a potential customer about their opinion, you’ll be able to know the issues they have about the offer early enough, so you can fix them right away, which speeds up the close cycle.
The Probing for Opinion Close is super effective when the sales rep aims to connect and build a relationship with the candidate. Requesting the prospect’s opinion makes them feel you want to understand them.
Here’s how a Probe for Opinion Close could be like:
The If I – Will You Close – 19th Closing Technique
The If I -Will You Close is also known as the Sharp Angle Close and it’s an old sales closing strategy that gives the potential candidate what they’re looking for but gets you what you want in exchange.
This strategy works great when the candidate desires a discount or an add-on service without charges that aren’t included in your offer. The technique works because you give the prospect what they requested, but on the condition that they close the deal right away.
The If I – Will You Close provides a great mixture of assertion and accommodation that ensures the potential customer feels like they get the bigger slice of the pie as well as seals the deal for you.
That said, sales reps need to get their manager’s approval before using this method.
Using this technique to close a sale may sound like this:
“Of course, I can give you the forest theme at a discount. But for this to work, could we seal the deal today?”
6 Tips to Close a Sale Seamlessly
As a founder pushing sales or a sales rep, your goal should be to ensure clear outcomes: “no” or a “yes”, never a “maybe”. That said, follow these tips to move your candidates to a defined outcome quickly.
1. Find the Decision-Maker and Start a Conversation
Qualifying is all about knowing and asking the right questions as well as getting valuable information from the potential customer that provides insight which shows that they’d be successful after buying your product.
This means that the quality of insight you get from the candidate is crucial in assisting them to choose to buy or not to.
However, to effectively get the right information, you have to be talking with the right individual – the decision-maker. Let’s see an example.
If you’re offering a SaaS tool for graphic designers and through an experience, you know that the individual with the final say on buying new tools like what your brand is offering would be the Director of Content, it’ll be a fruitless attempt wasting time speaking to entry-level copywriters or a random content creator in the organization.
The idea is to know who the decision-maker is and start the conversation with them.
Beginning your conversation with the team member who would most probably be the decision-maker with regards to your product or service increases your chances of closing the sale significantly.
Once you’ve done this, the next step is starting the conversation with the decision-maker. But what communication medium is the most effective when getting across to decision-makers about your solution?
And is it ok to start by sending them cold emails, or do you call the company directly requesting to speak with the decision-maker, or perhaps book an exploratory call?
To do this right, you may have to fall back on the facts. 75% of adults in nations like the UK or US have a smartphone however, over a quarter of these adults rarely use it for receiving or making calls.
This is creating a trend of preference for digital communication, which isn’t as interruptive as phone calls when speaking to people who aren’t close to them.
Reaching the decision-maker the way they’d most likely prefer to be reached is only half of a win as most salespersons today lean on email as the first communication medium, with the end goal of getting a video or phone call with the prospect for a deeper discussion about the solution if there’s a show of interest.
That said, to verify the decision-maker’s email (you have to be certain you’re not sending a message to a robot) you can use tools like Rocket Reach, or LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Lite.
After you’ve confirmed that correct email address for the decision-maker, you can then write a concise cold email with a clear Call-to-Action, which is usually scheduling a call for a more elaborate discussion about your solution.
You can use this cold email template:
Hello [Decision-Maker’s First Name],
I hope you’re doing great! I am reaching out to you because [tell them how you got their email address and how you relate with them: Saw your brand on the web, talked to one of their employees, etc.]
Would be available for a brief call on [date and time]?
See how the goal of this email is to get the potential customer to either say “yes” or “no” or schedule a call to the question of “would you be available for a brief call on so and so date and time?“
The worst move you could make is to ask a prospect multiple questions in the first email as this opens them up to decision paralysis. That is, they feel that they’re unable to answer all questions at once or overwhelmed and choose not to answer you right away.
Keep your focus on the goal of the next stage in the first email, which is getting them to schedule a call. Every other thing can be done when this happens.
2. Properly Qualify Potential Candidates
Most of the extensive work with regards to closing a sale or whether sales close techniques work, is done in the early conversations and preliminary research when you’re qualifying potential customers by determining if they stand to benefit from your offer or not.
If the candidate doesn’t satisfy your ideal buyer persona, then you shouldn’t waste time trying to close a sale with them or even send cold emails to them.
Before you follow-up with a candidate, ensure that you or a team member begins by ensuring they satisfying the critical qualifying questions such as:
- To what degree do they match your ideal buyer persona?
- What’s the size of their company?
- What’s the brand’s industry?
- Where is the company based?
- What would be the ideal use case for the company?
- What type of tools has the company previously used?
- What’s the ecosystem type they play in?
If the answers to the questions above align with your ideal buyer persona, then they’re a qualified lead that would most likely benefit from your offer. You can easily spot candidates that’ll waste your time right away using these questions.
Once you’ve qualified the prospect and connected with the right person in the company, you can then prepare your pitch for delivery.
3. Pitch Your Offer
The best sales reps understand their offer in-depth. And they transcend the knowledge of the product or service by accurately understanding every way that the solution will positively affect their prospect’s business and personal life.
When you try to sell your product’s features to the prospect you’re telling and not selling, because no product can sell itself and you’re not speaking their language. All the candidate cares about is quantifiable results, and how your solution can create an answer to the challenges of their business.
That’s selling and must be the core of a solid pitch.
4. Use the Power of Urgency
By offering the potential customer something time-sensitive, that they’re interested in, you could incentivize them to decide quicker.
This could be a free add-on to the solution, a discount, or anything else that makes them feel like they have the upper hand and that they’ll lose out if they decline.
That said, this isn’t about rushing your potential customer into a decision. The worst thing to do is pressure them.
5. Defeat the Prospect’s Objections
In the journey to closing a sale, you’re going to encounter objections to particular features, pricing, and much more.
Some common objections you’ll encounter are:
- Your pricing is way too high
- My schedule is too tight
- Please email me other information
- We don’t need this currently
- Industry-specific challenges or objections
You need specific and detailed answers for such objections and shouldn’t “wing it”. Coming up with answers on the call or on-the-spot may make you seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about and that places you in a bad light as a sales rep.
You need adequate preparation beforehand with pre-defined and researched answers to keep the sale as a possibility and ultimately close the sale.
For example, say you’re on a call with a potential client and they’re interested in your solution but display hesitation when it comes to pricing, you could answer with any of these 3 phrases:
“I understand. We had 3 other clients just like you who weren’t certain about the product’s pricing as well. But they quickly discovered that..”
“Could we explore some creative approaches to aligning this with your budget?”
These answers will force the underlying issues behind the objections to come out. That said, write all the objections your prospect mentioned that you weren’t ready for and have answers ready for such questions in the future.
6. Close the Sale with an Ask
Knowing when and how to ask “Do you want to buy now?” is the cornerstone of closing a sale. And as a sales rep, you need to be comfortable asking that question. As strange as it may seem most salespersons do not ask for the sale.
They assume that presenting the prospect with multiple benefits and why the product is a great fit for their business would move the potential customer to buy, but that isn’t the case most times. You need to ask.
The reluctance in asking for a sale is probably due to not wanting to face rejection but without the ask, you may never close the sale.
Here’s a great way to ask to close a sale.
If you receive a no, handle it with confidence and ask for the reason for the objection, then proffer a solution to the objection that works for the both of you but seems to work more for the prospect.
Every effective sales representative understands the right closing technique to use per prospect. They also know that the most important aspect l of every sales process is the close phase as it’s the make or break stage of the sales process.
Here is a recap of the 19 sales closing techniques we covered:
- The Assumptive Close – 1st Sales Close Technique
- The Something for Nothing Close – 2nd Sales Close Technique
- The Inoffensive Close – 3rd Sales Close Technique
- The Now or Never Close – 4th Sales Close Technique
- The Backwards Close – 5th Sales Close Technique
- The Hard close – 6th Sales Close Technique
- The Puppy Dog Close – 7th Sales Close Technique
- The Option Close – 8th Sales Close Technique
- The Summary Close – 9th Sales Close Technique
- The Impending Event – 10th Sales Close Technique
- The Scale Close – 11th Sales Closing Technique
- The Ben Franklin Close – 12th Sales Closing Technique
- The Needs Close – 13th Sales Close Technique
- The Objection Solicitation Close – 14th Sales Close Technique
- The 70/30 Rule Close – 15th Sales Close Technique
- The Take Away Close – 16th Sales Close Technique
- The Question Close – 17th Sales Closing Technique
- The Probe for Opinion Close – 18th Sales Close Technique
- The If I – Will You Close – 19th Closing Technique
With the strategies you’ve gone through in this piece, you’re ready to close sales seamlessly and effectively. You now possess the right close for any potential candidate in any situation you could face.