You may have the perfect product or service with amazing benefits for your customers. You could even have the highest quality leads who could really use what you have to sell. But, if you can’t close these deals, your sales will suffer.
No matter if you are working outside sales or inside sales, the entire sales process culminates in the right close. That is why so many of the top sales reps emphasize the ABCs of sales: Always Be Closing.
It makes sense, then, that according to a HubSpot survey, 71% of sales professionals stated that their priority is closing more sales. Closing is what you’re paid to do as a sales rep since it turns prospects into paying customers. Because it is incredibly important for sales, though, it can also be the most anxiety-inducing part of the job. Many reps lose confidence and either try too hard or avoid it to their detriment.
It doesn’t help that it is getting more difficult for sales reps to close deals in the current business environment. Prospects are likely to take an issue based on their budget and create objections related to the price. Experienced sales reps know that these objections can be overcome even in the most difficult economic climates.
We’ve created this guide to the top sales closing techniques to fit the different kinds of customers and environments a sales rep may experience. Read on for specific examples you can try to help you master how to be a better closer.
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What are the Best Closing Techniques in Sales?
Finding the best sales closing technique is a fine art. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It takes understanding your prospect’s concerns and needs, your rapport and relationship with them, and what you have to offer them.
There are multiple ways that you can close your deals. We’ve compiled some of the best ones and noted when to use them to help get you started:
Sales Closing Technique #1: The Presumptive Close
When to use it: After you have had a successful conversation where you clearly established the benefits and addressed all the prospect’s objections.
The Presumptive Close is a great start for beginning sales reps after they feel a conversation or sales pitch has been successfully navigated. This closing technique gives both you and your prospect a boost of confidence. Plus, it clearly lays out the next steps for your prospects and makes it more difficult to do nothing at all.
A Presumptive Close might sound something like “I can get a shipment to you on Tuesday,” or “How many would you like to order?” However you choose to phrase it, assume that the sale is done.
Sales Closing Technique #2: The Takeaway Close
When to use it: When a prospect makes a monetary-based objection.
Budget is a large concern for many companies. Many businesses are especially hesitant to invest in a service or product if they are a new startup or during uncertain times. The Takeaway Close is a great option in these circumstances. It involves bringing down the cost of your product or service by taking away certain features. For example, you could offer a smaller package or a reduced warranty to make it a lower price point.
The Takeaway Close gives them more options if their budget is actually limited. It also addresses an interesting part of human psychology: we hate to feel like we’re missing out on something. Most prospects will only be able to concentrate on what they’re missing out on and they likely will choose to add it back.
Sales Closing Technique #3: The Summary Close
When to use it: After a successful conversation where your prospect understands the benefits you offer, and you have successfully answered any objections they raised.
The Summary Close is another great option for a newer sales rep that is not sure how to end the conversation and ask for the sale. As the name suggests, it entails summarizing your conversation to show the benefits of your product. This is not the time to bring up any new points or bonuses. This sales closing technique might sound something like:
“So, as we discussed, [XYZ product] will help make your customer service team faster and more efficient, which will increase customer satisfaction and lower your overhead costs.”
Sometimes your prospects will get lost in their thoughts and confused throughout a sales conversation. The Summary Close, which is a type of empathy-driven close, will help them visualize exactly what they’re purchasing. It also summarizes why what you have is better than just leaving their money in their pockets.
Sales Closing Technique #4: The Urgency Close
When to use it: If the prospect seems on the fence about pulling the trigger. They want time to think about it instead of purchasing right away.
Also known as the “Now or Never” close, it puts pressure on your prospect to act now as opposed to pushing off the decision. It involves creating some advantage that they will lose if they fail to act in a certain amount of time. It might be a discount that expires in 24 hours, for example, or a bonus that is only available for the week. It taps into the primal fear of missing out, creates a sense of urgency, and helps push them through the temptation to do nothing.
A vital aspect of The Urgency Close, though, is honesty. If they find out that you are lying about an arbitrary deadline, you’ll not only lose their trust but likely gain a poor reputation.
Sales Closing Technique #5: The Sharp Angles Close
When to use it: A prospect wants to buy, but they still have one nagging objection. The client asks for a special favor, and sales leadership has already approved granting it.
Most prospects know they are in a position of bargaining power. They might try to use this position to get the best deal, like asking for a discounted implementation or a bonus feature.
The Sharp Angles close allows you to switch back this power dynamic. It usually sounds something like:
“Sure, I can do that for you if you sign today.”
This not only provides an immediate yes, but it puts the action back onto the client. It creates the right kind of discomfort that encourages them to act.
Sales Closing Technique #6: The Suggested Close
When to use it: If the customer views you as an expert or trusted advisor.
Although more experienced sales reps typically use this closing technique, it can be used by anyone that cultivates the right relationship with their client. Most customers want more than someone who will just sell them something. They want an advisor that will help them resolve their pain points, meet their unique needs, and/or help them run a successful business.
The Suggested Close takes advantage of this to make a sale. It sounds something like:
“Based on what we discussed, I recommend you receive your shipments twice a month to avoid running out of product. Should I write up the order for you?”
Similar to the Presumptive Close covered above, the Suggested Close assumes the sale and puts pressure on the prospect to place an order. This closing technique is also great for when you are presenting upsells or cross-sells to your customer.
Sales Closing Technique #7: The Scale Close
When to use it: If your prospect is being silent, you need more feedback, or want to discuss their objections.
The Scale Close entails asking your prospect how interested they are on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most interested). From there, you can ask questions about why they chose the score they did. If it is anything less than 5, ask them why. It gives them the chance to talk about what they liked and any objections they have.
Some prospects are quieter than others, but your conversation should still go both ways. The Scale Close gives your prospect the chance to open up, and you can make sure that you’re both discussing what is most important to them.
Sales Closing Technique #8: The Backwards Close
When to use it: If your target prospect doesn’t like overly aggressive sales. It can also be used if they don’t seem to be paying attention to you.
The Backwards Close turns the standard sales process on its head. Instead of asking for referrals at the end of the sales process, ask for them upfront. After explaining what your product or service is and your company, take note of their level of interest. If it seems low or they’re defensive, ask, “Do you know anyone else that would be interested in this product?” If they throw out a name or two, ask if you can use their name when speaking to the lead.
This sales closing technique relies on another hallmark of human psychology: consistency. If we say something about ourselves, we all feel the need to act as a reflection of that. Before your prospect allows you to use their name, they’ll likely want to hear more information about what you are selling. It immediately increases the prospect’s interest and drops their guard to listen to what you have to say.
Great for experienced sales reps, it’s vital to read the situation before implementing the Backwards Close.
Sales Closing Technique #9: The Ben Franklin Close
When to use it: Your prospect is struggling to visualize whether your product or service works for them.
Ben Franklin was famous for innovations in art, science, philosophy, and business. When he was torn about a business decision, he would come up with a pros and cons list. Franklin would then base his decision on which side weighed more heavily.
Harness this useful tip with your prospects. Write down the pros and cons of your product while you’re with them. Your prospect will then be able to visualize the real benefits you can offer.
Sales Closing Technique #10: The Question Close
When to use it: You want to directly address objections while also getting a commitment.
Most successful conversations with prospects are full of questions. From understanding your prospect’s situation and goals to addressing any objections or issues, you will likely be asking for your prospect’s input all along. The right close can be a question, as well:
“Do you think this solution will solve your problem?”
A closing question like this one allows you to answer any objections if the answer is negative. If they respond positively, you can move on to the next steps. Either way, you can make good progress by closing with a question.
Sales Closing Technique #11: The Soft Close
When to use it: During a meeting earlier in the sales process.
Closing is not just for the end of the customer’s buying journey. Closing your phone calls and meetings during the earlier parts of the sales process is vital too. You can do things like offer a free trial or service to entice them early on. If you are not able to offer things like that, you should still have a closing mindset.
An astonishing 48% of sales calls end without an attempt to close. It’s not about closing the deal at this point but directing your prospects on to the next steps. This is also ideal for your prospect because they are not required to make a full commitment yet.
The best sales closing calls over the phone usually lead to a virtual demo, upcoming appointment, or meeting with other decision-makers. Make sure to keep your conversation short, so the prospect doesn’t lose interest.
Sales Closing Technique #12: The Puppy Dog Close
When to use it: The prospect struggles to invest in the monetary value of the product or service.
The Puppy Dog Close is based on the concept that few people will give a puppy back when they’ve had it for a few days. Allow your customers to “test drive” your product or service with a free trial.
It is an especially useful close when your prospects are overly concerned about their budget. With this closing technique, they can see first-hand how the benefits are worth the price and will likely decide to keep it.
The Wrong Way to Close a Sale
As you can see, there are many ways to close a sale successfully, but there is one phrase that will almost inevitably shut it down:
“Would you like time to think about it?”
It is important to keep in mind when you’re meeting your prospect that your main battle is not to get them to choose you over your competitor. It’s getting them to take any action at all. The main question that needs to be answered is this: why should they buy your product or service over doing nothing?
Inertia in sales is strong. Asking if they need more time will immediately give them an out with zero action on their part. It will also make them doubt what you are selling. If you offer them more time then they may assume that you think your offering might not fit them. And if that’s the case, they will wonder why you are even talking to them.
Closing a sale by giving them time to think will mean they’ll forget you almost as soon as you leave.
Utilizing Strategic Closing Techniques in Sales = More Closed Deals Consistently
Having a closing strategy is an integral part of sales success. It will help guide the direction of your sales activities and the conversations that happen. Thus, keeping you in control of the prospect’s buying journey and successfully convincing them to commit to your offer.
A closing strategy brings all of the other critical sales skills together into the perfect combination needed to close a deal. And choosing the right type of sales closing technique at the right time is crucial for breaking through your prospect’s inaction.
Give these sales closing techniques a try today and see how they can help you land more sales!