Closing is a make-or-break moment in sales. It's the final verdict determining whether or not your efforts will amount to anything at all.
It’s natural to feel apprehensive about the close. However, without that feeling of risk, successfully closing a sale wouldn't be so thrilling -- which drives salespeople to continually strive for more.
Because sales professionals are expected to generate the best possible win rates for their effort, a large number of closing sales techniques have been developed over the years. Here are three proven closing techniques, and why they're so effective.
2 Traditional Closing Techniques
Traditional closing sales techniques usually employ some psychological tricks designed to give that final nudge. Here are two of the best.
Now or Never
This is where salespeople make an offer that includes a special benefit that prompts immediate purchase. For example:
- “This is the last one at this price.”
- "We’ve got a 20% discount just for customers who sign up today.”
- “If you commit to buy now, I can fast track you to the front of the implementation queue.”
This technique works because it creates a sense of urgency and can help overcome inertia when a prospect wants to buy, but is lagging on pulling the trigger.
The Summary Close
Salespeople who use this closing technique reiterate the items the customer is hopefully purchasing (stressing the value and benefits) in an effort to get the prospect to sign. For example:
“So we have the Centrifab washing machine with brushless motor, the 10-year comprehensive guarantee, and our free delivery and installation service. When would be a good time to deliver?”
By summarizing previously agreed-upon points into one impressive package, you're helping prospects visualize what they're truly getting out of the deal.
A Modern Closing Technique
These canned closing techniques probably seem a little old-fashioned. Perhaps they strike you as a little too "salesy," particularly in light of the rise of inbound sales.
In particular, the idea of closing itself needs to encompass any and all incremental agreements you secure throughout a sales process -- not just the moment of final purchase.
In a sales engagement, reps should endeavor to:
- Discover the customer’s needs
- Effectively communicate how specific products or services offer an affordable and satisfactory solution to those needs
If these two requirements are properly achieved, then there should be no barrier to closure. The closing question can be asked directly at that point.
To achieve these two foundational goals, it's imperative that reps ask prospects probing questions. Effective salespeople focus on closing a sale as soon as a conversation with a prospect begins. Through a series of questions, they develop desire in the client and eliminate every objection to purchase.
One can even close the sale in the form of a question, which allows the rep to address outstanding objections while gaining a commitment at the same time.
For example: “In your opinion, does what I am offering solve your problem?”
The question allows you to discover whether the prospect is sold on your product while keeping the door open for further selling. If the answer is ‘no’ it remains their opinion (not yet the truth), thereby allowing you to continue to sell. If the answer is ‘yes,’ then signing on the dotted line is the next step.
Here's another question close: “Is there any reason why we can't proceed with the shipment?"
This question asks either for closure or more information as to why the customer isn’t quite convinced. It’s win-win.
How about you? Do you approach closing by relying on set, traditional methods, or do you take a more organic approach? Please share your best closing techniques in the comments.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.