Closing a Sales Presentation
- Go back to your opening anecdote or idea
- End with a challenge
- Invite your audience on a metaphorical mission
- Use repetition for a dramatic close
- Offer inspiration
- Surface their objections
- Tell a story
- Ask an unusual question
- End with a quote
A brilliant presentation is worth nothing if you don't bring it home with a powerful close.
Most sales presentations end with a whimper, rather than a bang and your prospect's interest and enthusiasm starts to fade.
Either the salesperson runs out of time -- causing them to rush over their final slides or lose their audience’s attention by going over -- or they finish with a weak statement like “That’s all I have for today. Any questions?”
Unsurprisingly, these uninspired finishes don’t incite any urgency in the prospect.
To make them eager to buy, try one of these endings instead.
9 Ways to End a Sales Pitch
1. Bring it full circle
Begin with an anecdote, analogy, case study, or thought-provoking idea, such as:
- “Client X was in trouble. Their typical customer success rep could handle three calls per hour -- which meant hundreds of calls per day weren’t resolved. Customers were dropping like flies.”
- “What if every employee on your support team could close twice as many tickets in the same amount of time?”
- “Your company’s most dangerous enemy isn’t Competitor X, Y, or Z. It’s time.”
End your presentation by referring back to the opening, like so:
- “Wondering what happened to Client X? After the team switched to our product, new hires got up to speed in six weeks instead of 12. And employees could also work twice as many cases at once. Overall productivity increased by 242%, and churn dropped by 20.8%.”
- “With our solution, every single support rep at Company X will double their performance. Your hiring problems will be over.”
- “Once you’ve vanquished time, Competitors X, Y, and Z will look like child’s play. For all intents and purposes, you’ll have added three hours of output to each and every employee’s day -- without making them work any longer.”
2. Challenge your audience
A dramatic, “now it’s your turn” ending will motivate the buyer to actually act. For instance, you might say, “Are you going to let another month pass by without addressing the crippling communication issues on your team? This is your opportunity to change things. Don’t wait.”
Use this approach with caution; after all, challenging an alpha personality might piss them off and ultimately do more harm than good. If you think there’s even a small chance they’ll become hostile, try a different tactic.
3. Extend an invitation
This twist on #2 is more collaborative and less confrontational. Rather than challenging your prospect, ask them to join you on a mission or journey.
Here’s a sample ending:
“More than 5,000 companies have decided to invest in their employees’ health. Are you ready to join them?”
4. Use repetition
Research shows repetition improves a child’s ability to recall new terms; in other words, if they hear an unfamiliar phrase multiple times, they’re likelier to remember it than if they only heard it once.
The same principle applies to adults. A repetitive, rhythmic close isn’t just memorable, it’s also high-energy and engaging.
Not sure what this would sound like? Take a look at this example:
“If you don’t have transparency, you don’t have trust. If you don’t have trust, you won’t get honest feedback. If you don’t get honest feedback, you’ll develop blind spots. If you develop blind spots, you’ll make poor decisions, lose talented employees, and miss crucial opportunities for improvement.”
5. Offer some inspiration or motivational words
A well-chosen quote can tie your entire sales pitch together and help put things in a new light for your prospect.
Suppose you sell CRM software. If the buyer decides to buy your product, she’ll need to switch her entire organization to a new platform. The process will likely be long and challenging.
With that in mind, your closing line is:
“Look, I know the thought of changing CRMs is probably scary. But I think one of my favorite Warren Buffett quotes applies nicely here: ‘Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.’
In the long run, this switch will save your company a lot of time, money, and effort."
6. Surface objections
When you sense your prospect isn’t quite convinced -- or they’re not being completely open about -- end by digging for objections.
HubSpot sales reps use this question: “What would stop you from moving forward?”
You can also try, “If you decide not to buy, what would the reason be?”
Being so direct might be nerve-wracking, but keep in mind your prospect’s objections exist whether or not you probe for them -- and you can’t resolve those concerns if you don’t know what they are.
7. Tell a story
A story is one of -- if not the -- most powerful communication vehicles. Telling a story makes your message more compelling, digestible, and lasting.
I recommend telling a hypothetical story of your prospect’s life after they’ve bought your product:
“It’s [date four months in the future]. You’ve been using [product] for [X use case]. [Pain problem #1], which used to swallow up hours of your week, has been completely eliminated. [Pain problem #2] has been reduced to a 15-minute task every month. And your boss is completely thrilled with [Y results].”
8. Ask an unusual question
Instead of immediately jumping into "Does anyone have questions?" end your presentation by asking your prospects an anything-but-ordinary question. This will jolt them back to the conversation at hand and give you a unique entry into the final portion of your presentation. Here are some example questions:
- "How did I change your worldview or your perception?"
- "Based on what you've just heard, would you buy today? Why or why not?
- "What's changed between now and when I began this presentation?"
The conversations prompted by these questions are sure to be more interesting than an ordinary close. And, of course, follow up by answering any questions they have.
9. End with a quote
Whether it's a killer client quote or your favorite Dylan lyric -- ending with a thought-provoking line will cause your audience to pause.
From there, take a few moments to ask how the quote resonated with your audience and what it made them consider. They might have offering-related thoughts -- or share something completely unrelated to your business.
The point of this exercise is to snap them out of the end-of-presentation daze and get them excited and inspired to think bigger. Choose the right quote and spur your prospect to action at the end.
Here are a few other presentation ideas:
Sales Presentation Ideas
- Share a unique "vision statement" for your prospect - Wow your audience by sharing a personalized vision statement for how you see your offering changing their work and their business.
- Nix language-heavy slides for images - Go easy on the eyes and provide images narrated by your key points.
- Use movement and gestures - Avoid a rigid, unmoving stance. Use natural or slightly animated gestures to give your presentation life.
- Include video or animation - You never want to distract from your main points, but a well-placed video or custom animation can help rather than hindering your presentation.
- Don't shy away from emotion - When appropriate, share a joke, a personal anecdote, or passionate story.
- Always personalize your presentation - Keep things relevant for your audience by customizing every presentation you give.
- Tell stories using your data - You know what's less boring than a slide full of bullet-pointed numbers? You telling a story with your data.
- Ask questions throughout your presentation - Make things interactive by engaging regularly with your audience and asking for their thoughts and opinions.
- Make examples personal - Reminding your audience of your humanity is crucial for them to feel connected and sympathetic to you.
- Use music - "Music embedded throughout a PowerPoint presentation can sustain attention, while slipping content into long-term memory," says Ronald A. Berk of The Johns Hopkins University
With these creative and effective ways to end and facilitate a sales presentation, your close rate is bound to improve.