If you struggle to close deals, you’re far from alone. A surprising 28% of salespeople and sales managers say closing the sale is the single most challenging part of their job. The thing is if you’ve done everything right up until that moment, asking for the sale should come naturally. However, we know that isn’t always the case as sales processes and customers alike become even more complex. That’s why below, we’ve created a guide to the 15 sales closing techniques all salespeople should be using to increase close rates without having to resort to being “pushy” and “in your face.”
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- Sales Coaching Tips & Techniques – How To Coach Your Sales Team to Maximise Results
What is sales closing?
Closing the sale is the art of transitioning from the sales pitch into agreeing on the terms of a deal. Simply put, closing the sale is the last step of the transaction and refers to the completion of a purchase.
A sale can be either ‘closed – won’ in which case your company got the deal or ‘closed – lost’, in which case either another company got the sale or the prospect decided not to go with any solution.
While this sounds relatively straightforward, it’s not always the case and often takes finding the right approach for the correct lead at the most suitable time before being successful.
What are sales closing techniques?
Sales closing techniques are tools salespeople can use to seamlessly integrate the close into their sales pitch. As a result, they give sales reps the best possible chance of achieving their desired outcome without having to resort to using “pushy” sales tactics that are notorious for ruining a possible customer relationship before it’s even started.
13 best sales closing techniques
Discover 15 of the best sales closing techniques below to incorporate into your sales pitch:
1. The Assumptive Close
Also known as the presumptive close, the assumptive close keeps you in control of the sales momentum by skipping past the whole question of whether the customer wants to buy. Because as soon as you complete your sales pitch, you move right into a question. For this reason, assumptive close is common in retail sales, B2C sales and velocity sales.
It works by the salesperson assuming the prospect is ready to buy. But instead of simply saying ‘are you ready to buy?’, they would instead assume the sale by asking assumptive close questions like ‘would you like me to arrange for delivery on Monday?’
However, like any other sales closing technique, there are right ways and not-so-right ways to make use of the assumptive close. One key to success in this technique involves making a seamless transition between your benefit statement and the assumptive close — the second question guarantees the sale. (Plus, pausing gives the customer extra time to evaluate and possibly dismiss the benefit statement.)
2. Trial Closes
A trial close is an alternate method used by sales professionals to determine whether customers are ready to buy and thus, close the deal. While traditional closing techniques depend on asking a customer to decide on their purchase, a trial close asks the customer to share their opinion or perspective on the offering – enabling you to address their needs. The purpose of a trial close is, as the name suggests – to examine the likelihood of the buyer purchasing by testing their interest.
Attempting your first trial close can be daunting, primarily if you still rely heavily on traditional sales closing methods. That’s why we’ve provided you with helpful best practices you can use before, during and after the trial close to ensure you’re on track: The Ultimate Guide To Objection Handling.
3. The Visual Close
Visualisation is a proven practice to encourage prospects to imagine the real-world impact of purchasing your solution. In this close, salespeople leverage the prospects emotional buying motives and pain points by helping them picture a life with the benefits of your offering.
4. Empathy Close
Emotional buying motives influence a person to purchase based on an emotional factor possibly linked to feelings of security, well-being, power, curiosity, love, affection, anxiety, desire to be praised, liked or seen as attractive -anything that taps into emotions. That’s why the “empathy close” plays a crucial role in closing sales.
The sales closing technique works by relating the benefits of your products to your prospect’s problems. To achieve this, during your sales pitch, you must demonstrate that you understand a prospect’s problems and the solution. By showing that you value your prospect’s challenges, you’re more likely to connect on an emotional level – helping them to trust you and complete the purchase.
5. The Hard Close
A hard close is a direct attempt to close the sale by asking if the customer has decided to purchase your goods or services. It’s best left for situations where you have nothing left to lose and requires tons of confidence to pull off successfully. For example, ‘would you like to proceed with this solution?’
6. The Summary Close
The summary close involves the act of restating all of your product or services features and benefits before asking for the sale. The method mainly helps prospects funnel their focus into one product out of several they’re considering. As a result, they’re often handy to use in a longer sales cycle when the sales presentation may have been held a while ago.
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7. The Analytics Close
The traditional closing technique, also known as the Benjamin Franklin Close, is the process of persuading buyers to see your perspective on the best solution for their situation by using a list of pros and cons. In this closing technique, salespeople summarise the pros and cons of their product in the hopes that it persuades prospects to buy. For this reason, the technique is most successful with analytically minded prospects who prefer to make informed decisions before purchasing.
8. The Soft Close
The soft close isn’t as much of a close as it is about swaying prospects with the low-pressure technique of asking questions that highlight the product’s benefits. By doing so, prospects gain a deeper perspective of the solution, which builds trust with sales reps to discuss their needs and challenges. As a result, once prospects trust the reps ability to solve those needs, they can transition into the hard close.
9. The Scarcity Close
The fear of missing out is a classic motivator, which is why using tactics like limited time and availability motivate people to take action – and quickly. However, when using the sense of urgency to place gentle pressure on prospects to purchase, it’s best to remember to remain authentic. Otherwise, sales reps risk losing credibility and damaging the relationship they worked so hard to build if they lie about the scarcity of available products.
10. The “S.A.R.B” Close
The S.A.R.B close framework is an acronym for Summary, Ask, Recommend and Book. The close works as follows:
Summary: Summarise the product or service, needs and pain points alongside how it solves their business and personal needs.
Ask: For feedback on what stood out to them during the summary.
Recommend: a suggested next step by detailing who they need to involve on their side and why this is important to implementing the solution.
Book: The next sales meeting with the prospect, determine what you’ll discuss and who will be involved.
11. The “Puppy Dog” Close
Popularised after being mentioned in Tim Ferriss’s book, The Four Hour Workweek, the “puppy dog” close is a simple yet effective closing technique. The idea is to offer qualified leads a chance to try your product or service for themselves hands-on. Once they’ve spent some time experiencing its value – they won’t want to hand it back. This experience gives them a chance to become attached and sure of their decision to adopt your solution. However, the closing technique can only apply in certain business selling situations. For instance, a complex SaaS product with a long onboarding process isn’t ideal for using the “puppy dog” close as it suits shorter timeframes. Comparatively, this technique is the perfect option if you can offer a short trial period and have a short sales cycle.
12. The “Now or Never” Close
Similar in style to the scarcity close, the “Now or Never” Close helps salespeople to persuade hesitant prospects to buy your solution by offering unique benefits such as bonuses, discounts, and gifts. To do so successfully, salespeople must simplify the decision-making prospects by proving that it’s the best time for them to purchase your offering by mentioning the unique benefit they’ll miss out on if they continue to be indecisive. For example, “Order today, and receive 15% off the entire purchase!)
13. The Take Away Close
Salespeople struggling to close the sale due to cost or other external factors can always use this nifty technique to persuade prospects. The “Take Away” Close refers to the process of removing one or more features about your products or services to make them more attractive to prospects. However, this closing technique shouldn’t encourage salespeople to take a lesser deal. Instead, the idea is to take away the good features, as if it was taking candy options away from a child. Eventually, prospects will be more likely to choose and radiate towards the deal and feature you originally suggested.
Final word: The power of incremental commitments
While “always be closing” is sound advice, and our 15 top closing techniques will surely help – it doesn’t mean you should only be closing for the final commitment to buy. Instead, salespeople should remember to close for all of the commitments that lead to the final commitment to purchase (the easiest one to gain).
Incremental commitments are the process of getting prospects to agree to do something with you in the present moment with the intent to progressively scale upon the size of their commitment. Simply put, rather than do one sales pitch, product demo or presentation and say “sign here,” you need to get your prospect to make small incremental commitments.
A commitment would be an obligation or a promise, so an incremental commitment would be small, bite-sized pieces, portions. What you’re looking to do is to gain a small commitment – something that they can agree to do now that’s relatively easy. The idea is that you get customers to commit to small things and to follow through on those small things, you’re one step closer to closing those big deals.
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