The ability to close is one of the most important skills for any salesperson to master.
Closing the sale is all about showing the prospect that they’re making the right choice – and there are proven techniques that can help you do just that.
These aren’t “tricks” to fool your next prospect into buying something they don’t need. Rather, these techniques and phrases will help you bring mutually-beneficial deals to a neat close.
If you or any of your reps are struggling to close, you should try to identify and address the root cause. So, let’s start by looking at a few common mistakes that prevent salespeople from winning new business.
Common Closing Mistakes That Can Cost You the Deal
- Not focusing on the customer: If you channel all your energy towards closing the deal at all costs, you’re likely not paying very close attention to your customer’s wants and needs. A successful close requires listening to your customer, responding to their objections, and framing your solution in relation to their needs.
- Lack of storytelling: Sharing a customer success story can help a prospect envision their own success with your product. Plus, storytelling can strengthen your sales pitch by triggering the release of oxytocin and helping you earn the trust of your new customer.
- Forcing the close before it’s time: By pressuring a prospect to make a decision before they’re ready, you risk scaring them off completely. Instead of trying to close as quickly as possible, take the time to build a strong relationship that will turn a prospect into a long-term customer.
9 Techniques for Closing the Sale
As long as your team is avoiding the mistakes above, these techniques will help you reach the finish line to close more deals and grow your business.
1. Sweeten the Deal
If your prospect needs some extra coaxing to commit to a large purchase, throw in a freebie or special discount. The more exclusive the bonus, the better.
Simply ask, “Would a [freebie or bonus] convince you to sign the deal today?”
For extra points, pull out your calculator when figuring out how much you can save them or how much extra you can offer. Crunching the numbers right in front of them is a simple but surprisingly effective way to demonstrate that you’re offering added value.
2. Be Direct
You don’t have to play with a prospect’s head to get them to agree to a purchase. Sometimes, the most straightforward close is the most effective.
Try phrases like:
“Will you commit to doing business with us today?
“Are you ready to move forward?”
“I’d love to do business with you today – what do you say?”
“Let’s do this!”
The only catch to being this direct is that you must be confident in a prospect’s intention to buy in order for it to work. If you’re fairly certain a prospect is ready to go and waiting for you to make the next move, the direct approach is all you need.
3. Put It in Writing
Always get a formal proposal written up as quickly as possible.
If it’s a standard agreement, print out a copy ahead of time. If there are special provisions or the deal is completely tailored to the client, type up the specific terms you’ve agreed to –in the same language you used when discussing it, of course.
Formalizing the agreement makes the prospect feel more committed to the deal, even if they still have a few questions before they sign.
Also, make sure you have an extra pen on hand so there are no excuses to postpone signing!
4. List the Benefits
Once you’ve chatted with a prospect about how the solution will meet their specific needs, wrap up the conversation by ticking off the various benefits in list form.
“So, with our solution, you’re getting W, X, Y, and Z.”
Not only does this technique summarize your call or meeting, but it also encourages them to participate in reiterating why buying from you is the right choice. Their reaction will allow you to transition into asking them to sign the contract.
5. Take the Pressure Off
A friendly closing line like “Would you like my help?” can completely reframe how the prospect views your relationship. Using this type of language in your close can shift their perception of you from self-serving sales rep to trusted advisor.
For prospects who are skeptical of pushy salespeople, a friendly and collaborative close is the perfect compromise. It’s still clear that you want their business and are looking to move things along, but without the pressure associated with certain sales tactics.
6. Hold Your Ground
This is an interesting one. I’m not talking about refusing to negotiate – just suggesting that you do so without getting up from your seat.
When discussing deal details with a prospect, try to stay in the same physical space until you’ve finished negotiations. Even if your prospect moves around the room or stands up, stay in your chair.
If you stand up, you’re suggesting a shift in the situation. Such a change could signal to your prospect that negotiations aren’t working out or the conversation is coming to an early end.
7. Give Them Time to Think
Sometimes a prospect really does need time to mull over the details before committing. In these cases, the best way to close is to give your prospect some space.
This low-pressure tactic works well for prospects who want to do their own research or check in with their team before signing off on a purchase.
The only caveat is that you must follow-up – multiple times – in order to make the deal happen. Set a reminder to follow-up periodically and, if you have a Customer Care Manager on your team, task them with re-opening the conversation at a later date.
8. Ask an Open-Ended Question
When a prospect pulls away from the conversation or seems like they’re losing interest, ask an open-ended question that forces them to re-engage and reconsider the scenario.
“What happens next?”
“Where do we go from here?”
It’s not so much about putting them on the spot, but about opening them up with a question that will either take you to the next stage or call them out for hesitating.
If they respond negatively, address their objections head-on and help them focus on the benefits.
9. Keep the Ball Rolling
Progress is a positive thing. So, one of the best techniques for closing the sale is simply to build off the forward momentum you’ve already created.
Use a phrase like: “Are you ready to move forward? I can send you the contact right now.”
This emphasizes both that the contract is already written and that signing it would be a step forward for the prospect. If you can tie the purchase to the concept of progress, your prospect will be more likely to agree to it.