Sales techniques seem to be a dime a dozen in the digital age. If you look hard enough, there is a technique described online for every niche—and when you couple them with an excellent product or an effective service, you can garner a client’s attention and interest in your business quite effectively. However, even the most foolproof sales techniques won’t matter if you cannot effectively close the sale.
Closing is a major concern for salespeople and executives alike across most sectors. According to a HubSpot survey, after prospecting, closing is considered the second most challenging portion of the sales process—and 30% of these individuals believe closing has become harder within the past several years. As the culmination of days, weeks, or even months of hard work and negotiation, you’ll want to approach this challenge with closing strategies proven to bring success.
Closing Strategies That Work
Fortunately, just as there are multiple proven sales strategies designed to secure client interest in your product or service, there are also numerous closing strategies successful salespeople have developed on their own paths to success. Keep in mind, however, that there is no one strategy guaranteed to work in every situation. Instead, understand the prospect’s needs, build your relationship with them, and then choose a closing strategy that can turn your prospect into a client and turn you into a closer.
This list represents the closing strategies most likely to garner results, regardless of your industry:
1. Now or never. The now or never close is most useful when the client has participated in negotiations and desires the product or service but is hesitant to commit. Utilizing language that highlights the immediacy of the deal’s closure, as well as the value you have to offer, can add a sense of urgency for the client and send them over the edge to make a purchase. Try offers like, “I have X amount of products left at this price, but the offer ends this week,” or “If we can close this deal today, I can offer a percentage off,” to stress the timeliness of the deal without making it sound as if your product or service is second hand.
2. Summarize the deal. Summarizing the entirety of the deal—the products or services involved, their benefits, the pricing structure, and any other fine details—ensures both you and your client are on the same page after negotiation. This process helps the client differentiate between what you’ve discussed and what is involved in the deal and helps them visualize the final deal. However, be sure not to introduce new benefits, bonuses, or discounts; a simple, “We’ve agreed on product X with the previously discussed benefits Y and Z, with the limited warranty and price of $999.”
3. Ask a question. During the negotiation, both you and the client have likely asked several pertinent questions. Ask one more during the close to address a key pain point you know has given your client reason to consider your product or service in the first place. A question like, “Will the solution provided by Product X solve your company’s problem?” allows you to respond to any hesitation if your client answers in the negative and allows you to move on to the final sale if they respond in the positive.
4. Make a presumption. One of the most successful closing strategies of all time is the presumptive close, in which you assume that you’ve successfully negotiated a sale. Making a statement like, “We can have Product X to you by early next week,” shows confidence in your product and the sale. In addition, beginning the final stage of the sale makes it easier for your client to take that step—and more difficult to do nothing at all.
5. Take away a service or extra. Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking away something on your client’s must-have list can help close the sale. Saying something like, “Of course, we could eliminate Perk X if cost savings are important to you,” not only reiterates that you have the client’s best interests at heart but threatens to take away a benefit on their final must-have list. The result is often the client agreeing to purchase at the previous price point to avoid losing a critical item, service, or extra.
6. Adding perks at a sharp angle. Of course, adding perks is another way to influence a close. However, instead of adding perks before close, keep a pre-approved perk that you know your client desires in your back pocket to leverage your power position at close. When a client asks for a perk you already know you can afford to give, answer with, “Of course, if we can close this deal today,” to put the impetus for action back onto the client and encourage timely closure.
7. Visualize how you’re solving a client problem. Commonly referred to as a “Ben Franklin Close,” this strategy is as simple as writing up a pros and cons list. A paper copy of the benefits your product or service will have for your client allows them to visualize just how much closing the deal will help solve a critical problem. As a bonus, including minor cons helps strengthen your position as an honest salesperson that truly wants the best for your clients.
8. Allow a test drive. Test drives aren’t just for auto sales; in fact, this closing strategy is also known as the puppy dog close, because most clients who take a dog home from the pound can’t resist keeping it once they’ve experienced the pleasures of ownership. If you have a product or even a service your clients can test for a short period, you’ll be enabling them to see just how much what you’re selling can truly help solve a problem. Also, this tactic is relatively low-pressure but highly effective.
Employing an effective closing strategy is crucial to ensuring movement toward your final sales goal. However, negotiation is key at every stage of the sales process and becomes even more so as closing approaches. As a result, you should begin utilizing your closing tools from the first time you have a conversation with the client, then tailor the final strategy to meet the client’s needs and your business. Your closing percentage—and your bottom line—will see improved results.