Closing sales is one of the most crucial aspects of running a business. It doesn’t matter how good your product is or how skilled you are at marketing; if you can’t close deals, you’re not in a business that’s going to last very long. In fact, closing sales is so important that 71% of sales professionals consider it their top priority, according to a HubSpot Survey.
Unfortunately, closing sales is also a challenging skill to master. 35% of sales professionals say closing is the hardest part of their job.
What are Sales Closing Techniques?
Sales closing techniques are the strategies and methods used by sales professionals to persuade a prospect to make a purchase. They’re the tools you use to finalize a deal, to turn a prospect into a customer. These techniques are not one-size-fits-all, they vary depending on the situation, the product, and the prospect. They are the culmination of all your sales efforts, the final push that moves a prospect to action.
Why are Closing Techniques Essential in Sales?
Closing techniques are essential in sales because they guide the final, and often most challenging, part of the sales process. They provide a roadmap to navigate the complexities of sealing a deal. Without effective sales closing techniques, you could find yourself stuck in sales limbo, with a prospective person who is interested but not quite ready to commit. But with the right techniques, you can guide your prospect towards a decision, creating a win-win situation for both parties.
Best Sales Closing Techniques
Puppy Dog Close
Have you seen that episode of Friends where Phoebe’s birth mom lends her a puppy to teach her the impact of attachment? For those who didn’t get the reference, the puppy dog sales closing technique is the one where you offer a taste of your product – for free – to help customers understand how much they’ll benefit from it. The intention is to get your customer to enjoy the outcome of using your product or service so much that they cannot imagine going back to the pre-you situation. And this will get them to hop on board as a paying customer.
The empathy technique is a sales closing technique that involves establishing a rapport with the customer and understanding their needs. This technique can be used to close a sale by showing the customer that you understand their situation and can offer a solution that meets their needs. This technique is most effective when the salesperson is able to establish trust with the customer and build a relationship of mutual respect. Rather than pressuring the customer to make a decision, the empathy close ensures that you give them the space to figure it out.
Sharp Angle Close
Your prospect is going to negotiate. You know that. They know you know that. And they’re well within their rights to use that as leverage. In the Sharp Angle sales closing technique, you agree to their demand for a discount or whatever perk they want, and then counter it with a demand of your own – sure, we can do that for you if you’re willing to hop on board today
Your prospect is probably busy making a pro-con list for everything they’re evaluating. Including your offering. In the Analytics sales closing technique, you make the list for your own product and present it to them to make it simpler. That way you control what goes on the list and you’re able to highlight why the pros outweigh any cons.
The Assumptive sales closing technique is all about confidence and positivity. You assume, right from the beginning of the interaction, that this engagement with the prospect is going to end up in a sale. You project this intent into your conversations with the prospect, and you might just end up willing it into happening.
The Question sales closing technique is a great way to anticipate and preempt objections and eliminate all obstacles to a deal closure organically. In this method, you ask your prospect probing questions at each stage of your engagement to get a pulse check of where they’re at. And most importantly, what blockers stand in their way (and in their mind) to take them to the next step. Doing this organically can do either of two things. A. Get your prospect to sign on because their objections have been overcome. Or B. You’ll be able to clearly understand why you might not be a good fit for the prospect at this time or in general, and you’ll be able to move on with more data that’ll make your next engagement go better.
Everyone loves a freebie – even B2B customers – which means you can increase your chances of closing a sale by offering an unexpected freebie. The freebie close is one of the best sales techniques because it leverages the principle of reciprocity. Once they get something from you for free, your prospect feels obligated to return the favor, and the only way to do that is by buying what you’re offering.
The freebie closes with all types of products and services. For instance, if you’re selling an accounting solution, you could throw in free invoicing templates that come with features like automated tax calculations. Similarly, if you’re selling vehicles, you could offer a free service. For this to work, however, your freebie needs to be valuable. Offering to give a free t-shirt to someone who’s about to spend $40,000 on a car won’t push them to make the purchase decision.
After you’ve made your final pitch with the Silent Close, you zip it. The silence encourages your prospect to speak, and hopefully, close the deal. This technique can be effective in overcoming objections by giving the prospect space to think and make a decision without feeling pressured.
Also known as the now-or-never close, the scarcity sales close leverages good old-fashioned FOMO (fear of missing out) to get a prospect to buy. You sweeten the deal with a discount or an added benefit to the prospect, but only if they act now and make a purchase. This mainly works when the prospect is sincerely interested in buying, but needs a small nudge to get to yes.
This technique capitalises on people’s desire for things that they can’t have, also known as reverse psychology. Note that your solution “might not be a good fit” for them or that their company “may not qualify for your solution like other companies have.” The takeaway close is effective because you’re doing the opposite of what a salesperson typically does, which is sell, so the prospect doesn’t expect it. Similar to the scarcity close, this tactic only works if the prospect has already established interest in your product but hasn’t pulled the trigger on buying.
No specific closing technique is a one-size-fits-all approach. There are various factors, such as the type of business, the characteristics of the prospect, their needs, their buying capacity, etc., that weigh in while closing a deal. However, learning the tried and tested techniques is still crucial to closing deals more efficiently and effectively.
In addition to closing deals, there are various things that one can work upon to fast track the sales process. From picking the sales techniques used by industry practitioners to mastering the art of using modern sales technology, each skill takes you a step closer to effectively improving sales.