So, you’ve decided to shoot for a career in sales. Welcome to our club, we’re thrilled to have you!
If you’re starting out in sales, you’re going to have to prove you can hit your targets. And to do that, you need to master what most of us agree is the most intimidating aspect of sales: closing.
I won’t beat around the bush here: when it comes to sales, closing is everything.
Say you’ve taken your time selecting the ripest lead and put them through an incredible nurturing sequence. If, when the moment comes, you can’t get them to sign on the dotted line, then you’ve all but wasted your time and effort.
Unfortunately, closing is not a skill that comes naturally to most: you’ve simply got to put the work in. Indeed, 71% of salespeople say their top priority is to close more deals.
But don’t worry, I’ll start you off with the basics. Here are eight of the best sales closing techniques for those new to sales.
1. The Now-or-Never Close
This simple technique is as old as time – and it’s definitely for those shooting for a hard sell.
It’s all about putting time pressure on the deal. Keep some discounts or incentives in your back pocket, and put them on the table if you’re struggling to get the client to pull the trigger.
The key to this tactic is that whatever incentive you’re offering must be time-sensitive.
Examples of Now-or-Never Closing:
“If you sign today, I can jump you to the head of the implementation queue”
“I can offer you a 10% discount if you sign by the end of the week”
“Sign today, and I can throw in [x] product for free”
2. The Assumptive Close
This one is all about self-belief. From the beginning of the sales process, assume this is a deal you’ll close.
It’s incredible how this positive mindset impacts the sales process, injecting it with authority and a tenacious upward trajectory. Ideally, Assumptive Closing encourages the client to believe your relationship will lead to purchase too.
Throughout the process, ask questions such as:
“Did this product demo align with your expectations?”
“Do you think this service thoroughly addresses your pain points?”
Regularly checking that the client is following your lead is key to the Assumptive Close.
3. The Sharp Angle Close
The fact is that your lead is going to know you want to close the deal – even if you’re going for a soft-sell approach.
Unfortunately, this gives them the upper hand. But with the Sharp Angle close, you can take their upper hand and leverage it to your advantage.
Sounds good, right?
Prospects often haggle, asking for price cuts or add-ons. Try to anticipate what they’ll want from you and get the green light from your sales manager to grant it.
During the negotiation, surprise them by agreeing to their request – but with a caveat.
It goes something like this:
“Yes, I should be able to knock 10% off the price. But if I sort that out for you, could you sign today?”
4. The Next Steps Close
The Next Steps close is perfect for beginners: it’s simple and it feels organic, so there are no awkward moments.
As you’re winding down your sales call or meeting, rather than pushing for a sale, simply ask your lead what they believe the next steps should be.
However, you shouldn’t use this closing technique unless you’re confident you’ve resolved all their pain points and have spoken with everyone in the business you need to. Otherwise, the next step will likely be another call or meeting.
To pack an extra punch, use this in conjunction with other sales techniques on this list, such as The Assumptive Close or The Ben Franklin Close.
5. The Value Wedge Close
When you’re operating in the B2B arena, it’s unfortunate but true that your products are likely to be very similar to those of your competitors. Indeed, according to Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions, most B2B sales reps admit there’s up to a 70% overlap between their products and those of their competitors.
Instead of attempting to pitch your product in a generic way, differentiate yourself from the competition.
Focus instead on the theoretical 30% difference between your product and your rivals’ products. What do you offer that they don’t?
Explain in clear terms why your prospect will get added value by signing with you instead of a competitor.
6. The Take Away Close
The Take Away Close is a powerful tool in your arsenal when it comes to motivating your lead to cross the finish line.
Is your lead asking for an unreasonable discount? Think about the features or benefits a customer really wants from your product, and suggest taking those specific elements away in order to cut costs.
It might sound counterproductive, but it often works.
Not only do you sound like you’re being helpful and going the extra mile, but suggesting that your lead forgo the very features they most want makes them realize they don’t want to drop anything from their wishlist.
This then triggers them to purchase, and you get to return to the office with a signed contract in your pocket.
It looks something like this:
“I’ve spent some time working out how we can get you 30% off the price and put together a new package for you. If we take away [x feature], [x add-on], and [x service], we should be able to knock the price down to [$x].”
Remember: make it clear what your lead will be losing out on when opting for the budget deal, and hammer home the significant ROI they would gain by reverting to the original price.
7. The Ben Franklin Close
There’s a reason Ben Franklin’s face graces the $100 bill. In addition to being one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States, the man knew how to close a deal.
This old school close is pretty simple: take inspiration from Franklin’s chosen method of persuasion and use a smart list of pros and cons to get your client on your side.
Summarize the pros and cons of your offering for your client, and encourage them to make a decision by looking at the stronger list. Put the list on your sales pitch and print it out for them to review.
Naturally, you’re not going to put a weak “pros” list and a strong “cons” list in front of a client who is almost ready to sign. To see success, your pros must be at least two to three times more valuable than the cons.
8. The Summary Close
The Summary Close is another technique that feels perfectly organic.
When concluding your sales meeting or call, simply summarize the products and services you’re hoping the client will purchase and emphasize the benefits and added value.
“So we’ve got the Premium Content Marketing Solution, which includes 8 longform articles per month, 3 videos, and the full social media bundle, as well as a free animation and a complimentary UX consultation, with 10% off if you sign up for 12 months now. When would be a good time to start implementation?”
As with all the techniques listed, you can use the Summary Close alone, or alongside other closing techniques.
Simply decide which methods would be most effective on your current clients, then go forth and close!
What closing techniques have you had the most success with in your sales career so far? And which do you find tricky to pull off? Share your thoughts in the comments below.