How to close: 5 techniques you should know
Closing is the final, crucial stage of every deal. At some point in every conversation, you need to ask the potential client for an answer. Often, in relationship-driven consultative sales negotiations, days, weeks or months of work have gone into this moment.
Don’t worry if you are apprehensive about the close. Even experienced sales professionals get nervous. It’s the thrill of the chase and the deal; it is one of the things that keeps sales teams striving for more.
Because sales is a profession with decades of training and best-practice behind it, there are dozens of techniques used to close deals. What works for you depends on the situation, the client/sales prospect and relationship you have. So always pick a closing technique according to the situation. Here are five techniques you need to know.
5 reliable sales closers
#1: Sharp angle
When a deal is looking likely, you usually enter the commercial stage. The final few steps between maybe and yes. However, in a buyers market - or when a buyer is trying to chance their luck and get a price reduction or another commercial advantage, now is a good moment for them to attach a change to the terms of the deal.
Providing you have authority to accept modified terms, go for the close at the same time. Known as the sharp angle close: if they ask for a discount or something extra, you ask for a signed contract at the same time. Never give without taking. If both parties want to go ahead and are happy with the terms, you are more likely to close on the same day.
Questions are the foundation of relationship-driven sales engagement approaches.
As a salesperson, you are asking the right questions to determine the needs of a potential client.
Providing their answers demonstrate your solution is what they need (which should include budget, timescales and how much of a priority this project is), it is also the perfect way to overcome objections.
If a potential client is showing signs of interest, at the right moment, use a question to close: “Based on everything we’ve talked about, is there any reason why you wouldn’t go ahead?”
Another example is: “Does everything I have outlined solve the problems you want to solve?”
#3: Time sensitive
An old school approach, but one that still works in our hyper-connected age. It works on e-commerce and travel websites, and it still works when closing sales deals. Put some pressure on the deal. One-time offers, that won’t be repeated, or seasonal discounts that are going away soon.
In software, for example, a proven method is to offer a discount when a client pays for one year upfront. If they need ten subscriptions, you can sell them 8 if they’re paying in larger instalments or as a one-off fee.
#4: Assumptive close
Approaching a deal from a positive perspective can make a huge difference. It’s the same approach that encourages those in customer service roles to smile, even when they’re talking to customers on the phone. Positivity and energy transmit and can drive forward the outcome you want.
Use this approach to always check whether you are meeting expectations throughout these conversations. For example: “Did that demo outline how our software solves all of the challenges we talked about earlier?”
Assuming the best, instead of the worst, from a potential client can go a long way towards achieving the objective of the conversation.
#5: Soft close
During any sales conversation, you have the option to go for a soft close. Show your prospect a few benefits of the product/service on offer, then ask whether they’re open to learning more. An instant online demo is the perfect chance to do that.
For example: “I’ve shown here how our product can reduce operational costs 15%, would you like to learn more?”
This way, you’ve clearly stated benefits without making any “sales-y” demands or requests on the potential client. It also gives you more time to learn about their business and therefore create a pitch in a conversation that shows how your product/service solves various pain points you should be able to find out about in a conversation.
In every sales conversation, demo, pitch and meeting, the close you use is going to be different. It depends on the prospect or client (if you are managing accounts) and the pace/style of conversation and relationship you have. But the intended outcome is the same: closing the deal, generating revenue and earning commission. So getting good at closing is a key skill that needs to be mastered and practiced as often as possible.