Closing a sale can be tedious, nerve-wracking, frustrating and exhilarating all within 5 minutes. Closing skills are some of the most essential attributes to successfully working in sales. A solid pitch informs, engages, helps and tempts potential buyers. But it is the close that seals the deal. Approaching the close is often quite stressful, as there is a fine line between being persuasive and pushy. Finding the right balance between being encouraging without being aggressive can often make the difference.
A well-trained salesperson will build both the level of enthusiasm and the level of trust with potential buyers, and will handle the closing in a manner that makes the buyer feel in control.
Success Sales Reps
A successful sales rep should endeavour to:
- Determine your prospects pain points, needs, and challenges
- Effectively communicate how their product or service is an affordable and satisfactory solution to their challenges.
If both of the above are done successfully, the close will come naturally. However, even those deals that seem the most destined and obvious need a little nudge. Becoming a strong closer takes skill and practice, but there are some effective tips that the most successful salespeople will agree on.
COMMON CLOSING SALES TACTICS
The most common closing techniques use an element of psychological finessing. These tactics are formulated to trigger a sense of need and urgency in the prospects.
1. The Now or Never Close
This is the most effective and most commonly used closing technique. It instills in buyers a sense of importance in making a quick decision--to strike while the iron is hot.
Some examples of this tactic are:
- “We have a deal on this purchase at a discount for all new customers that sign up today.”
- “If you have been thinking of making this move, now is the time to do so. We have a special promotion on this product going on right now.”
- “This product/service is gaining a lot of interest, and it would be in your best interest to get on board now before the increased demand drives up prices.”
2. The Option Close
The option close puts buyers in the driver’s seat. It basically encourages the sale, while giving them the control to choose an option that best suits their needs. This tactic not only encourages buyers to go through with the sale, but it also gives them a bigger part in the decision making.
In this technique, the salesperson gives the buyer more options in the sale. For example:
- “We can give you the product/service for six months at a rate of $$/month, OR for a full year at the discounted rate of $/month.”
- “We can begin services on a monthly basis for a charge of $$, OR put you on a fixed term contract of your choosing for $.”
3. The Summary Close
Ultimately, people will be more inclined to choose the option that saves them money, as well as time.
This tactic uses repetition and confidence to secure the deal. By continually mentioning the product/service and the sale, the buyer often becomes more engaged in the process, and in turn, is more receptive to the close. This technique is often used in conjunction with the previous two tactics. An example of this technique is:
- “So with a purchase of this product/service today, you get the one-time-only discounted rate we discussed, ongoing service for 12 months, as well as our promotion for monthly payment installments on a one year plan. Can we schedule a time to deliver/install this product/service tomorrow or on another day at your convenience?
NEw CLOSING TACTICS
Sales and closing techniques are constantly changing and expanding. While the previous tactics are effective closing techniques, they may seem a little too sales oriented, given the emphasis on inbound sales. Sales reps have now begun to employ other methods including the following:
1. The Question Close
This technique is very effective as it takes into account the buyer’s needs. It requires great listening skills, and it helps to be quite knowledgeable about your prospect’s operations. With this closing technique, the salesperson asks a number of probing questions right from the start to uncover underlying challenges in the prospect’s operations, as well as eliminating the reasons they may be hesitating to close the sale. For example:
- “It sounds as though (this area) of your operations has hindered your overall functionality. Would (this service/product) help with boosting efficiency?”
- “What else would you need to increase the functionality of X in your business?”
2. The Assumptive Close
This approach assumes from the start that you are going to close the deal. This technique focuses on the positives of your pitch, and highlighting how beneficial your product/service is to their business. It also requires you to keep checking in with the prospect to ensure that you completely understand the challenges they need to solve. For example:
- “Does what we offer align with your need to improve your company’s procurement efficiency?”
- “Would my offer be valuable for the future of your business operations?’
3. The Take Away Close
If a potential buyer is hesitant on an offer, sometimes removing aspects of the sale will entice them to come back to the original offer. For example, if they are hesitant about the price, offer a lower price with some of the features eliminated. This often makes the prospects think of out was removed rather than the discounted price. For example:
- “All right, we can offer the package for XXX per month if we remove the 24-hour service guarantee.”
- “We can absolutely re-shingle your roof for that price but we could not include the new eavestroughs.”
4. The Soft Close
This technique highlights the benefits of your product or service and asks a low-impact question. This technique focuses on increasing the prospect’s confidence in your offer. The prospect does not have to make any commitment and it also gives you more time to suss out their needs. For example:
- “If our product/services can increase your productivity by 15%, would that be something that would help you achieve your goals?”
Creating a basket of closing skills is one of the most important things a sales rep can do. In order to get the most out of your sales efforts, it is very important to provide training that covers both soft closing skills and training on more concrete skills like a mastery of sales enablement tools.