9 Effective Sales Closing Techniques
A post from our Sales blog
Written by John Boddington
So you've practiced your routine a million times, you've got your voice down to that perfect tone, and you've perfected your strategy to get past the gatekeeper on a consistent basis. But you're still not making a sale – why? What's going wrong?
Many salespeople who have the potential to be excellent never manage to crank up their miserable conversion rates. The fact is that while they're excellent throughout their calls, they always fall at the final hurdle. That's because their closing techniques are lacking and without a good grasp on these, you're never going to get anywhere as a sales person. The following techniques are tried and tested, guaranteed to help you close the deal.
1. Create a Sense of Urgency
Even if your product or service is an ideal fit and your lead has every intention to sign up to whatever you've got to offer, it doesn't mean that your sale is guaranteed to close. The problem is that people will often leave things for another day, till they get around to it.
The key in avoiding this common problem is creating a sense of urgency
. And you don't have to lie either – just make sure that your prices and terms are created with time sensitivity in mind so that they can work in conjunction with your sales process.
For example, offer a special discount that's only valid for the first x customers or an exact date. Throw in bonuses or improved terms and conditions, as long as they sign up on the same day. Be creative and don't make it obvious that you're desperate for the sale – you're helping them by giving them such a good deal.
2. The Puppy Dog Close
Is there anyone who can resist a cute puppy? Not many. But the puppy dog close isn't limited to just pets. The idea is based on giving your customers the chance to ‘test drive' your product or service.
It works best when you can sense that they want their hands on it, but just they have that tiny seed of doubt still in their minds. While it's not always possible with every service offering, try and see whether you can squeeze in a free sample with no obligations. Most people will say yes, as there's no risk (or cost) attached to the transaction.
If your product is worth the praise you're giving it, chances are your customer will see that too. Once they've fallen in love with what you've got to offer, there's very little chance they'll call back to cancel.
3. The Sharp Angle Close
The sharp angle close is essentially using a customer's question to close the deal. Instead of answering directly, you instead turn the tables to asking a question that's geared towards sealing the deal. An example:
Customer: Does your package come with XYZ?
You: Not usually, but if we include it do you want to go ahead and place the order?
Even if this doesn't work, it gives you an excellent platform for further negotiation. If they reply in the negative, you'll be in a position to find out what's holding up the deal. This allows you to tweak your offer, ask further questions, and ultimately guide the customer to signing on the dotted line.
4. Build a Relationship
Any salesperson worth his or her salt knows that that if a customer likes you, the chances of signing on the dotted line are already odds-on. If they don't get along with you, not even the best product on the planet is going to convince them.
When you speak to your leads, don't treat them like numbers. Don't make it obvious that all you're looking for is closing the deal and pocketing your commission. Build a rapport with them
and establish a relationship you can build on.
Remember, it's not just about how to close sales on the spot. Having a good long game is also an effective technique that may not reap rewards instantly, but can turn an otherwise dubious lead to a loyal customer. And obtaining a customer that will buy from you again and again is far more valuable than a one-off sale.
5. Daily Cost Close
This technique is great if your product is a little on the expensive side. You want to try and minimise the impact of the price tag by presenting your product as a daily cost. For example:
"The contract is only $1 a day and it provides full peace of mind."
"For a weekly cost of just ten bucks, you're completely covered."
By giving your offer this kind of a spin, people won't baulk at the hefty overall costs. They'll see the value, rather than just be scared off by a number.
6. Best-time Close
This type of close is similar to the one where you create a sense of urgency, but it places more of an emphasis on the season. It's all about letting your customer know that it's all about the now, not later. Whether that's focusing on only having items in stock during the Christmas season, focusing on how your summer products will come in handy with the upcoming heatwave, you get the idea.
7. Add a Little Something for Nothing
No matter what the situation, people like feeling special. Whether it's a compliment from a friend or a free side of fries, having the feeling that you're being given special treatment is something we're all looking for.
And that makes the sales process just that little bit easier. Adding bonuses
or offers that are ‘just for you' may feel a little gimmicky, but they work like a charm. Try and throw in items or services that won't impact your bottom line, but add plenty of value to the customer. Think free service months, not free pens.
You can combine this one with the aforementioned sharp angle close. For example, say something similar to "if you sign up today, I'll throw in XYZ for no charge".
8. Get the Sale in Writing
Just because someone has given you a verbal ‘yes' doesn't mean that your job is done. Once you get the go ahead from your lead, it's time to get it in writing. And pronto. Don't delay and get that contract in front of them as quickly as possible (without being too pushy).
When in the middle of the buying process, people have the nasty habit of changing their minds. They'll either have second thoughts, will start doing research to find a ‘better' deal, or will come across unforseen events that make the purchase not such a good idea anymore. The key is to narrow the gap between interest, verbal agreement, and signing on the dotted line.
9. Be Prepared for Failure
Ultimately, being a successful salesperson is all about numbers. Some deals are just destined not to close, no matter how hard you try or how many of the aforementioned tactics you employ.
Being prepared for failing at the last hurdle is a key component in becoming a fully fledged salesperson that can take the wins alongside the hits. In fact, even the best in the business will see more rejections than successful deals. If you haven't managed to close, move on to the next one without carrying the baggage of failure. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again.