Guest Columnist and Strategic Partner of Kinsey Management
Closing is the culmination of all the time and resources your sales reps invest in clients over the sales cycle.
Hopefully, sales reps have primed the customer by addressing pain points, overcoming objections, and clearly displaying the value of your product or service. Then, all that remains is to go in for the close and secure the contract.
But closing isn’t as easy as extending your arm for a handshake and sliding a contract across the table.
Even customers who have been attentive and agreeable during the sales pitch may become wary of committing when it’s time to sign. That’s why powerful closing techniques are essential for any successful sales methodology.
Sales closing is binary by nature. You either close the deal or you don’t. So fine-tuning your sales team’s closing techniques is crucial for meeting sales quotas and driving revenue and growth.
What Closing Technique should Your Team Use?
The best sales reps understand that the ideal sales closing technique depends on many factors. To prepare for a wide range of prospects’ needs and personalities, sales reps should become comfortable deploying an equally wide range of closing techniques.
We’ve compiled a list of popular closing techniques ranging from traditional to modern to help your salesforce stock up on strategies that increase conversions and close deals.
Four Traditional Sales Closing Techniques that Still Work
1. Now-or-Never Closes
Now-or-never closes include an offer that can only happen with an immediate purchase. For example, a sales rep may offer a prospect a 15% discount or complimentary upgrades to a higher service or product package if they close the deal same-day.
Now-or-never closes instill a sense of urgency in potential customers’ minds, which can be a powerful tool for overcoming final objections by building momentum towards closing the deal.
2. Summary Closes
Summary closes are great at emphasizing the key points of your offer. They can lead your sales prospects to visualize the value and benefits your product will provide, increasing their odds of agreeing to a deal.
For example: “This luxury property is over 5,000 square feet, with 10 acres of landscaped grounds, an infinity pool, and direct water access. It also resides in one of the most exclusive and safest gated communities in Made-Up City, Any State, with 24/7 concierge services.”
This is a great closing strategy for prospects who request additional time to consider their options before buying. By reiterating the value of your product, sales reps can overcome their hesitancy and generate excitement that pushes prospects to close the deal.
3. Sharp Angle Closes
Sharp angle closes are best employed when a prospect is ready to buy with a concession or two. They may request fast-tracked implementation or an introductory discount before committing to a deal. The sharp angle close helps sales reps cut through back-and-forth negotiations by answering their question with a question that moves the conversation towards an agreement.
For example, if a client were to ask for a 10% discount, a sales rep could respond by asking, “If I can get that 10% discount approved, will you sign a deal today?”
This closing technique generates a win-win scenario for savvy sales reps because a positive answer closes the deal and a negative response lets the sales rep know there is more to the prospect’s hesitancy to close the deal than they’re letting on.
4. The Hard Close
The hard close can be tricky to deploy well and might come off as ‘pushy’ when clumsily attempted. However, hard closing techniques still have their place in sales, especially when prospects have been unresponsive to various soft-close technique attempts.
Hard closes cut straight to the chase by directly asking prospects to close the deal or what final objection is holding them back. For example, a sales rep may say at the end of a long sales pitch, “Would you like to go ahead and move forward with this deal?” or ask, “What will it take to get you to sign today?”
For many organizations, hard closes are also likely to increase successes at the end of the sales cycle even if they aren’t expertly deployed. Why? Because a shocking 48% of sales calls end without any attempt to close at all.
Three Modern Sales Closing Techniques You should Consider Using for 2022
1. Question Closes
Question closes are another technique that helps sales reps either close the deal or identify what is holding their customer back.
By asking a question like, “Does this sound like a solid solution to [x problem]?” sales reps put the ball in the prospect’s court. Much like hard closes, the ideal outcome is that they answer ‘yes,’ and all that remains is paperwork.
But unlike hard closes, if a prospect answers ‘no,’ the door has not been effectively closed to further sales efforts. Instead, sales reps can use probing questions to identify unexpressed objections that are hindering their sales process and formulate a new strategy to close the deal.
2. Assumptive Closes
Assumptive closes rely on the power of positivity. Sales reps can deploy this strategy by engaging with customers in a manner that suggests they’ve already decided to buy and reinforcing that decision with supportive, positive remarks and questions.
Sales reps using assumptive closes may bury questions that provide a positive direction to the conversation in positive remarks like: “It really seems like our product is exactly what you’re looking for to fix your heating and cooling issues. Should I schedule you for an installation at the beginning or end of next week?”
This technique generates positivity and excitement around the prospect of closing the sale while also removing the need for prospects to ‘cave’ during negotiations to close the deal. Instead, they’re provided a simple choice that moves the sales cycle forward and collaboratively closes the deal.
3. The Opportunity Cost Close
Opportunity cost closes appeal to prospects’ business sense by forcing them to envision the potential downsides of not closing a deal with your sales rep. This closing technique can also improve by rephrasing the purchase as a necessary and valuable investment rather than an expense.
Sales reps can employ this closing strategy by asking questions like:
- “If you don’t update your CRM today, what could it cost you in potential sales over the next six months?”
- “How much potential reach and revenue are you willing to sacrifice by delaying an investment into your inbound marketing channels?”
These questions can be especially useful when struggling with price objections.
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