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Ask any sales rep and they’re sure to tell you that the hardest part of a sale is closing it.
The most frustrating part of sales has got to be when you spend days, weeks, or even months with a client, only to have them drop out at the last minute.
Suddenly all that work is done, gone, down the drain. That seriously affects sales motivation.
Obviously, the point is to avoid that scenario at all costs. And the way to do that is to embrace tried, tested, and proven sales closing techniques that have the best chance of landing you that elusive sale.
Let’s get straight into it!
Introduction to Sales Closing Techniques
Hucking goods to the first person who comes looking isn’t a new concept.
Sales have been around since societies decided to do away with trading and adopt currency. And sure, the world of selling has evolved alongside technology, changing the way that salespeople find prospects, engage with them, and convince them to buy.
As sales evolved over the years, different successful sales techniques have cropped up what seems to work time and time again for helping salespeople see more success at every stage in the sales process.
In this article, we’re focusing on arguably the most important part of the sales process: the close. And in doing so, we’re analyzing some of the most common sales closing techniques and how to use them effectively.
Common Sales Closing Techniques
Salespeople know that there’s a process to making a sale, and the close is the most important part of the entire process. After all, it’s the last step. The ending. The big finish.
But we all know that getting to the close takes time and effort —you can’t just start a sale with a customer and move as quickly as possible to close the sale. Doing so can come across as arrogant, pushy, and show the customer that you don’t care about doing the work to really understand their needs.
These days, more customers are looking for that personalized sales experience, meaning salespeople have to ensure they are listening, observing, and understanding their customers completely.
It makes sense then that traditional sales closing techniques, often developed with the idea of using psychological tricks to make or break the sale, are often seen as pushier than modern sales closing techniques which tend to require that essential step of understanding the customer before they can be used.
However, when used correctly, traditional closing sales techniques can still be successfully used, even today.
So we’re left with two schools of thought when it comes to sales closing techniques — traditional and modern. Let’s take a look at each in more detail.
Traditional Sales Closing Techniques
Here are some of the most common traditional sales closing techniques:
The Urgency Close
The urgency close technique focuses primarily on putting pressure on the customer to make a decision as quickly as possible. This sales closing technique is really only effective when you’ve taken the time to identify the customer’s pain points and needs and have presented a solution.
Basically, you’ve given them a short deadline in which they have to make a decision. Typically, a salesperson will offer something like a special deal or limited-time offer to give the customer a bit of a push.
Here are two strong examples:
Image text: Want it tomorrow, July 3? Order within 9 hrs 32 mins and choose One-Day Shipping at Checkout.
In this example, Amazon uses the “I want it now” urgency technique to sell their faster shipping option.
- Old Navy
Image text: today only! In-Store and Online, 10/8. 50% off All Dynamic Fleece. Excludes Maternity. While supplies last.
Old Navy uses a hefty product discount alongside a limited-time offer to entice customers to buy immediately.
The summary close is used by salespeople to reiterate the products that the customer has potentially chosen to purchase while highlighting the value of those products. It’s another way to guide the customer towards purchase by reminding them of how that product is going to benefit them.
Here’s an example:
“So you’ve chosen to go with Ringy for your CRM. With that, you’re getting unlimited users, free world-class customer support, and automation features that will increase the productivity of your business. Would you like me to put that through for you?”
Sharp Angle Close
This closing sales technique is interesting because it relies on the customer asking for a price reduction or to include extra services. The salesperson can turn the tables a little bit by offering what the customer is looking for, but also putting a twist on it by saying something like “I’ll do that for you, but you have to buy today” to secure the sale.
Here’s an example:
When the customer asks you, “Can you give me a discount off the monthly subscription price? I’ve been a customer of yours for years” you can say, “Sure, but you’ll need to agree to the marketing add-on”.
This give-and-take generally catches the customer off guard, as you agreed to their request without a fuss, but attached a condition to it. This example works really well if you’ve already established that the customer would really benefit from the extra add-on or service, but they’ve declined it earlier.
The Assumptive Close
This technique is fairly simple in that the salesperson uses a phrase or language to assume that the deal is done.
Here’s an example:
“Let’s set a time for when we can deliver your new fridge.”
It’s important to remember that using this closing technique too early in the sale or to the wrong type of customer can actually lose you the sale, as it can come across as too pushy very easily. Take the time to make sure your customer is still on board with the sale and is happy with moving forward before using this technique.
Modern Sales Closing Techniques
While traditional sales closing techniques are still relevant, we’ve since moved to more modern techniques that focus less on psychological trickery and more on making sure that the customer is nurtured through each stage of the buying process equally, rather than focusing on the close as the most important moment.
Here’s an analysis of several common modern sales closing techniques:
Do your research
Clients appreciate sales reps that know their stuff, and that includes doing research on the client themselves to better understand their needs. If you can demonstrate that you understand your client’s business and industry, it shows the client that you care and you’ve done your homework. This helps you build much-needed rapport with your client.
Always be closing
A mistake that sales reps often make is to turn on the closing sales technique near the end of the sale. In reality, you should always be focusing on closing, and steering the conversation in that direction.
For instance, you can focus on making small closing wins throughout the sales process, such as the customer agreeing to meet with you, or agreeing to add on a certain feature if they decide to buy. Actions like these plant the seed of the sale in the customer’s mind, giving you the ability to let it grow as the sales process continues.
The suggestive close allows you to show your customer that you’ve been listening to them, and have a complete understanding of their pain points and needs.
For example, once your customer has finished explaining their challenges, you could say something like:
“Thanks for explaining that to me. I can see how that would result in a difficult situation. We actually offer this great service that would handle that for you.”
Who doesn’t love options? One easy way to close a sale is to offer your customer the choice between two or three products or services that would meet their needs.
All you have to do is say something like, “Would you like to go with A, B, or C?”
The customer is left with having to choose between those options, all of which result in the sale.
Key Criteria for Making Sales Techniques Work
Sales are finicky. You can have a rock-solid sales strategy, excellent sales reps, and a tried and tested sales process in place, and still feel like there’s something missing, like you haven’t quite perfected your sales secret sauce recipe.
No matter how much you over-prepare to deliver the best sales experience to your customers, if you’re missing key ingredients that amplify your sales techniques, you’ll be left with a bland, tasteless final result.
What you need to do is make sure you’re communicating value, building trust, creating urgency, and staying organized throughout every sale.
Let’s take a closer look at how that works in a sales environment:
The most important and best way to get through to your customers and convince them to buy is to communicate value. While it’s easy to say, communicating value effectively can be hard to execute.
Consider that sales reps often deal with hundreds of customers. Learning about each customer’s unique business and industry, coupled with trying to understand each customer’s wants, needs, and pain points, can prove to be a difficult experience.
In addition, most customers have trouble articulating their struggles in a clear and concise way, making it even harder for a sales rep to position a product or service as a solution.
That’s why a clear value message needs to be established from the beginning. This value proposition helps guide both your customers and sales reps as to how your company’s solution is the answer to customers’ problems while highlighting the unique offerings you bring to the table.
A great value proposition focuses on the difference between what you offer versus your competitors, showcasing the distinct solution your product or service provides.
Building trust is another extremely important aspect of sales. If your customer doesn’t trust what you’re saying, they are not going to buy. It’s that simple.
Among the best ways to build trust with your customers are using storytelling and emotional intelligence to convey your understanding of their challenges, and demonstrate how you can solve them.
For example, after listening to a customer describe their pain points, a salesperson can draw from previous experiences and describe how they helped another customer in a similar situation. If there isn’t a relevant previous customer example, metaphors and analogies are other great ways to illustrate a solution.
Emotional intelligence focuses more on the salesperson putting themselves in the customer’s shoes to really understand the customer’s challenges.
This perspective change helps the salesperson really double down and focus on the customer’s needs by asking themselves questions like the following:
- What are the customer’s biggest pain points and challenges?
- Does the product or service offered help to solve the customer’s challenges?
- What are the risks involved if the customer goes forward with the sale, or doesn’t go forward with the sale?
From limited-time offers, discounts, and sales, businesses use urgency every single day to help move sales forward.
Urgency can be a great way for salespeople to let their customers know that they are willing to go the extra mile to make the sale. It can also be a way to build trust, especially if the salesperson manages to create a special deal that is only available to a certain customer.
However, the urgency closing sales technique should also be used with caution. If discounts and sales become the norm for a company, customers are sure to take notice, creating the exact opposite effect of urgency. Customers could learn that if they just wait a little while, whatever product or service they want to purchase will surely go on sale.
If a sales rep is disorganized, the sale can fall flat really quickly. Not being prepared with key talking points from previous discussions for meetings, or forgetting the customer’s main challenges can give the customer the impression that they are not important enough to the sales rep.
Staying organized by using a sales CRM like Ringy helps sales reps keep track of previous conversations and sales activity with customers so they can always be ready for customer meetings and conversations.
4 Phone Sales Techniques that Close
Now that we’ve gone through more general sales techniques, let’s talk about how to sell to people over the phone.
Selling to someone on the phone is much different than selling to someone in person or through a video call. On the phone, body language is out of the picture, so you have to rely entirely on your voice for communication.
With that in mind, here are several successful sales techniques you can use to close more phone sales:
Create a script or note main talking points
How many times have you entered into an important conversation, like an interview, and forgotten your main talking points due to nervousness? Having a script or notes with main talking points helps sales reps stay on track and lessens nervousness, especially when talking to new customers.
Work on sounding more natural on the phone
Having a script or notes to keep sales rep talking points on track is fine, but reading a script verbatim has a high chance of sounding robotic. Instead, sales reps should start the conversation with an icebreaker, even if it's a simple “how are you doing today?”
This helps get the conversation flowing in a more natural way rather than going straight into the sales pitch. From there, be sure to use the customer’s first name. Doing so helps establish a more personal connection between yourself and the customer.
The other important thing to remember is to be brief and to listen to the customer when they are talking. If you interrupt a customer before they are done talking, it can come across as rude. Additionally, if you keep talking and don’t give the customer a chance to get a word in, it can cause frustration on their end.
Prepare for common objections
Pretty much every customer that you speak to is going to have questions, concerns, and objections. As a sales rep, your job is to be able to handle these objections quickly and confidently. Part of that process is being able to anticipate common objections and have great answers ready to go to counter those objections quickly.
Making point-form notes on a sales script beforehand is a good idea so you can plan out responses accordingly.
Be ready to take notes
Customer information doesn’t just come out of thin air; you have to be prepared to take accurate and detailed notes during customer calls. Doing so not only allows you to stay on track with the customer over multiple conversations, but also helps others across your organization understand what’s currently going on with your customer.
In addition, you can review customer notes between conversations and brainstorm ways to upsell, cross-sell, or solve objections that are causing roadblocks for moving the sale forward.
Construction Sales Techniques
Every business needs sales to stay afloat, and those in the construction industry are no different. Without effective selling,
With that in mind, let’s take a look at construction sales techniques that will help you succeed:
Create an online presence
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, the first place most people turn to when they want to purchase something, whether it’s a product or service, is online. If your business doesn’t invest in at least a basic online presence, then you’re definitely missing out on opportunities.
If you don’t already have some sort of online presence, you’ll want to create one as soon as possible. Even if it’s just a simple website and a few social media accounts, having an online presence helps customers come to you, rather than you having to always go out looking for them.
But once you created your online presence, you’ll also have to maintain it. Regular social media posts and website updates can go a long way in attracting new customers. This might mean reaching out to a marketing agency or hiring a freelancer to help you. You can also take advantage of a CRM like Ringy with a built-in sales tracker to keep track of incoming leads, manage customer accounts, and more.
Demonstrate your knowledge
Your customers want to be sure that they are hiring someone knowledgeable for the job. After all, construction of any kind is usually a big investment, so demonstrating your knowledge to the customer is imperative to building trust with them.
Showcasing your knowledge can be done in a variety of ways, from creating a killer proposal to having case studies and testimonials from previous customers ready to go. Depending on the project, a site visit may also be a good idea so you can get a better understanding of the customer’s needs and how your company can deliver on those needs.
Be willing to provide a quote
Customers don’t like uncertainty. In addition, most customers won’t agree to work until they know how much it’s going to cost.
Make sure that you gather enough information from your customer to create an estimate of the total cost of the work, preferably with a detailed breakdown, to show your customer.
While you want to put a responsible effort into providing a good quote, be sure to carefully weigh the time spent on a quote with the probability of the customer agreeing to the sale. After all, you don’t want to spend a ton of time on a quote only to have the customer decline immediately.
Sales isn’t an easy industry, but it can have great rewards if you’re good at it. While customers should be nurtured throughout the sales process, the close is like the final act in a play or the last penalty kick in a football game: if you mess it up, it can ruin the entire performance or cost you the game.
That’s why it’s so important to arm yourself with effective sales closing techniques: when you prepare yourself effectively to nail every stage of the sales process, you’re giving yourself the best chance of winning the sale.
Having the correct tools at the ready also makes a huge difference with sales success. A sales CRM like Ringy is an essential tool to help you keep track of customers, manage your sales pipeline, make sales calls, and more.
Request a demo with Ringy today and see what we have to offer.