All sales people would like to possess the perfect roadmap for closing a deal
but that doesn’t exist. What you can do, however, is build on established
techniques to make the call as good as it can possibly be.
Not matter how informative and interesting your pitch is, without asking for the
business all you are doing is telling a good story. Using good closing
techniques can make all the difference.
Below are some useful closing techniques to make sure that you leave a great
impression and more importantly – close the deal.
Typical closing techniques include exerting some pressure on the prospective
High-pressure tactics, whilst still used in some areas are becoming a thing of
the past but applying some pressure during the call is needed to prompt a
decision. Sometimes, reminding the client that they will lose out if a decision
is not made today can turn a call into a closed deal.
Some low-pressure tactics may include phrases such as:
“Today is the last day I can offer this product to you at this price”
or something along the lines of
“the product is almost out of stock and I’m not sure when we will have any more
– don’t miss out”.
These prey on a fear of loss but be careful not to use them if they are not
true. You will be unlikely to gain respect or future sales.
Most salespeople would not consider letting their prospect off the phone and
finishing the call themselves. Perhaps this is not as foolish as it sounds.
Acknowledging that your prospect has a life to lead outside of your call shows
empathy and an understanding of the prospect’s situation as a person and not
just potential client.
Next time you are pitching and you can tell that the person on the other end of
the line is trying to end the call, consider ending the call yourself. Even if
you do not make the sale right then, you may leave the opportunity open to
revisit at another time and make the sale.
By acting as if the deal is already agreed and leaving it up to the prospect to
stop you by using lines such as “I’ll send you the contract today and pick it up
tomorrow from you after you have signed it”.
This is a presumptive close and works best when prospects and leaning towards
the deal and not so well when prospects are not ready to proceed as it can
alienate them further.
You will never get their business if you don’t ask for it and sometimes seizing
the opportunity and striking whilst the iron is hot can lead to positive
Getting a response
Throughout the pitch, the prospect should be included and the call made into a
conversation rather than a monologue by the salesperson. One way to ensure
participation and show your prospect that you are listening is to ask questions.
There are many examples but some common ones include:
- Are you following me so far?
- What questions do you have for me?
- How does that sound?
Using the questions that work for you and that sound natural and not forced is
important as potential clients need to feel their needs are being addressed and
asking questions also gives you the opportunity to discover any objections they
might have and overcome them before the end of your pitch.
The most straightforward and obvious technique is to ask the prospect flat out
There is no reason why you can’t simply address the elephant in the room
“So, shall I take your order now?”
This is an honest line that is direct and straightforward. After all is said and
done, you are a salesperson trying to close a deal. Clever tricks and specialist
techniques are not always the best way forward with all prospects.
The prospect understands that you are making a sales call and is expecting you
to ask for their business so why disappoint? Many people may well appreciate
your frankness and honesty, especially if they receive a lot of similar calls.
Set out a time frame
It is sometimes useful to set an agreed time frame with your prospective client.
This may well boost your chances of doing business with them in the future and
it sets out a clear picture to the prospect. Let them know and understand what
the next steps are, what is involved and how long it will take if they proceed
and place an order.
Make sure that they know:
- The information that you and they require to come to a decision
- How the process will work after they place their order
- What you are going to do for them soon
An example might be to let them know that if they place an order today, payment
is expected within 48 hours and delivery will be made the day after that. That
way everything is clear and understood by both parties.
This technique demonstrates to the prospect that you are there to deliver a good
service and complete your side of the agreement. This is also important if
future business is possible.
Start and end the call in a positive way. The detail and technical aspects can
be covered in the middle of the call or presentation but always end confidently
and with positivity.
Sum up confidently with phrases such as:
- ‘I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today’
- ‘Thank you very much for your business and I believe you will be very
pleased with your decision’
- ‘It has been fantastic talking to you and I’ll be in touch again soon’
Again, this is important if you have successfully clinched the deal, but just as
important if you have not. Finishing the call and leaving a positive impression
can leave the door open for a future sale and make them more likely to take your
call and speak to you again in the future.
Ask your prospect straight out:
‘Is there any reason why we can’t move forward today?’
This question can disarm the prospect. It is a very direct question and as a
result, it is difficult for your prospect to reply with something such as
“because I don’t want to”.
If the prospect says there is no reason, then you have a deal. If they give you
a genuine reason why they won’t move today, you still have the opportunity to
overcome the reason preventing a deal.
Any and all of these techniques can have a positive impact on closing rates but
knowing when to use them is key.
Listening to what the prospect is not saying as well as what they are will, over
time and practice allows you to know which closing technique works best with
each situation, make more sales and have satisfied clients.