Often, the most important step in the sales process is the one that’s usually neglected.
Regardless of how innovative, superior to the competition or packed with features your product is, you need to ‘close the sale’.
Whether it’s about closing a sale over the phone or face-to-face, this step of the sales process is usually the one that carries the highest emotional burden. And it’s even capable of making even the most seasoned salesperson nervous.
What’s more, customers are constantly bombarded with sales pitches which makes it more common for them to actively fight back against the most common closing tactics.
To help you better understand how to close a sale, we have compiled a list of the best sales closing questions, along with tried-and-tested tips and techniques.
Table of contents:
- Knowledge is key when closing a sale
- Sales techniques: Get to know your client
- Sales techniques: Set the right tone
- How to close a sale
- Best sales closing techniques
- Overcoming sales objections
- How to increase your close ratio
Knowledge is key when closing a sale
The key to a successful sale is to under-promise and over-deliver but to do this right, you need to know your lead.
There’s a misconception that your approach to B2B and B2C calls needs to be different. Yet, in the end, you are selling your product or service to a person. Thus, establishing a personal connection is what’s going to differentiate your call/meeting from those of your competition.
It’s therefore vital to do your homework first.
Ensure you’re ready for every call or sales meeting before you’ve even picked up the phone/set foot inside the room. Define the purpose of your call and craft and review your scripts. Alternatively, you can come up with a personalized routine that will help you feel more comfortable and confident during the sales pitch.
Figure out what the right call volume for your business is. As a rule of thumb, the more calls you can generate, the greater your chances of converting. But when it comes to effective sales closing, sometimes quality is more important than quantity.
Do your research and take the time to figure out whether one prospect in your target market may be just as productive – if not more – than 10 or 20 less-qualified and less-carefully selected leads.
Sales techniques: Get to know your client
Speaking of qualifying leads, this is one of the most effective ways to ensure your closing call ends with a resounding ‘Yes’.
If you’re in a call or meeting with several people, figure out who the decision-makers are and gather the insights you will need to close the sale.
Focus on how well the customer profile aligns with your company’s ideal customers, how big their company is and what their industry is. Take their needs into account – the needs of the company, the team and the individual, and how their decision-making process works. Do they make decisions on their own or are other people/departments involved? How long does it take them to decide to buy a product? What competition are you going against?
You may also wonder how to close a sale if you’re in a call or meeting with multiple people. The best sales closing advice you’re going to get is to focus on the decision-maker. Sometimes, they might send someone else in first, in which case, try to get into the head of the decision-maker and customize your pitch to their interests, even if they’re not physically there.
Sales techniques: Set the right tone
It’s a common misconception amongst salespeople that the direct approach may be too blunt and may scare potential customers away. Setting the agenda at the very beginning of the call may seem like a bold move but being upfront is actually what helps you close the sale.
Your leads receive dozens of sales pitches a day – by showing what your goals are in the beginning, you also demonstrate you respect their time. After all, when closing a sale, you’re conducting a business transaction and transparency is key.
To close a sale, you need to be direct. It doesn’t matter what product, service or promotional offer you’re trying to sell, your goal is to close the deal. By being direct about the goal of the call/meeting, you’re acknowledging this need which creased focus and encourages professionalism.
Make sure your passion shows at the very beginning of the call. You can’t sell someone a product or service if you’re not feeling excited about them yourself. Your primary responsibility during the sales process is to convey your enthusiasm and passion for your business to your prospect.
Closing a sale is all about connecting with your customer and the best way to do so is by getting them to talk. Engagement is what differentiates successful from unsuccessful closing calls. Thus, make sure you actively engage your prospect in the conversation.
Get them to talk about their lives, work, and needs, and focus on active listening rather than simply going on and on about your business. This not only helps build a sense of trust and respect but also gives you the information you need to tailor your pitch to your prospective lead.
However, don’t turn your sales call into an hour-long conversation about life. Keep the small talk to a minimum – 3 to 5 minutes at most. The goal of the call or closing meeting is to conduct business, so try to remain as professional as possible, while also getting to know your lead.
How to close a sale
The answer to one of the oldest sales closing questions is in the three Cs: connect, create value and create urgency. You should start connecting with your lead from the first minute on the phone. A good laugh or a few carefully-chosen questions can get you a long way towards building trust before you start your sales pitch.
Many salespeople struggle to take the conversation from the personal to the professional level.
The best way to do so is by asking your prospect a question, something as simple as “Where do we stand?”
Open-ended questions are a great way to start the conversation naturally and get your prospect to talk without them feeling like they’re in an interrogation.
Once you have the conversation going, focus on creating value. No matter how good or innovative your product is, you need to convince your lead that it’s also the best solution for their needs and wants. Show why it’s a direct answer to their pain points (which you should already have learned about in the initial research stage).
In short, to close a sale, you need to convince your lead why they should care about your offering. Create value as soon as you can. Point out what problem your business solves, even if there’s little difference between what you and your competitors offer.
Find what makes your product different and highlight it. Ideally, you should be talking about what makes your business the answer to your customers’ problems, rather than why it’s better than your competition. In fact, you shouldn’t be mentioning your competitors at all.
Don’t simply sell features – sell value. Focus on actively listening. Your customer will more likely give you the answer to your questions themselves and by listening to them, you can better understand what their problem is and how to tailor your pitch to it. Use storytelling techniques to effectively create and sell the value of your offering.
Yet, don’t try to create value by trash-talking your competition. It may seem like an easy fix but more often than not, it makes you look unprofessional (in addition to running the risk of being accused of slander).
If your lead turns the conversation to a competitor, you should answer as honest as you possibly can in a manner: “If you are looking for X – then I do believe we are the perfect match for you. However, if you are looking for Y – I recommend you to check this firm. In both cases, you will end up with a great product, and the only matter left is what exactly are you looking for? X or Y?”.
This way you are really focusing on producing value for a customer, and that is what matters most! Moreover – this way you qualify leads that are the closest to your perfect customer. Focusing on them, and letting not-perfect customers go to competition – will save you a lot of troubles!
One of the best closing sales tips you’ll ever get is to create urgency. Time is money: harness the inherent urgency of this and use it to your advantage. Implementing the fear of loss is a crucial step in a framework to get to know how to close a sale.
Make your first call a rare opportunity that may or may not come again. Alternatively, set up your sales meeting at a date that you both agree is the only available one for the foreseeable future.
During the sales pitch, assign definite dates to create a genuine sense of urgency, like “We’re only offering this for the next week”. This places a time limit on doubt and indecision, and also encourages a sense of scarcity, which is integral to the successful persuasion.
However, make sure you create a sense of genuine urgency and don’t undermine your pitch by jumping to offer a discount immediately. Price should not be a determining factor in the urgency of purchase, so don’t propose discounts just to get the deal closed.
Think about the short-term impact your business may have on the lead’s current situation and base your sense of urgency on it. This will encourage the prospect to act as soon as possible to get the problem solved.
Best sales closing techniques
To help you get through each step of the above sales closing framework we’ve also listed the best sales closing techniques.
Each of them should help you to get to know how to close a sale more efficiently and therefore increase your close ratio.
The best way to find out which technique works best for you is simply to try them all out. After you do so, you’ll get a full overview of what suits you the most and what you’re the most comfortable at.
Then, after you choose a certain technique, double down on it, and strive to become an expert!
The Question Close
This sales closing technique requires the salesperson to address each of the prospect’s concerns with an appropriate question.
The reason why it is one of the best sales closing techniques is that through a series of questions you’ll be able to assess whether a prospect is ready to be sold or needs additional proof.
To effectively close a sales with a question ask yes/no questions that will help you proceed closer to closing the sale.
Here’s the example of a closing question:
“Is there anything else before we can proceed with the shipment?”
After that, you’ll get to know how to close a sale or you’ll realize what else you have to address in order to close it.
The Take Away Close
This is one of the most effective sales closing techniques. Using it you’ll be able to address sales objections and – even further – turn those sales objections into sales closing opportunities.
The Take Away Close technique works on the premise that with the moment you take a certain thing from a person, suddenly that thing becomes more valuable.
How to use it when closing the sale?
If your prospect mentions price as his many sales objections, offer a discounted rate with a limited set of features and benefits. Oftentimes, it will result in a situation when a prospect will happily agree on the previous price with the previous set of features.
To use this sales closing technique you have to carefully listen to prospect’s sales objections, pick the right time, and offer a discounted version. And, of course, being able to cherry-pick prospect’s sales objections is the key step to understanding how to close a sale.
Overcoming sales objections
Sales calls or meetings are not always successful at first attempt. However, sometimes your lead’s ‘No’ may simply be a sign they’re not ready to make the call yet. To encourage them and increase your chances of closing the sale, be prepared to answer their objections.
Some of the most common sales objections are the cost of the product (“It simply costs too much”), or its value (“I’m not sure how this is a better option than your competitor”). Here’s where your research can make or break the deal. Part of your job as a salesperson is to know what your competition offers and be familiar with your business’ competitive advantages.
To turn a No into a Yes, you need to prepare in advance. Make sure your sales presentation addresses and overcomes potential objections before the customer has even voiced them. If they catch you off-guard, you may need to spend valuable time trying to think of a solution.
How to prepare for sales objections
A good way to prepare for objections is to have your entire sales team come up with a list of potential such. Give them your sales pitch and encourage them to think of reasons why a potential lead may say no.
Talking about price, don’t be afraid to negotiate. We already said that the price shouldn’t be a determining factor in the urgency of purchase. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using potential discounts to convince a lead your business is the better option, compared to your competition.
Everyone loves a good deal but most customers are savvy enough to understand when you’re desperate to close the sale. Make sure that any discounts you offer sound genuine and come after at least some negotiations.
Going into the call, you should already know how low you can go. This doesn’t mean you’re obliged to offer your maximum discount but it’s good to have an idea before going into your pitch. Obviously, don’t start too low – you’ll have nowhere to go.
How to increase your close ratio
Besides the framework itself and the sales closing techniques that we’ve listed there are also other practices that’ll help you get to know how to close a sale.
Here, you’ll find three things that’ll surely help you get better at closing a sale!
Storytelling is a powerful tool while trying to close the sale.
It’s simply because people love stories and find them easier to consume.
Use it to your advantage and tell your prospects how you’ve managed to help other companies like theirs, use case studies, and your past conversations to better relate to their situation.
Show what you can provide
Your prospect will be willing to say yes to your deal only if he is able to see the tangible value that comes with your offer.
That’s why you have to focus on showing your impact and how what you provide can benefit him or his company.
Here you should address his main pain points. Describe how much more he’ll be able to earn, how much it’ll increase their MRR, conversion rate, or even reduce operation costs.
All in all, show the real impact of your offer.
Sometimes it might be that as a salesperson you’re doing everything you can when closing the sale, which can result in a total mess and misunderstanding between you and your prospect.
Yet, when asked how to close a sale the answer is that you should slow things down.
Give your prospect time to rethink your offer, let him consult and make up his mind. You should control the process of closing the sale, yet, you shouldn’t make the prospect feel like he’s being pushed to close a sale.
That’s why sometimes it is better not to gun and rather use a brake pedal.
Time to close some sales!
Now you know exactly how to close a sale.
Equipped with the tried and tested framework and the set of best sales closing techniques no sale opportunity should go past you.
It’s time for you to put that knowledge to the test. Find out which techniques are best working for you and double down on your favorite set of closing techniques.
If you have any questions regarding the article or its components, hit us up in the comments! We’ll be more than happy to provide additional explanation for you.