Closing a deal might be the most exhilarating part of sales.
Conversely, it might be the most exhausting part.
There are so many ways to get the close right. And even more to get it wrong.
And that makes sense, considering this post alone offers more than 20 closing strategies.
The best advice when closing: Be flexible.
One strategy might work for one buyer and bomb for another. One strategy might win every deal for two years and derail dozens the next year. You might kill it with one strategy on big deals, and kill it with a totally different strategy on small deals.
So learn and try different strategies. Here are 22 of the most effective.
Many times there’s no better way to close business than by being direct about it.
When do you want to take delivery? Tuesday?”
Reiterate the prospect’s interest in buying and re-stress the value and benefits that speak directly to prospect’s major interest. The goal is to get the summary into one attractive statement that gives prospects a clear picture of a bright future with your solution.
Your current solution can’t meet your growing demand. Ours handles double the capacity. Plus, quarterly maintenance and inspection are part of the service. Because we continue to monitor along with you, you’d never have to worry about getting caught behind. So let’s get this rolling now.”
Asking several sequential questions that get “yes” responses can lead to agreement to the sale. The Yes Ladder is a research-proven method to get people to change their minds, behaviors and decisions to buy.
It’s blue that you prefer, right?” “You need a new contract by October, right?” “Your employees preferred this model, right?” “Can we get you signed up now?”
Minor point close
In lieu of getting three positive responses, sometimes you can move to the close with just one agreement. In the minor point close, you use the prospect’s agreement to one thing as the segue to agreement for the entire deal.
This comes with a six-, 12- or 18-month warranty. What’s your preference?”
When prospects name their preference, respond,
Twelve. OK 12 it is.”
Sometimes customers struggle with their decision to buy because their judgment is clouded by information overload. Your personal, honest and sincere opinion can help move them along quicker.
I see you’re struggling with the decision. From what I’ve heard and seen, I’d like to offer my opinion. Because you said X, and have explained Y, I think the larger model is what you need. It’s ready to go, and I’ll have it delivered tomorrow. Let’s get this going.”
Pros vs. cons close
Create a list – written or verbal – of the pros and cons of buying your solution. This works well with analytical buyers. Of course, you want to emphasize the positives.
You’ll remember that our solution has a larger capacity, life-time warranty and fits ideally in your space. Yes, it’s more expensive, but you recognized that it’ll reduce production costs. With the pros outweighing the cons, let’s make this a reality.”
Shopping list close
Similar to the pros vs. cons close, the shopping list close uses a checklist, too. You want to lay out needs the buyer shared early in your conversations and how your solution meets them all.
You said you needed a fast, reliable, quick-to-ramp-up system, and you agreed that ours meets all those needs and more. Let’s get you on the fast track to ramp up now.”
Positive choice close
Offer prospects two positive choices – things they can’t refuse – that lead straight to the sale.
Would you like our free overnight shipping or the 20% discount?”
Would you prefer the special seal coat or six-month maintenance, either at no-cost?”
Take the blame for not getting to the close faster. You can apologize for forgetting to tell them about a deal-maker benefit or valuable extra.
Oh, yes, there is a 10-year guarantee. I’m sorry. I should’ve mentioned that earlier. So you’re ready to arrange delivery?”
My bad. I should’ve said it sooner: We handle all the regulatory inspections and updates every three months. Should we get the paperwork started now?”
Cradle to grave close
Remind prospects there’s never a perfect time to buy or have something go wrong. But if they make a decision now, they’ll avoid or stay ahead of issues.
You’re right, it never seems like the right time to make changes like these. But if you don’t do it now, the risk and costs of a non-decision will triple when you have to react in an emergency.”
If you presume the deal is closed, the prospect might, too! When prospects agree to some condition or admits your solution is a good fit for them, you can make the assumption.
Great! I’ll have your account set up in 15 minutes.”
Negative assumptions close
On the opposite end of the presumptive close is the negative assumption close. For this, you want to prompt buyers to explain why it’s not the right solution, which usually gets them talking more about why it is the right solution. Caveat: Only use this approach when you’re almost 100% sure prospects see your solution in a positive light.
What are the reasons you don’t think this is right for you?”
End of questions close
Invite as many questions as customers have – because the more they ask the more engaged they become with you and your solution. But once they tell you they don’t have any more questions, consider it your invitation to close.
I’m glad I’ve been able to answer all your questions. We can get your account set up right now.”
Puppy (or kitten) close
This close involves a trial period that you know will persuade prospects to buy (like taking home a puppy or kitten for a day makes most people pet owners).
OK, I want you to try this for a day. Come back tomorrow, after you’ve had a chance to experience it, and we’ll decide if you it’s time to do the paperwork.”
Some prospects are more willing to buy when they feel like they’ve created the deal. It’s a good time for a close when you can guarantee something they asked for specifically.
If you sign the contract now, I guarantee we can (fulfill the prospect’s special request) by next week. Let’s get the ball rolling on that right now.”
This is a good negotiation-to-close tactic. If a buyer makes a demand, you meet it with an agreement to close.
If I can get you (the upgrade, discount, extended warranty, etc.), can we call it a deal?”
By showing respect for prospects’ time, you can close some deals. The timing close is based on prospects’ schedules and demands.
We can take as long you’d like, but I know you (have another meeting, need to take a call, are expected somewhere). With that in mind, let’s get this agreement taken care of.”
Close a deal the old-fashioned way. Make your offer and extend your hand.
Let’s shake on this.”
When one closing strategy doesn’t seem to work, you might be tempted to try another in your arsenal. But prospects sometimes respond to the same tactic on the second or third attempt.
For example, with the Presumptive close, you might say the first time,
Great! I’ll have your account set up in 15 minutes.”
The second time,
Sounds like we’re all set. I can have this set up in 10 minutes.”
The third time,
We’re good here. I’ll have the account set up in five minutes.”
Fear of missing out is a powerful emotion that goes beyond what social media can do to teenagers. You can close more deals using the FOMO strategy. Create immediacy with any one of these FOMO tactics:
I only have one available at this price.”
We have the 25% discount for new customers who sign up today.”
I can get you at the top of your IT implementation list if you sign by the end of today.”
Take away close
In some cases, you can make prospects want to your solution even more by taking away an element of it – and then you’ll get to the close faster. When prospects delay closing by objecting to the price, remove a feature or service and offer a discounted price. What often happens, they focus more on what you took away and less on the lower price, which leads to closing at the original price quickly.
I understand what you’re saying, and I think I have a solution. If we remove the one-year maintenance package, we can reduce the final price by 15%. That works for you, right?”
Now or never close
This is a more aggressive closing strategy, and effective with unenthusiastic prospects. You make an offer with a special, limited benefit to entice them to say yes quickly.
I want to extend you the early bird discount. The deadline was yesterday, but I’ll extend it into today just for you. Will that work for you now?”