sales training

Closing Techniques

This article aims to give you ideas on closing techniques. Closing is a key skill for anyone involved in sales or influencing. The article is based on the work we do on our sales training courses.

What is Closing?

Closing is where one person gets commitment from another on a sale or on part of a sale. Let’s take a simple example. The following is a conversation between a furniture sales person and a customer.

“What colour chair are you looking for?”

“I’d like a red chair.”

“Red, ok, are there any other colours that you would consider?”

“No, it has to be red.”

“Ok, so we’re looking for a red chair.”

In this example the sales person has closed the customer on their colour choice of chair. The sales person asks one question about the colour of the chair. And then they ask another question to see if there are other options that the customer might accept.

One way of looking at closing is to remove any options available. Another definition is to help people to make up their minds.

Closing Techniques - Closing is tailored to your product / service

The skills of closing needs to be tailored to your product / service. In this article we give you lots of ideas on closing. But they all need tailoring to your product or service. They also need tailoring to you. You need to put them into your own words. You need to make them relevant to your business and your market. This is what we do in our sales training courses. We tailor each idea to your situation. If we don’t do this you are in danger of sounding scripted and wooden.

The intelligent sales person can influence this by listening carefully to the prospect. Then they can mirror through words, phrases, style or content.

Closing Techniques - You!

The first close is you! Regardless as to whether the contact you have with a prospect is by email, phone or face to face, the first close is you. The prospect will decide whether they can do business with you or not.

Closing Techniques - Trust

closing techniques

Implicit in any sales and buyer relationship is trust. The prospect has to trust you. In some ways this means not doing certain things, as much as doing others. It means being calm and considered. Not panicking and not saying anything that could be interpreted as untruthful or stretching the truth. The content of your dialogue is the biggest influence in the development of trust. So if you are helpful, constructive and knowledgeable, the chances are that trust will be developed rapidly.

Closing Techniques - Needs

In every purchase there is either a need, or a want, or both. A Need is a logical requirement for the product. So for example, a person needs a coat to keep them dry from the rain. If you can find the need that your prospect has, then it is important to close on this. Saying something like, “So is it correct that what you need this product to do is…”

Closing Techniques - Wants

A want is driven by emotion. Where a prospect might need a coat, they might want a red one, or one made by a particular designer, or one of a specific length. Wants are driven by the emotions of the prospect. The possibilities of what the want is, are very large. It is an easy failing in sales people to assume they know a person’s wants. The best way to find them out is to ask questions. Or listen to what they say and probe further with questions. When you think you have them, only then do you close on them.

Closing Techniques - Summary

Offering a summary is a very useful way of closing on a number of points. You might say something like; “So to summarise, what you’re looking for is a coat, which you’d like to be knee length and red, is that correct?” This means you will be closing on all the elements together as a group. If done as a group means it is not necessarily repetition. This is because the prospect may not have considered all these points together before.

Closing techniques
The Target Closing Model gives a structured approach to closing

Closing phrases

If you’re not sure what you actually say when closing here are some examples. But it is really important you use your own words.

  • Do you want to go ahead?
  • Is this the specification you are looking for?
  • When would you like delivery?
  • Is there anything stopping us going ahead?
  • Shall we proceed?
  • Would you like me to place the order for you?
  • If we can get the price right can we go ahead?
  • Can you envisage us working together?

Closing Techniques - Classic Closes

The Alternate Close

The alternate close is simple but effective. You don’t ask if your contact wants to go ahead. With the alternate close you ask which product or service they want to go ahead with. 

Closing Techniques - the obvious close; asking for the business

It might seem remarkable but one of the biggest closes not used by sales people is the simplest. That of asking for the business.

Assumptive close

The assumptive close is where you assume they are going to buy. You make a statement that assumes they are going ahead. Something like. “So I’ll get the order processed and you’ll get delivery on Wednesday.”

The Benefit Close

The benefit close is where you ask whether they want to take advantage of the benefit you are selling. You might say something like, “Would you like to take advantage of the experienced team we’ve discussed and for them to represent you?”

The Doubt Close

A doubt close is where you suggest that action is needed to secure a benefit. So you might say, “The price we’re offering this month closes on Thursday, so would you like to secure it now?”

The Deal Close

The Deal Close is where you  offer something to them, in order for them to go ahead. If I do this, will you go ahead? So you might say something like, “If I can get agreement internally to get this work done by the end of the month, will you go ahead?”

The ABC approach

The acronym ABC in closing stands for Always Be Closing. In other words a sales person is always closing on something or some part of the sale. 

Summary

To summarise, closing is a skill which all sales person need to be good at. Closing is about confirming the entire purchase or any part of it. Closing changes a conversation or an enquiry, into a purchase. It is often a useful skill from the buyer’s perspective because it helps them to make a decision.

Does this article make sense for you? Does it answer the question, “What are closing techniques?”

Closing techniques featured in our training

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Closing Techniques