- Closing the deal is the most important part of the sales cycle.
- To close the deal, you should do your research, offer solutions and anticipate objections.
- There are several techniques you can use to close the deal, including providing a summary of features, enticing them with a one-time offer or walking them through the product.
- This article is for sales professionals who want to understand what techniques help close the deal.
From walking prospects through a demo to answering their every question, sales professionals dedicate a lot of time to closing deals. This is only logical because closing the deal and making the sale is the most important part of the sales cycle. But it takes more than just being in communication with your prospect to persuade them spend their money with you. Closing the deal requires sales professionals to be proactive and adopt strategies that work.
How to close the deal
Closing a deal is the most important component of the sales cycle. Everything a salesperson does is in hopes that it leads to this final step. One of the best ways to reach the end is to have a plan.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to close a deal and make a sale:
1. Do your research.
To be successful, you need to understand both your company and your prospect's company. So, the first step is to do your research.
Make sure you are well versed on your company's offerings and the value they can provide your prospect. You also want to know which of your products or services are best suited to your prospect. You don't want to end up pitching the wrong product and losing that person altogether. You can learn what the best fits for your prospects are by getting to know them.
While the point of contact is a good place to start, you should expand beyond that if possible. Aim to speak to others at the company, especially those working in different departments so you can learn about their different perspectives and how they define their company's pain points. Through these conversations, you'll gain an understanding of what the company needs and how your products or services can help them reach their objectives.
2. Talk budgets and timeline.
For this step, you want to get clarity on budgets and timelines. This should be done before provide prospects with a demo of the product or service. This will give you an idea of whether they are ready to buy now or somewhere down the line.
If they are ready to buy, then it makes sense to invest time nowent. If they're not, then you can revisit when they're ready.
3. Offer solutions.
Don't sell your products and services. Instead, offer solutions. Showing prospects what you can do for them can do more in the long run because your conversation will be tailored to their specific needs. This helps them better envision how your products and services will fit their needs.
4. Handle objections.
Potential clients will likely have concerns or objections. Not only should you have an idea of how you will address these, but you should also make sure you don't brush off their concerns. Show them you understand where they're coming from. This can help them feel more connected to you.
A good tip is to look back at past objections that either you or a colleague has received. This will prepare you to have the right answers.
5. Ask for the sale.
If you feel the prospect's questions are answered and they have an understanding of the solutions you provide, you should ask for the sale. You want to have a powerful statement and reiterate what solution you are offering them. It's important to sound knowledgeable and confident, ensuring you don't veer into arrogance.
6. Set up next steps.
Whether you make the sale or not, you should set up some next steps.
If you succeed, finalize paperwork and provide the customer with the information they need to properly use your products and services. Once your products have been delivered or your services rendered, you should check in to see if the client has had any issues or problems.
If you failed to close the deal, you should set up a follow-up meeting to keep nurturing your lead.
Key takeaway: Doing your research, offering solutions and handling objections will put you on track to close the deal.
Strategies to help close the deal
Here are 10 strategies that work and can help you close the deal:
With a summary close, you provide potential customers a synopsis of your service or products, as well as any previously agreed-upon features. This is a good way to reiterate what they will get, but also remind them of any key points they may have forgotten about or missed.
You might say: "With [product], you get free delivery and installation, as well as a comprehensive guarantee."
Assumptive selling close
Assumptive selling is when you address the prospect as though you have closed the deal. For some, this can be off-putting, so it's a technique you should reserve for when you know your target isn't on the fence.
With this technique, you should also be cautious that you're not seen as aggressive. The key is to not be too overt. [Read related article: Why Analyzing Data is Important for Small Businesses]
For example, "Do you want to go with [Option 1] or [Option 2]?" might be better received than "Send me your financial information, and I'll prepare the paperwork now." With the first, you are giving the prospect an option; with the second one, it might feel like you are trying to ambush them.
Not all assumptive phrases are created equally, so you have to gauge what will and won't work with a potential customer.
Here are a few other examples of assumptive selling:
- "When would you like to start your subscription?"
- "How many would you like?"
- "When should [product] be delivered?"
Now or never close
Creating a sense of urgency is an effective technique. Proposing an enticing offer can push a prospect to act in the moment, instead of having them spend more time thinking it over. A good strategy is to use the now or never close on customers who are clearly interested in your products or services but have yet to commit.
A few examples include:
- "If you sign up today, you can save 20%."
- "I know this product is important to the growth of your business, which is why I will include premium support for a year. This offer is only available until the end of the day."
- 'This product has been selling out, and this is the last one on sale."
Asking the right question can help you close the sale. Question closes are a good way to address their objections and allows you to reassure them that your product or service will work for them.
You can ask:
- "If we can handle [objection,] would you sign the contract?"
- "What would it take for you to sign up today?"
- "From our discussions, it seems this is the best product for you. What do you think?"
As the name suggests, a soft close is not aggressive. You can use a soft close to ease a prospect to take the next step. Start by listing a benefit and then close it out with a low-impact question. This can help them lower their guard because they won't feel as though they need to make a decision today.
You can use this method if you feel the prospect needs more time, which will also give you additional time to understand them so you can improve your approach.
Examples of a soft close include:
- "If we can solve [pain point], would that be of interest to you?"
- "If I could increase [benefit], would that be in line with your company's goals?”
Some people are more visually oriented. So, if you find yourself talking to a prospect who is reluctant, especially because they can't fully grasp the product, you can offer them a demo of the product or service. This will allow them to see exactly how your service or product works, and even help them visualize how it might fit into their business needs.
- 'This will help you create a more dynamic website. Let me demonstrate."
- 'It can be hard to visualize how this product works. I'll walk you through the product."
Sharp angle close
Unlike other techniques, this one hinges on your customer. If they are interested and want to purchase your product or service, they may ask for a discount or add-on. This is your opportunity to act quickly. If you agree with their proposal, you should ask for something in exchange.
- If a prospect asks for a 15% discount, you may say: "We can do that, but only if you sign up today."
- If a prospect asks if you can budge on the price, you may say: "If I am able to, would you be willing to come to an agreement today?'
This may impress your prospect, who may expect pushback to their request.
This technique shares similarities with the summary close. In both, you are summarizing the product's features and benefits. But for the 1-2-3 close, you want to highlight what makes the product great in sets of three.
It's not as conspicuous as other methods, but it does rely on the fact that listing items in threes can make for a powerful statement. You can either choose to focus on three similar points to emphasize a feature's importance or to list out three separate ones to show the wide range of coverage.
With this strategy, you may say something like:
- "With our tool, you'll grow your business faster, stronger and more efficiently."
- "If you purchase today, we'll throw in free shipping, installation and support."
Weekly cost close
Sometimes closing the deal comes down merely to cost. Particularly, if you quote someone a yearly price, it might seem as though the price is too high. But if you break down the cost per week, or even by day, then you can compare it to an everyday purchase.
For example, you may say that the price of a service is equivalent to buying a cup of coffee a day. From there, it's easy to make the point that you are providing an incredibly valuable service to them for just a few dollars a day.
There's a reason that businesses list testimonials on their websites; they are incredibly persuasive and give potential customers an idea of what to expect if they purchase your product or service. A testimonial close relies on a customer's positive comments to help you land a prospect.
In this case, you may say, "Since you're interested in growing your business's traffic, I want to send you a message from one of our customers who explains how our tool helped them grow their traffic by 45% in the course of a few months."