I love to teach sales closing techniques. Closing is what brings home the bacon and makes the world go round, from national politics to relationships. Without closing skills, salespeople are not salespeople. They are order takers – and only if the buyers decide they want to buy in the first place.
This is a matter of opinion of course, and you should use whichever are most effective for your personality. With that being said, here are my three favorites which I use every single day.
Favorite #1: Direct Close
Direct Close: Just ask for the business in a simple straightforward way, such as, “Would you like to get this project started on May 15th?” There is no ambiguity. This close responds to one of our old brain’s Six Stimuli: Keep It Simple.
Some sales closing techniques are complicated and cause users to overthink or get nervous if they haven’t mastered them. The Direct Close is easy, because all you have to do is ask for the order!
Favorite #2: Alternative Close
Alternative Close: offer the buyer two similar solutions, such as, “Would you like to schedule the one- or two-day sales training seminar?” This close responds to one of the 50 cognitive biases that affect decision making called the Single Option Aversion bias. Never just offer a buyer a single option because they have nothing to compare it to and therefore cannot decide.
Offer some contrast and you provide mental relief and the ability to choose one or the other.
Favorite #3: Pilot Project Close (Puppy Dog)
Pilot Project Close: Suggest a small close so that the buyer can try out your solution before making a large commitment. “Would you like to send one of your salespeople to one of our public seminars?” Once the salesperson attends, a larger sale will usually follow.
Its also known as the Puppy Dog, because if you send a puppy home with a family to “try it out,” they will keep it most times due to emotional attachment.
Mastering sales closing techniques
Sales closing techniques are only mastered through practice. Like actors who memorize and rehearse lines over and over until they become second nature, sales professionals should invest time in practicing the closes over and over. Many excellent salespeople deliver the lines to themselves in front of a mirror or while pacing around the office. This does not make them crazy, it makes them great salespeople – and further, it makes them a lot of money.
Partner up with a colleague and do some role play. Record the closes and play them back during your commute so you can repeat them. Managers can make closing practice part of every sales meeting. The point is, you won’t become competent at closing until you know your sales closing techniques down COLD.