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7 Best Sales Closing Techniques for Small Businesses and Mistakes to Avoid

August 25, 2022

18 minread

When it comes to the sales process, undoubtedly, the most important part is mastering an array of closing techniques. Even if you have a group of highly qualified prospects who have already entered into a nurturing sequence, you need to know how to close a sale and take it over the finish line. Without a closed deal, all of your time and effort will have been for nothing.

Despite implementing modern sales closing techniques, approximately 30% of salespeople note that closing deals are increasingly harder compared to 2-3 years ago. This is where our sales advising can provide value to help you increase your sales techniques.

What Are Sales Closing Techniques?

Sales closing techniques are tactics used to close a deal. First, you’ll need to convince your lead that they should sign up for your service or purchase a product. These closing techniques are helpful when you’re transitioning from your pitch — or the time you talk to prospects about the benefits of your product and how it can benefit your lead — to when they agree on a sale. Although it sounds simple, it’s not as easy as it sounds. 28% of sales reps note that closing a deal is the hardest part of the sales process.

Most Powerful Sales Closing Techniques

how to close a sale

There is more than one approach to closing a deal, and not all sales reps will gravitate toward the same techniques. Below we have described some of the most effective methods of closing sales that will help you become more productive.

1. The Now or Never Close

This sales closing technique is also referred to as the urgency close. It occurs when the salesperson places a bit of pressure on the prospect and forces them to make a decision. This is particularly effective when combined with an enticing discount or a freebie included as a limited-time offer.

The now or never close technique is beneficial when you have a prospect on the fence about whether or not to purchase your product. Instilling a sense of urgency and fear helps your prospect feel as though they are missing out on a special, fleeting offer.

2. The Summary Close

Another way to close a sale is the summary close. This technique presents a closing argument after thoroughly going through the facts or addressing the prospect’s concerns. This closing statement doesn’t need to include new information, but it is a way to highlight the pros of going with your business and guiding the individual toward a logical solution. You help your prospect consider your offer by painting a clear picture for them.

This is an ideal tactic when you have already discussed and evaluated your offerings with them over an extended period. It can switch the conversation from a discussion to the time to make a decision.

3. The Question Close

As the name suggests, sales managers and other sales reps might use the question closing technique to help provide solutions for the prospect while simultaneously revealing any objections the prospect might have. It can be helpful to use in the qualifying process and helps to close sales.

When talking to a sales prospect holding cards close to their vest, is an ideal sales closing technique. First, it helps to draw out information from them, allowing you to address their concerns or challenges facing their business. You can even use a question to pitch the close to unveiling any hesitations the prospect has.

4. The Assumptive Close

closing techniques in sales

Let’s say you are a sales rep pitching to a prospective customer. If you get through your pitch and sense that you have checked all the boxes for which the prospect is looking, this is referred to as the assumptive close.

You consider the deal as good as done as you can tell the prospect is interested in everything you’re saying. This technique is beneficial as it gently guides the prospect to move forward but it doesn’t give them time to come up with additional concerns or reasons why they shouldn’t be moving forward with your company. You can use language such as “Does next Monday work to start the onboarding process?”

5. The Take Away Close

Here’s another sales closing technique to consider that plays into the psychology of your prospect. The takeaway close consists of going over specific features of your offer and suggesting that the prospect forgo some of the elements to save money (or time). Laying everything out on the table and then taking some things back will play a mind game with your prospect. This strategy shows that humans hate to lose something whether or not they already own it. Taking something away from your customers can entice them to move forward with the sale. They are afraid to lose anything on their wish list.

6. The Soft Close

Another popular sales closing technique is referred to as the soft close. This occurs when the salesperson asks for the sale without being overly pushy. The rapport is maintained so that your potential customer doesn’t feel as if they are being backed into the corner and has no choice but to purchase your product or service.

This is more of a consultative approach to sales that help your potential customer feel as though you’re partnering with them to find success. This is much more appealing to them than feeling like the conversation is purely transactional.

7. The Ownership Close

The ownership close is similar to situations such as car salesmen making a pitch and talking to you as if you already own the vehicle. For example, they could ask questions such as if your garage needs upgrading, how often you plan to take the car on a road trip, etc. In this sales process, the seller instills the idea that the buyer already owns the product and can picture it being used in various ways.

By painting the picture of how your prospect’s life will change for the better, you can seal the deal by sprinkling in facts and key metrics that are impossible to overlook. Bridging this mental gap makes it easier to close the deal.

How to Close a Sale: Tips for Small Business Sales Reps

closing in selling process

1. Nurture Your Leads

Let’s say someone shows up at your doorstep and tries to sell you a product or service. No greeting, no preamble, simply a sales pitch. If you’re like most people, chances are high that you’d be annoyed and turned off by this approach.

This logic carries over into sales closing techniques. Rather than jumping directly into a pitch during the sales outreach process, interact with your customer to initiate a friendly conversation. This will help reveal their goals and struggles. Building this relationship is referred to as lead nurturing.

2. Prepare for Objections

Objections are common during the sales process. The most talented salespeople aren’t only equipped to handle one objection, but they feel comfortable having a back-and-forth conversation with the prospect to help them overcome additional objections. In fact, on average, you can expect to handle approximately 2.5 objections (average) per prospect which comes with a 40% closing rate. If you’re unable to handle these objections, the closing rate drops to 17%.

Taking this concept one step further, those unable to handle objections could lose a significant amount of time and money on behalf of their business. On the other end of the spectrum, those sales reps who can handle objections can increase profits and gain back the time they invested when they close a sale.

3. Learn How to End a Sales Call

How you end a sales call has more impact than you think. Chances are high that you won’t close a deal during a call; rather, you’ll have better chances of doing so through an in-person meeting or video call. Despite the medium you’re communicating, ensure that all of your interactions end with some sort of close action that you want your prospect to take or agree to.

Examples include:

  • Coordinating a project demo
  • Booking an additional call to answer questions
  • Confirming an in-person meeting

Regardless of the objective, make sure you think about how you leave each interaction.

4. Follow Up After Sales Call

Even if a lead seems interested in moving forward with your company, know that they likely won’t continue to reach out to you to move the process along. The best sales managers teach their teams that they are always the responsible party for moving the sales process forward, and the next step is on them. Therefore, every time a step is completed, you should have the next move planned out.

The next steps could be something such as establishing a well-defined sales strategy or something that is context-specific. Always try to schedule something with your lead while you have their attention.

5. Sale Is Not the Final Destination. Next Steps to Do

As we mentioned above, there’s always an additional step to take! As soon as you’ve closed the sale and you’ve celebrated, you’ll want to have some follow-up steps.

  • Head to your sales software to log the deal. This helps to keep your team looped in on your success and keeps your sales pipeline updated.
  • Introduce the new customer to your team, such as your customer success team, to assist with onboarding. This helps to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Follow up with the customer after a few days to help build trust and establish customer loyalty.

5 Sales Closing Mistakes to Avoid

sales closing techniques

Not Creating a Sense of Urgency

If there is no sense of urgency during your sales pitch, what will entice your lead to become a customer? When there isn’t a sense of urgency, your prospect will continue to shop around with other businesses until they find one that can capitalize. You can consider putting together a “special offer” for your prospects to make them feel a bit of pressure to make a decision. Even slightly tweaking your language or sales approach can help speed up the process and increase the chance of your prospect becoming a customer.

Closing Only Once

Another incredibly common sales closing mistake is only closing one time. If you only give your customers one chance to purchase something, they may not take it. Maybe they are not ready to move forward with their decision or they are right on the edge of saying yes to your offer. However, if you continue to provide them with additional opportunities to agree to their purchase, they will likely consider doing so each time. Therefore, never give up after only one try. Even though they said no once, it doesn’t mean it will continue to stay that way.

Closing Too Quickly

If you close a sale too fast or don’t give your customer the chance to speak their mind, it could seem you are rushing them into the process. While it’s always better to close deals as quickly as possible, you want to be sure that they have the opportunity to ask questions and understand the product or service that you’re offering. Therefore, you must balance keeping the sales process moving and giving your prospect the time they need to decide on their own. The last thing you want is to rush the process and miss out on potential expansions in the future.

Closing Too Late

For salespeople who lack closing skills, closing too late is common. Unfortunately, many salespeople wait until their customers have already explored multiple options before they finally circle back and decide that your company isn’t right for them. For example, let’s say you’re a sales associate in a retail shop shoe department. If your customer mentions that they’ve already visited two stores before stopping at yours, it’s ideal to close the deal as quickly as possible. If not, you risk the prospect visiting another store after yours where they may ultimately make their purchase.

Closing Too Early

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are inexperienced in sales and try to close too early, it could make you think that you got the sale. In reality, the customer decided to purchase before you had the opportunity to present your product or service. For example, if you are selling an item online and you’ve sent an email with the necessary information for your prospect to make a purchase, and they respond with “yes, I will buy this,” it is considered closing too early. It’s bad to assume that the customer is so interested in your product or service that they’re willing to buy it on the spot.

Boost Your Sales with Cultivate Advisors

Increasing sales is an art that takes practice and persistence, but once you master it, it can help grow your company beyond your expectations. If you’re interested in learning more about how to increase your sales with the help of our team Cultivate Advisors, we’d love to hear from you! Please schedule an initial call with our team to get started.

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