Closing deals is the finish line of the marathon of sales. Yet, it is possible to make mistakes before you cross it. Or to be sabotaged by earlier mistakes in the sale process.
You’ve probably had a few calls with a prospect, and you’ve probably got a good grasp of the prospect’s needs and know how your product or service can help them. This may be unfamiliar territory, and one you are least prepared to deal with. So, how to close the deal?
We provide a list of tips, techniques, and questions to ask to ensure that you succeed at closing sales.
Tips for successful sales
Here are some tips that you should consider when aiming to close the sale. Now, while most of these are important in the final closing call, some require some work earlier in the sales process, or at least setting up. Remember, not all advice should be left to the closing call, but rather, be part of the entire sales process, in order for the final call to be easier and more efficient. Ideally, the final call should be about ironing out the details, and you should both be as informed as possible going in.
Make sure they are interested
There is not enough time to waste. Ensure that your prospect has the capacity to make the purchase, and is genuinely interested in the product, as soon as possible in the sales process. You need to find out from them what needs to be done for the sale, who can make the sale, and if it is in their budget.
This ideally should be done earlier in the process, such as in the sales appointment or discovery call. If you get to the end of the closing call, expecting to make a sale, and find out “Well we cannot implement this until two years time” or “I don’t know if this will work for us” then you have wasted everyone’s time.
Get the prospect to explain, and see, their problems
The prospect needs to explain to you everything you may need to make the sale. But a vital tip is to get them to recognize their problems. They may only come to understand this when you ask them what issues they face, or you explain how your solution can help.
If they realize that their lives would be much easier with your provided service, they will be inclined to agree to the sales deal. Even if they don’t make this recognition themselves, by understanding their problems, you can suit your pitch to close the sale to them specifically, and they will feel it is a perfect match. Ideally, you should do this not in the closing call, but in the discovery call, and this will put you in a better position to finalize the sale.
Create a roadmap
You need to know the steps of the sale, and how to get there. Before you make the first call, you should have a list of the key information to make sure the prospect is in a position to buy, how to make them buy, and what to avoid. Such a roadmap should be related to your meeting agenda, which you should prepare before the first meeting you have.
Find what the prospect needs
You must know what they need to learn to close the deal. You can ask this in the process (more on that in a bit) and get them to explain the steps. If you find out what is important for them, you can use this to tailor your calls and get that sale, by providing the ways your product or service fits their needs, and how to adjust the pitch. Maybe budget isn’t as important as results, or maybe they are more interested in customer reviews. Be flexible, always! Again, this should be done in the discovery call process.
Additionally, get the prospect to share who they need to communicate with to make the sale, how long things will take, and to be realistic, how likely is this sale (remember the first tip, don’t waste time on dead ends!).
Get the prospect to ask questions
After the cold call, you need to start having more two-way conversations with the prospect. This ensures you can align, find out what you need about the prospect, and generally tailor the pitches.
However, the closing call requires a good deal of questions from the prospect. The most successful closing calls, according to a study by Gong, have a higher volume of prospect led questions. This shows interest, and that the prospect wants to find out the final details before you can make the sale. This doesn’t mean don’t ask questions, but letting the prospect speak is essential to close the deal.
How to close the deal: the best sales techniques
Now we provide a specific list of successful sales techniques to close the sale, which will take place at the very end of the call, so they are the very final aspect before you can breathe easy. Closing deals can be done in a variety of ways, with some more firm, and others giving space for the prospect to think and reflect more. What approach will work best depends on the prospect and previous interactions, and may be combined appropriately, in order to better close sales.
These closure techniques are a mix of traditional and more modern, as it is best these days to avoid being too “salesy”, rather, focus on discovery of the prospect’s needs and showing them how you can help their lives.
This is a more traditional sales technique, but it can still be useful. The summarizing approach looks like this:
“So we have agreed to provide our standard package, which includes ______, and additionally, we will provide, at a discounted price, ______”
This is a way to get the prospect to visualize what they have ordered, and feel happy about what it will add to their lives. They will most likely agree to that. It may be worth adding a question.
“When will we deliver this?”
“Is there anything else you would like to add?”
“What dates can this be implemented on?”
These sorts of questions show a final element to the interaction, and get the prospect to focus on the next final steps beyond the agreement.
Close with questions
Asking questions to finish the sale is a good way to alleviate the prospect’s concern’s and give you the chance to show what you can provide. We will get to specific questions shortly, but questions such as “Is there any reason you can think for us not proceeding with implementation?” gives them a chance to say any more concerns, and if not, they will see no reason to not close the deal!
Assumptive closing is when the rep believes the prospect is ready to make the deal and moves on to the final details to close up the sale with this assumption. It’s a good way to keep a positive and confident mindset when you are in the calls. Focus on the benefits of your solution, ask if this will help, and move on to the finalization.
“So you can see how our product can benefit you, correct? I think it is a good choice, in order to improve productivity and save you lots of time, so, when can we start implementation?”
Here we see a question, the summary of the benefits, and then the closing via a final question, assuming the sale has been agreed to.
Assumptive closing is good if you are sure the prospect is on board entirely. To do this, make sure questions are asked to gauge their interest beforehand.
This approach takes the assumptive close but inverts it. Rather than assuming the sale is done, which may be risky and seen as pushy, it asks a simple question to progress the sales process, which gives a bit more room for the prospect to agree overall. Again, the benefits need to be stated of the solution, however, the question is considerably different.
For example: “So if our product can help boost your efficiency and increase profits as a result, would you be interested in choosing from our website?”
Or “would you be interested to learn a bit more?”
This sort of request takes the pressure off, and directs the agreement elsewhere. Purchases do not necessarily have to be agreed on the phone, what can happen instead, is as they have the information, they can make the final decision, and you can chase the prospect up with an email to confirm. Or perhaps they will then need a final call. This is best if the prospect ticks the boxes of interest, but they may be hesitant about rushing into a decision.
This is when you ask a question to the prospect to move the sale along a bit harder. It doesn’t mean hassling the prospect, or rushing the sale, but unlike the soft close, it puts a question to the prospect that will ideally get them to agree to the sale. Often hard selling is seen as a bad practice, and if done badly, it is. However, you can ask questions which help move the sale along, in a more direct way, which can be useful.
For example, asking questions such as:
“Are you ready for the final step?”
“Can we get started on finalizing the details?”
“When will we be ready to get started?”
These are directly asking the prospect if they are ready, and may be useful if you feel confident in the prospect’s desire, but haven’t heard a specific answer yet. Using these sorts of questions along with others may be a good way to soften the pushiness associated with hard selling.
10 Closing Questions Examples
If you use the following questions, you will be much more likely to close more deals. They help the prospect realize how you can help them, make their lives easier, help you get that yes, and ensure that you have successful closing calls. These are a variety of questions depending on the nature of the closing technique you are working with, and this will depend on your previous interactions. So choose accordingly
- Do you see how our solution can make a difference?
- Are there any other problems we can solve?
- Is there anything stopping us from implementing our solution?
- So, have I explained everything you need to know before we get started?
- Does our solution we are offering fix your problem?
- Is there anything we haven’t covered so far that you want to talk about?
- When will you be ready for us to start implementing?
- If everything is good for you, shall we talk about when to get started?
- If you had everything you need, would we move forward?
- When will you have the final decision?
Remember, to know your prospect and what approach will work best, it is good to constantly keep meeting notes to hand, and record and transcribe your meetings, so you can access your prospect information with ease, summarize meetings, and send them to anyone who requires them. This for example can be done with Notiv.
With these tips, we hope that you know more on how to close the deal. Being informed about the prospect, letting them voice their concerns, asking the right questions, these are the key things you need to consider. If you or your team are struggling with sales outputs, consider learning more about how to evaluate your teams.