Sales Tips

How to Close a Sale: 6 Tactics for Any Scenario

How To Close A Sale
Suzanne Scacca

You’ve spent time building rapport and a relationship with prospects. You’ve educated them on your product or service. Now it’s time to bring it all home.

Your company’s success hinges on your ability to close sales with prospects, which is why you can’t afford to leave this in their hands. Once they have the facts, you have to be prepared to ask for the sale.

But how do you do that without seeming too pushy or driven solely by your desire for a commission?

Well, there are different approaches to help you close more sales with prospects.

Here are 6 approaches to use to close more sales.

The last thing you want to do is court your prospect through a lengthy sales cycle and then never pop the question. It’s kind of like dating and marriage.

If you don’t come out and ask for the sale, you two could end up in a stalemate, which gives more attractive offers an opportunity to swoop in and steal your customer away.

As Lane Caruthers, an enterprise account executive for Zendesk, suggests:

“You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Sales reps go through a lot of uncomfortable things during a sales cycle. For example, taking advantage of silence when you break news about pricing. Let it sink in. Rambling on to justify the cost of your system won't help.”

The same goes for closing the sale, which is why you need a well-crafted approach ready to go. This means knowing exactly what to say and how to pivot the second there’s any hesitation from your prospect.

But there are different approaches to take. This will depend on your personal communication style, the kind of product you’ve pitched, as well as your prospect’s personality.

Consider the following:

1. The assisted close

The assisted close means that you ask your prospect, point blank, what it is you can do to close them. It might not be the most eloquent approach, but there are certain circumstances in which a gentler close makes more sense.

You might say something like:

  • “What can we do to move you into this home by the end of the month?”
  • “What do you need from me to sign this contract today and make our company the primary POS provider?”
  • “Do you see any deal breakers that would prevent you from working with us?”

2. The assumptive close

You assume it’s a done deal at this point, so you don’t want to give them a moment to waver. So, you spend time answering final questions and, without missing a beat, begin to walk them through the sale.

You might say something like:

  • “Okay, so you need this service to start by the end of the month. We’ll schedule your installation and training for the 29th, in that case.”
  • “What’s a good delivery date? You said the salon is closed on Mondays, so would next Tuesday work?”
  • “With access for 10 employees, that will be $200 a year for the Premium Package.”

3. The natural close

When your prospect has been in sync with you this whole time and you know the sale is imminent, you could use the assumptive close. Or you could make the transition feel a bit more natural and collaborative with a natural close.

You might say something like:

  • “It looks like we have a couple of great options to choose from here. Let’s pick the best one for your son.”
  • “Were there any last questions you had? If not, let’s process your payment so we can get you back to work.”
  • “Let me just grab a copy of our contract. You said you needed the Gold Package, correct?”

4. The urgent close

When you sense that someone is on the fence, you can use this ploy as a way to inspire immediate action when the price or availability suddenly becomes limited. Just be careful. You don’t want to offer a discount in desperation—that would undervalue your product and make the chances of retaining prospects less likely.

If they’re just in it for the deal, they won’t value what you’ve sold them.

An urgent close might sound like this:

  • “Just remember, this discounted price is only available until Friday.”
  • “We’re offering move-in specials to early applicants. Why don’t you apply today so you don’t miss out on this great offer?”
  • “I know you have other companies you’re planning to interview with. Just keep in mind that we’re making a decision by next week, so do let us know what you’ve decided as soon as possible.”

5. The high-pressure close

This is the most aggressive form of closing and isn’t typically recommended unless you’re dealing with a buyer who only responds to pressure.

You might say something like:

  • “Why aren’t you ready to buy today? Your business is missing a huge opportunity the longer you wait.”
  • “I’d hate to see your company have another unprofitable quarter in Q2.”
  • “I looked at the crime reports in your area and your neighborhood is the target of three times as many burglaries as the surrounding areas. You can’t afford to go without this security system another day.”

6. The custom close

Seeing as how you’ve spent enough time talking to the prospect and studying up on their needs, you could take a completely custom approach to the sale.

Use details you’ve learned along the way and craft a close that speaks directly to them.

It would go something like this:

  • “You’ve been uninsured for the last three years and, in that time, Mr. T [their dog] has been to the vet seven times. You’ve spent over $1,500 on those visits and anticipate even more as he’s now 10 years old. Why don’t we sign you up for the Standard Plan today and help you cut down on those costs?
  • “It sounds like this would be a great fit for your new business, especially with those new hires you’re planning to bring in next year. How do you feel about signing that contract now?”
  • “You said you were interested in the 6-quart and the 8-quart. Since you’re planning to host Thanksgiving, the larger would be best. Do you want to talk this over with your family or are you ready to buy today?”

Final tips for closing more sales:

There are two possible outcomes that happen after you ask for a sale.

They say, “No,” or “I’ll think about it.”

This is okay. You gave it everything you got and it isn’t personal.

But it doesn’t mean you should put this prospect on the shelf and walk away.

Steli Efti, the CEO of Close.io, explains his approach:

“I follow up as many times as necessary until I get a response… The key here is to actually keep following up. If someone tells me they're not interested, I leave them alone. But here is the kicker--if they don't respond at all, I'll keep pinging them until they do. And trust me, they always do."

The key thing to remember is that these messages are about providing valuable information.

You’re not selling the product or service anymore. You understand the prospect’s woes and you’re reaching out because you want to help. These meaningful touchpoints won’t be forgotten.

They say, “Yes.”

Communication shouldn’t stop once the ink is dry on the contract or the credit card payment is processed. Follow up, see how it’s going, and ask if you can be of any more help.

Continue to foster that relationship and prove that you’re their trusted partner or provider. You’d be amazed what a long way that’ll go to secure their business (and your income), especially as loyal customers begin pushing referrals your way.

Take notes.

If, in the end, you do ultimately get a “No”, don’t take it personally. Note the lessons learned, new objections encountered, and apply them to your next pitch.

And if you receive a “Yes”, use this opportunity to improve all future close discussions. Every time you learn a new way to make your target decision-makers say, “Yes”, add it to your list of approaches. This way, you’ll have a more well-rounded and effective strategy to effectively steer discussions with future prospects and close the sale.