Sales reps fight tooth and nail to get potential customers on the phone and qualify them.
Because how you close a sales call ultimately determines whether all of your previous work pays off.
Sales calls are unpredictable by nature. That’s exactly why reps should understand multiple ways to close a sales call regardless of what the person on the other end of the phone throws their way.
In this guide, we’ll look at:
6 ways to close a sales call (that actually work)
Ranging from sales objections to how long you’ve been nurturing your relationship, there are tons of variables that factor into how you decide to conclude your sales calls.
Your personal selling style and ability to read a situation ultimately determine how you wrap things up, too.
Translation? There is no “one size fits all” closing strategy. Below are six approaches to closing that you can customize based on what you’re selling.
1. The time-sensitive close
As part of sales psychology, urgency and scarcity are powerful motivators to encourage people to take action.
Just because someone’s sold on your sales pitch and enjoys your product doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to buy now—if ever. A time-sensitive close lights a fire under your prospect, creating a potential sense of loss as they believe that time or supply is running out.
Example: “If we square away your contract today we can start onboarding first thing next week. Otherwise, we might have to wait until…”
Another variation of this approach is to tack on some sort of discount or freebie for closing sooner rather than later. As a side note, don’t make up any sort of bonus that you can’t actually provide to your customers.
Example: “We’re actually running a special for new customers that closes tomorrow…”
Although this approach to closing a sales call can be effective, it can backfire if you’re too pushy. By presenting your offer as “now or never,” you run the risk of losing your prospect altogether if they choose “never.”
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2. The question-based close
Asking probing questions can help guide to your prospect to the natural conclusion that it’s time to make a purchase.
This type of close is ideal for prospects you’ve had a chance to nurture, perhaps even giving them an opportunity to demo your product. As an added bonus, this approach to closing isn’t pushy and makes you look like a helping hand rather than a salesperson.
Example: “Now that you’ve had a chance to take [your product] for a test drive - is there anything else I can help you with before we move forward?”
Example: “Would you agree that [your product] takes care of [pain point]?"
And assuming that they’re satisfied, you can encourage them to sign on the dotted line.
Example: “Excellent! If you don’t have any other questions for me, let’s go ahead and move forward with your contract...”
If they still have questions or concerns, practice active listening to see how you can be their helping hand. Maybe they want more time with your demo. Perhaps they’re concerned about a particular product feature (or lack thereof).
Either way, whatever you suggest should move your prospect closer to finishing the deal rather than keep them in the “just browsing” phase. If nothing else, question-based closes can confirm whether or not a prospect is truly qualified.
3. The added bonus close
Spoiler alert: people are going to ask for last-minute deals and discounts prior to closing.
As a result, it’s a smart move to have some sort of predetermined bonus or freebie to provide to new customers to overcome price objections.
This approach does double duty of making your prospect feel like they won something exclusive while also keeping them from bouncing.
Example: "Hm. Well, you’ll already be receiving the new customer discount. I’ll tell you what - I can offer you the [predetermined bonus, freebie] if you sign up today. How does that sound?”
Bear in mind that this type of close shouldn’t be your first solution. Make a point to stress the value and benefits of your product before offering a discount or deal. This approach is best reserved for prospects who won’t budge on price or might have their hands tied by a higher-up to stay within a certain budget.
4. The package deal close
Again, so much of closing a sales call is about psychology.
In other words, making your prospect think or feel that they’re getting the best deal possible.
Providing your prospect with a summary of what’s included with your offer can help you do just that. Consider how repeating the benefits of your service highlights why your prospect needs to close as well as the upside of what you’re selling.
Example: “Just to recap, we’re looking at a one-year contract which includes free onboarding, 24-hour customer support, and access to our comprehensive knowledge base?”
This strategy isn’t just a way to make your prospect feel like a million bucks - it’s also a great way to position your product. For example, if your company offers around-the-clock support and your competitors don’t, that’s a major point in your favor. The more you’re able to “bundle” as part of your product or service, the better.
5. The downgrade close
This is another closing strategy which can help address prospects that you suspect are objecting on price.
If you’re in a situation where someone’s struggling to fully commit, consider recommending a lesser product or contract. Explain that they’ll still be receiving stellar service, although not what they could be getting if they stuck with your original offer.
Example: “Well, we could get you started on [lesser plan or contract] instead. You’ll still be able to take advantage of [features]. That said, most of our customers are on the [original plan or contract] because it includes [additional features]. What do you think?”
Thanks to the bandwagon effect and fear of missing out, your prospect will more than likely pivot back to the original offer. Either way, this approach provides you with two options that result in a sale.
6. The assumptive close
Assumptive selling is both a mindset and a surprisingly effective way to close a sales call.
In short, you assume that your product is the perfect fit for your prospect the entire time that you’re on the phone with them. The close is assumed.
If you consider your prospect qualified and they’ve listened to your pitch, you can get down to business and move toward closing ASAP.
Example: “Well, it seems like [your product] is a perfect fit for dealing with [pain point] based on everything we’ve discussed - how about we move forward with the contract?”
So much of assumptive selling comes from the value of your product and the benefits it provides to your audience. If you legitimately believe in what you’re offering and your prospects are qualified, assumptive selling is a cinch.
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What else can reps do to close more sales calls?
Now that we’ve looked at the various ways to close a sales call, let’s dive into some practical tips to help reps prepare for “what if” situations over the phone.
Look at the history of your relationships
Closing a sales call is a lot less stressful if you’ve nurtured a legitimate relationship prior to your call.
Assuming you’ve had a chance to go back-and-forth with a prospect, here are some questions to ask yourself prior to closing.
- Did your prospect have an opportunity to demo your product?
- Did you address your prospect’s sales objections? What were they?
- Did your prospect reach out to you or did you reach out to them?
- How long have you been in communication with your prospect?
- Have you given your prospect the opportunity to ask questions?
If you can answer each of these questions with confidence, chances are you’ve set yourself up to successfully close. Having all of this information organized and available when it comes time to close can give you some much-needed peace of mind.
With tools such as Copper’s activity log, you can look at your relationships from A to Z before you hop on the phone one last time. For example, you can take notes about specific objections, questions, and experiences that directly influence the way you decide to close.
Don’t always default to a discount or freebie
As noted by Harvard Business Review, some prospects are “price immune.”
These prospects aren’t motivated by receiving a better deal: they’re more concerned with your how your product works and the benefits behind it.
That’s why you should strive to close a sales call by emphasizing benefits rather than trying to convince someone through price alone. Doing so might also come off as desperate or devalue your product in the eyes of your potential customer.
Oh, and relying too heavily on discounts obviously means that your customers are worth less (as well as your commission) in the long-run.
There’s nothing wrong with offering legitimate specials or discounts if it means gaining a customer, granted you’re tactful about it.
Take the lead during the conversation
There are times when it’s okay to let your prospects linger and reflect, but not when you’re trying to close.
Instead, make a point to ask questions and keep awkward silence at bay.
Do they need more time with your demo? Do they have any doubts about what you’re offering? The more your prospect is able to say, the more information you have to eventually seal the deal.
Be cool and stay calm
The fear of sales rejection is always looming when it comes time to close a sales call.
We get it.
And sure, it stings when someone you thought was a “sure thing” ends up bouncing.
Remember that the worst thing that can happen during a sales call is someone saying “no.” That’s it.
Just like each successful close is a lesson in what you’re doing right, rejection is a lesson in how you can fine-tune your approach to closing in the future.
Review how your top reps close their calls
For the sake of consistency and improving your company’s close rate, reviewing the closing tactics of your top-performing salespeople is a brilliant idea.
Perhaps those top-performers have a foolproof pitch. Maybe they do something special during the nurturing process that’s worth sharing with the rest of your team.
Looking at your reps’ closing history can also help you understand who your new and struggling reps should shadow during sales prospecting training. With the help of Copper insights, you can identify both parties at a glance.
What’s your strategy for closing a sales call?
Sales reps don’t close calls by accident.
Acquainting yourself with different closing tactics ultimately makes you a more versatile salesperson. This means you’re more prepared for each and every sales call you’re on.
With the help of these strategies and tools like Copper, you can empower yourself to close more deals and approach your prospects with a newfound sense of confidence.