Closing deals isn’t some magical process. It’s not something that certain salespeople are gifted with, while others have to admit defeat.
Closing is for everyone. And closing is for YOU. You just have to know the time-tested techniques that I’m going to share today.
And I have to say — these are worth studying and knowing by heart. Why? Because if one of your sales responsibilities (or privileges) is closing, then you can dramatically increase your deal-won rate by deploying these tactics. Trust me.
Now take note that these are in descending order. The closing techniques that me and my team have found the most success with are near the top — so I’d recommend adding those to your repertoire first.
Also notice that after each closing technique I unpack the sales psychology so you know how and why that particular technique works.
OK let’s get right into it.
1. Assumptive Close
This one works so well that I’ve devoted a whole article to it called Assumptive Selling: Should You Assume the Sale? Spoiler alert: Yes you should assume the sale, in many cases. If you’ve stacked the value and effectively communicated the transformation that will take place (you know your product will help them), then not assuming the sale would feel wrong and sleazy.
Sales Psychology: By assuming the sale (i.e. “OK sounds like we’re ready to get started”), you bypass the typical friction point of decision making. There is no “Yes or No” required by your prospect. Just a signature. Don’t worry — if they truly don’t want your product, they’ll tell you. But all too often the prospect does want your product but says “No” out of instinct… and we can’t have that.
2. The Scarcity Close
Why are diamonds a girl’s best friend (and so incredibly expensive)? Because starting in the 1930’s, “Big Diamond” like De Beers began telling us that diamonds are rare/scarce. And they did a bang-up job. As a result, we put a diamond on practically every woman in America. In a similar way, where it makes sense and where it’s ethical, communicate that your product or service doesn’t run on tap. It’s not an unlimited supply. It’s scarce, and therefore, valuable.
Sales Psychology: Scarcity has perceived value attached to it. Whether it’s a rare baseball card, a one-of-a-kind exotic car, or a diamond. Your prospect feels like they’re on a treasure hunt and they just found treasure (if you frame it right). But to keep the treasure, they must act now with their credit card.
3. The Summary Close
Also called “the nutshell close,” this close is pretty much like it sounds — you summarize or recap your main points in a nutshell… then ask for the sale. But don’t give them a blanket summary of everything you discussed; instead, summarize your prospect’s pain points and how your product or service directly solves them.
This might look something like: “So to summarize, we’ve discussed how you’re losing sales and it’s impacting your bottom-line, we also talked about how you hate the frustration that comes with being disorganized on the backend. And again, our custom CRM will help you capture more deals and revenue, and keep you completely organized so that you can finally breathe again…”
Sales Psychology: Sales is about trust, yes, but it’s also about how much value you deliver to your prospect. And during the closing stage of a sales meeting, it’s about how well you communicate this value. If you stack the main transformative benefits one after the other and then immediately ask for the sale, you’re far more likely to get a positive response. Just be sure to keep it brief — two or three transformative benefits is enough. Whatever you do, don’t overwhelm your prospects with too much information and make them think too hard. Make it easy for them to say “Yes.”
4. The Options Close
For the options close, you give your prospect two options (and in some cases three options) to choose from. For instance, say something like, “Now that I get the full picture, one of these two plans will work best for you… Which one would you like to go with?” You’re assuming the sale (like the assumptive close), but you’re also giving your prospect the power of choice. But just like with the Summary close, you can risk overwhelming them into buyer’s fatigue by offering too many options. Two options is great. Three is max! Think of it like a “Silver, Gold, Platinum” selection. Or good, better, best.
Sales Psychology: By having the freedom to choose, you put the ball in your prospect’s court. Or at least they think the ball is in their court. By giving them the power to make a decision, they feel a sense of control in the situation (and in all fairness, they do have some control). But no matter which option they choose, they become a customer or client in the end.
5. The Test Drive Close
This close is for anyone who’s able to give a free trial of their product or service. Be it 7 days, 30 days, 90 days — a trial period almost completely takes the edge off a purchase. And that’s why in today’s highly-competitive capitalist market you see more and more companies offering a free trial. It’s also why every car dealership on the planet lets you take a new car for a spin around town. Once you get into the vehicle and test out it’s features and smooth ride, you’re way more likely to purchase it.
Sales Pyschology: If the customer doesn’t like your product or service, they can just return it, no questions asked. This eliminates the fear of buying “a lemon” and it also communicates that you stand behind your product. Now, in the B2B world, it’s not always feasible to offer a trial period. But if you’re able to, your sales numbers will likely shoot through the roof.
These are the five best closing techniques that I’ve experienced success with first-hand. But keep in mind, there are more ways to skin a cat, so to speak. So you’ll find just as many closing tactics out there — that could work equally as well — that didn’t make my list above.
The important thing is to always be learning and testing new techniques. In B2B sales, it’s critical that you’re constantly evolving and testing new methods. Besides, all of the closing techniques above (and ALL of sales, really) is about human psychology… which is absolutely fascinating. Learn to love it, and learn to master it.
Until next time…