Sales 101: Mastering The Techniques of Closing Sales

closing a sales deal pic

Imagine you’re on a first date with your dream partner.

You’ve had a fantastic evening, clicking selfies together, sharing stories, and even making each other laugh. Now, it’s time to ask for that second date. 

Similarly, in sales, after building rapport and showcasing your product’s value, it’s all about securing the next step—closing the sale.

But how many deals can a sales rep successfully close?

According to a Hubspot report, the average closing sales rate of a sales rep is less than 20%!

That translates, a sales rep fails to close about 80% of deals & misses out on a significant chunk of revenue in the sales pipeline.

sales reps fail to close almost 80% of the sales deals

But how do you prevent that? How do you improve the closing rate for the deals?

In theory, closing the sale is pretty simple:

sales closing process animated

However, in the real world, closing the sale is so hell of a task, and there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. While there’s a framework to it, it’s also an art form, a skill honed through practice and intuition.

In this blog, we have crafted a practical roadmap to master the art of closing sales like a true superstar.

And the best part?

 Whether you are from the B2B or B2C space, these sales techniques are universally applicable and ready to supercharge your sales game.

Before we uncover the best sales techniques for closing a sale, let’s look at some of the key challenges sales reps face while closing the sales deals.

If you are a sales rep, you can definitely relate to them.

What are the top closing sales challenges?

There are a number of different challenges that sales reps face when they’re trying to close a sale, and it’s important to be prepared for them. Let’s find out the 5 most common sales closing challenges faced by the sales reps.

Top 5 mlost common sales closing challenges faced by sales reps

📌 Overcoming Objections

Imagine you’re trying to close a sale, and your prospect raises concerns. It’s your job to listen actively, empathize, and then address them effectively. Think of objections as opportunities to clarify misunderstandings and build trust

📌 Building Trust

Trust is the foundation of any successful sale. Just like in any relationship, it takes time to establish trust. Be authentic, provide valuable information, and deliver on your promises consistently. Trust is your ally when it comes to closing deals.

📌 Finding the right time to close

Closing the sale is like a well-choreographed dance. Timing matters. Pushing too hard too soon can make prospects uneasy while waiting too long might result in missed opportunities. Pay attention to the cues and signals your prospect gives you to determine the right moment to ask for the close.

📌 Facing Competition

In a world full of options, your prospect might be considering several offers, including your competitors’. To stand out, make sure you clearly articulate the unique value your product or service brings. What sets you apart from the rest?

📌 Getting Everyone onboard

In B2B sales, especially, there are often multiple decision-makers involved. It’s like conducting an orchestra; you need to ensure that every stakeholder is in harmony. Communicate the benefits and value of your offering in a way that resonates with each decision-maker.

Best closing sales techniques in 2023 

Now that you are aware of the challenges of closing sales, let’s break down the sales techniques that will help you overcome these closing challenges.

These closing sales techniques have been proven to help salespeople close more deals, and they can be used in a variety of industries and situations. 

Whether you are a seasoned salesperson or just starting out, these closing sales techniques can help you take your closing skills to the next level.

Sales Closing Technique #1

Puppy Dog Close.

This technique involves giving the prospect a taste of what they’re missing out on by letting them try the product or service before they buy it. It’s like letting them take the puppy home for a night before they decide to adopt it.  

  • Why to use: It allows prospects to experience the benefits of the product or service firsthand, which can help them build trust and increase their confidence in your offered product/service. 
  • When to use: When selling a product/service with a trial period and features that are difficult to quantify over the phone or by email. 
  • How to use: Offer a limited-time free trial of your product or service.

Example: “We offer a no-risk, money-back guarantee on all of our products. Would you like to try it out and see if it’s right for you?“

  • When not to use: If your product/service is not ‘test driven’ and limited to features and benefits.

Sales Closing Technique #2

Alternative Close.  

This technique presents the prospect with two or more options to choose from. This technique is often used to overcome objections or to close the deal when the prospect is already interested in the product or service. It’s important to present the options in a way that is genuine and relevant to the prospect’s needs.

  • Why to use: It helps the prospect feel more in control of the decision-making process and increases their likelihood of making a purchase. 
  • When to use: When the prospect is objecting to the price or a specific feature, unsure which product or service is right for them or is close to making a buying decision.
  • How to use: Offer them option A or option B- both of which involve purchasing your product or service.

Example: “Would you like to start with the basic plan, or would you like to upgrade to the premium plan?

  • When not to use: if the prospect is not ready to make a purchase decision or is overwhelmed by too many options.

Sales Closing Technique #3

Summary Close.

The summary close involves summarizing the key benefits and features of your product or service before asking for the sale. By reminding the prospect of the value they will receive, you can reinforce their decision to purchase.

  • Why to use: It helps to solidify the prospect’s understanding of the product or service and increases their confidence in making the purchase.
  • When to use: When overcoming a prospect’s objections or to recap the key benefits of the product or service after a complex sales presentation.
  • How to use: Summarize the key benefits and features of your product or service to the prospect’s needs.

Example: “So we offer the basic sales engagement plan starting with only $49/seat that includes unlimited multichannel campaigns, free email finder, CRM integration with free data migration, and 24×7 support. Does this plan meet your needs?” 

  • When not to use: if the prospect is not ready to make a purchase decision or is overwhelmed by too much information.

Sales Closing Technique #4

Suggestive Close.

This is a hard sales closing technique that involves offering your recommendation as an expert for what would work best for the prospect’s needs. Basically, you act like an expert in your field and give them a tailored solution. 

  • Why to use: It helps the prospect in making the purchase decision with the help of an expert recommendation.
  • When to use: When you have built a great relationship with your prospect.
  • How to use: Suggest genuine recommendations of your product/service features for the prospect’s needs. 

Example: “Considering your goals, many of our agency clients have found success with our premium plan that includes features like a dedicated success manager, API & webhook integrations, etc. Would you like to explore how this package can be customized to fit your specific needs or do you have any questions about its capabilities?”

  • When not to use: If the prospect is more expert in the field than you or if you don’t know the prospect very well.

Sales Closing Technique #5

Sharp Angle Close.

The sharp angle close is a powerful closing sales technique in the sales rep’s toolkit, particularly when dealing with prospects who press for concessions or additional benefits. This method can be a game-changer, but it’s essential to use it wisely and at the right moment.

  • Why to use: It surprises prospects by agreeing to their request and swiftly prompting a commitment, especially valuable in time-sensitive situations.
  • When to use: When prospects ask for discounts or extras, or when negotiations stall and progress is needed.
  • How to use: Start by acknowledging the prospect’s request, showing a willingness to accommodate it, and then propose a commitment, emphasizing the value they’ll gain from immediate action.

Example: If the prospect asks for free credits of the email finder tool or an extension of the email warmup tool, the sales rep can reply with something such as: “I can certainly check if the option is available. If I can arrange that, would you be ready to make the purchase today?”

   In this example, the sales rep uses the prospect’s request as an opportunity to push for a commitment to purchase the product immediately

  • When not to use: If you don’t have managerial approval for the prospect’s demands

Sales Closing Technique #6

Question Close.

Question Closes are invaluable tools in a sales rep’s arsenal. They enable the rep to gauge prospect interest, address objections, and secure commitment, all through the power of strategic questioning.

  • Why to use: It is effective in fostering client desire for the product and addressing potential purchase objections right away.
  • When to use: Implement Question Closes early in the conversation to establish interest.
  • How to use: Pose questions that prompt prospects to evaluate the product’s suitability and, based on their response, proceed to secure commitment if they express interest.

Example: “How well does our product/service meet your needs ?” or after the pitch you pose a question “Is this something that addresses your needs?”

  • When not to use: Avoid using Question Closes in non-sales conversations where commitment isn’t the objective.

Sales Closing Technique #7

Take Away Close.

The Take Away Close leverages a psychological tactic that encourages prospects to value what they might lose. By strategically removing a feature or service from the offer, you prompt them to reconsider their priorities. 

  • Why to use: It can make prospects reconsider the value of what’s being removed, often increasing their desire to retain it.
  • When to use: When prospects are balking at the price and are struggling to commit.
  • How to use: Remove a feature or service, and present a discounted offer with the omitted element.

Example: “At your current budget, we can either offer you our email finder tool or the email warm-up tool. Which one would you like to opt for?”

  • When not to use: If the feature or service you’re removing is a deal-breaker for the prospect.

Sales Closing Technique #8

Value Add Incentive Close.

The Value Add Incentive Close, also known as ‘Something for nothing close’,  is a technique where sales reps extend a gesture of goodwill, hoping to prompt prospects to reciprocate by making a commitment to purchase.

  • Why to use: It builds goodwill and trust with the prospects.
  • When to use: When your goal is to persuade prospects to transition from a competitor’s product.
  • How to use: Determine a valuable, cost-saving offer or gesture of goodwill to present to the prospect.

Example: “If you place an order today, I can offer you free shipping. This is a limited-time offer.” 

  • When to use: Avoid making offers that are financially unsustainable for your business.

Sales Closing Technique #9

Opportunity Cost Close.

The Opportunity Cost Close is a powerful technique used to emphasize the potential losses prospects may face without your solution. By highlighting these losses, you prompt them to reconsider stalling the deal.

  • Why to use: It underscores the significant losses prospects may incur without your solution, thus encouraging prospects to reevaluate their decision and act promptly.
  • When to use: When prospects stand to lose something substantial without your product or service.
  • How to use: Identify the potential losses that could occur without your solution and clearly articulate how your product or service can prevent them.

Example: “I wouldn’t want your sender reputation to suffer and impact your email deliverability due to your current outreach tool. Are you interested in improving it?” 

  • When not to use: If the potential losses are minimal or do not significantly impact the prospect.

Sales Closing Technique #10

Objection Close.

Objection Close technique is valuable when prospects are stalling and their objections aren’t clear. It allows you to prompt them to express any lingering concerns and address them promptly.

  • Why to use: It encourages prospects to voice their doubts, enabling swift resolution and deal closure.
  • When to use: When you are unsure about the specific reasons for the prospect’s hesitation in the purchase process.
  • How to use: Ask the prospect if there are any reasons holding them back from signing the deal today.

Example: So, [Prospect_Name] If I could show you how to overcome low email deliverability and constant email unsubscriptions, would you be interested in learning more?”

  • When not to use: If the prospect has already clearly articulated his objections.

Sales Closing Technique #11

Comparative Benefits Close.

The Comparative Benefits close is rather an unconventional way of building rapport with prospects and closing a deal with them in the future. In this approach, you suggest the next best alternative solution to the prospect’s problem.

  • Why to use: It shows transparency and confidence in your product’s value, fostering trust with the prospect for future deals.
  • When to use: When a prospect expresses hesitations about the price of your product or service. 

[ Remember: It’s the last resort for closing a sale, so use it judiciously ]

  • How to use: Engage the prospect in a conversation about their budget constraints and present alternative options.

Example: “It seems that our premium features might not be a priority for you right now. That’s okay—some of our users were in a similar position. They explored [Alternative-1]  & [Alternative-2] before taking our premium plan. Are you interested to know the comparison between these alternatives?”

  • When not to use: Avoid using it too early in the conversation with prospects.

Golden tips to improve closing sales faster

In addition to the above techniques, implement these 8 fundamental tips in your next sales process for a quicker and more effective sales conversion.

  • Stop Talking, Start Listening

Active listening is a crucial skill in closing sales. It involves fully focusing on the prospect and understanding their needs and concerns. By actively listening, you can uncover valuable information that will help you tailor your sales pitch and address any objections the prospect may have. 
Avoid interrupting the prospect and instead, ask open-ended questions to encourage them to share more information.

  • Build Rapport & Trust

People tend to buy from people they trust and feel comfortable with. Make an effort to form a bond with the prospect by being friendly and understanding. Show genuine interest in their needs and concerns, and listen actively to what they have to say. This will help you build trust and create a positive relationship with the prospect.

  • Win The First 5 Seconds

“Win their hearts in the first five seconds”

– Aaron Wozniak, a multiple-year P-Club winner at Salesforce.

Studies have shown that people form impressions within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. So, a solid opening is crucial for making a positive impression and building rapport with the prospect. This can increase their chances of building rapport with the prospect and closing the deal.

  • Sale Through Storytelling 

Connecting your prospects with a story engages them and makes the purchase process exciting for them. In this technique, you don’t merely sell them a product/service rather you sell them a vision, an idea, a change, or a new experience. 

steve jobs , the master business storyteller teaching the art of sales closing

Steve Jobs was one of the pioneers of this technique. His introduction of the iPhone in 2007 is considered still one of the greatest storytelling pitches by the experts and we know the rest of the story. 

  • Frame The Loss, Not The Gain 

People are more motivated to avoid losing something they already own than to acquire something new of equal value. This is a cognitive bias known as ‘Loss Aversion’.

There are a number of ways to frame the loss, not the gain, in sales and marketing. 

For example, instead of saying “Subscribe to our yearly plan and get 30% off,” you could say “Don’t miss out on 30% savings!” This frames the offer as a loss that the customer will avoid if they buy the product.

How can you make the prospect realize what they’re missing out on if they don’t do business with you?

  • Resilience Is Your Friend

Resilience & perseverance are key in sales. Expect rejection, but don’t be discouraged. Treat every “no” as a step toward a “yes.” This mindset sets successful closers apart.

  • Adapt and Thrive

Every prospect is unique, and what worked with one may not work with another. Being able to adjust your approach, ask the right questions, and pivot your pitch accordingly is a hallmark of a skilled closer.

  • Get Ready To Screw Up 

Let’s be real. No matter what measures you take, you will not be able to close every sale. In sales, there will be moments when you inadvertently upset people, face rejection, or lose potential sales. It is important to embrace these challenges and be willing to screw up. Everyone makes mistakes, and the important thing is to learn from them and move on. Remember, even the most successful salespeople have screwed up deals in their careers. 

To Sum it all Up

Closing a sale is the final and most important step in the sales process. It’s where you convince the prospect to buy your product or service. If you can master the art of closing sales, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a top sales rep.

Here’s a quick recap of the key points from this blog post:

  • The sales closing process is a series of steps that you take to convince a prospect to buy your product or service.
  • There are many different closing techniques that you can use, but the best ones are tailored to the specific prospect and situation.
  • Some of the most effective closing sales techniques include the alternative close, puppy dog close, suggestive close, summary close, etc.
  • There are also a number of additional tips that can help you close sales faster, such as building rapport with the prospect, solid opening, and more.

Now it’s your turn to take action!

Answer the following questions to help you put what you’ve learned into practice:

  • What are your favorite closing techniques? Why?
  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced when closing sales? How have you overcome them?
  • What are some additional tips that you would give to other sales reps who are trying to close more sales?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

P.S. If you found this blog post helpful, please share it with your friends and colleagues. The more people who know the art of closing sales, the better!

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