100 Sales Closing Tactics

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I have personally found that sales as a career can be tremendously rewarding both personally and financially — but educating one’s self can be extremely difficult. Maybe it’s due to the lack of educational paths, or because the lay person thinks it’s ultimately just “talking” and not a real skill of value. Thus it has been incredibly challenging to find great sources of education.

Over the last two decades I have dedicated a portion of each week to continuing my sales education by learning from the sales greats, regardless of industries. I personally did not invent most of these tactics. The strategies listed below were cultivated through decades of readings, mentorships, conferences, online sources and hard-earned life lessons. I believe it is one of the most complete lists in regards to sales closing tactics. I hope you and your teams find some value in it.

I truly believe the best sales teams do not recreate the wheel; they simply stand on the shoulders of the greats before us. I wish for you all success with continuing your own personal sales education and I hope this information can help you in some small way along your journey.

  1. Adjournment close:When you can tell your prospect isn’t yet ready to decide, give them more time to think rather than further pursuing the close.
  2. Affordable close:The affordable close takes a bit of digging. This may include finding out what their budget is, what they can afford, etc… thereby increasing the chances of closing the deal. You can also use this to reframe lifetime costs if they are higher than they were expecting.
  3. Alternative Choice close:Salesperson presents the prospect with only two choices, both of which end in a sale. “Would you prefer that in red or blue?”
  4. “Any Reason Why We Can’t Proceed?” close:This accomplishes two things. First, it solicits any objections that might be in their mind. Second, it moves the client into the closing zone. If you’ve presented well, this question implies that saying “yes” is the only logical choice.
  5. Apology close:The salesperson apologizes for them not yet closing. “I owe you a personal apology. I must have left out some important information, or in some other way left you room for doubt. We both know this product suits your needs perfectly, so the fault here must be with me.”
  6. Approach close:The purpose of the approach close is to get the prospect to make a commitment to giving you a decision at the end of the presentation, rather than him saying afterwards, “I have to think it over.”
  7. Artisan close:Create statutes and exclusivity where you can. Highlight how much work, skill, thought, and/or time has been invested into the product you’re selling.
  8. Ask the Manager close:Start telling your customer you only have the authority to discount a certain amount. Any more than that, and you have to ask the manager.
  9. Assumptive close: The salesperson assumes the prospect has already agreed to buy, and starts to prepare the paperwork. “Just pass me your credit card and I’ll get the paperwork ready.”
  10. Assumptive Statement-and-Question close: Make an assumptive question and close the sale by asking an assumptive question: “We will use your home address for billing purposes. Is the afternoon the best time of day to have it delivered to your home?”
  11. Backwards close:Most every sales professional was taught that sales cycles follow a pre-determined number of steps. Instead, start by asking for referrals. The idea being that the customer is put at ease when they realize you are not trying to sell them something.
  12. 1 Ben Franklin close: The salesperson and the prospect build together a pros-and-cons list of whether to buy the product, with the salesperson trying to ensure the pros list is longer than the cons.
  13. Best Time close:Emphasize the importance of buying right now. Appeal to your prospect’s sense of urgency.
  14. Bonus close:“I know how much you like the car. To sweeten the deal for you, if you buy it today, I’ll include the (whatever it is they wanted) for you at no additional cost.”
  15. Bracket close:The bracket close is where you give you customer options, with one of them being your target, and building the other two either just out of their budget or stripped down so that they won’t consider it.
  16. By Mistake close:Requires planting a seed of assumption in the client’s mind that is wrong. To implement properly, you should simulate a small error in the information that you are giving, or that the client has given you, as you can see in the following example: “I see you’ve indicated here you need to close the deal by next Friday, right?” “No, it would be after Friday.” If the customer corrects you, you are tacitly assuming the deal has already been closed.
  17. Calendar close:Instead of going for the ultimate close, which your prospect often isn’t ready for, request a future meeting, keeping the momentum going.
  18. Change Places close:“Mr. customer, would you change places with me just for a moment?” “Please put yourself in my shoes,” You say, “Imagine if you were talking to somebody that you looked up to, and you were showing them a product or a service that was just right for them, and they wouldn’t tell you why it is they won’t buy one way or another. What would you do if you were in my position?”
  19. Choices of Three close:The more choices presented to people, the more difficult it becomes for them to make up their minds. When people have to choose from more than three choices, they have a hard time determining which to pick.
  20. Columbo close:Columbo would turn and start to walk away, and just when the suspect began to breathe a sigh of relief, Columbo would turn and say, “Just one more thing.” The question or statement that followed that brief statement would always pack an incredible punch.
  21. Companion close:When the prospect brings a friend or relative, start by selling to them first and get them to agree with you. This makes the sale much more likely, as the prospect wants validation they are making a wise choice.
  22. Compromise close:Half a sale is better than no sale. More importantly, once you win some of their business, you open the door to more sales in the future. When all other objections other than price have been eliminated and the prospect still can’t decide, make it easy by offering a compromise.
  23. Conditional close:Set up a quid pro quo agreement. If you agree to your prospect’s condition, they’ll concede one of your points.
  24. Concession close:“I can give you 20 percent off on everything, but only if we sign the contract today.” This forces them to make a decision now. It also lets them feel like they won because they get something extra!
  25. Consultative close: All you need to do is ask the customer their needs and repeat them back. “OK Mr. Customer, you told me you were looking for a Widget that is Blue and is under $10,000. Here is what I have that meets your needs. It is Blue, and only $5,000. Let’s get the paperwork started.”
  26. Cost of Ownership close: Calculate the total cost of owning your product, including roll out, services, maintenance, fees, and so on. Then contrast that to a competitor’s offering. Then demonstrate how a small difference in cost adds up over time.
  27. Cradle to Grave close: The salesman undercuts the prospect’s objections that it is too soon to buy by telling them there is never a convenient time to make a major decision, therefore they need to do it anyways.
  28. Custom Fit close:By the end of your sales presentation you’ve learned a lot about the prospect. You should be aware of at least a few benefits that are really important to them. In the custom-fit close, you use that information in a way that clinches the sale.
  29. Customer Care close:After you’ve lost the deal, let a set amount of time go by before reaching out to the prospect to ask them about their buying experience.
  30. Demonstration close:Getting a customer to do a quick demo showing the solution with actual results helps prospects see how another person has used the solution and easily translates the possibilities for themselves. This is popular at makeup counters.
  31. Direct close:This occurs when the salesperson simply directly asks the prospect to buy.
  32. Directive close:You show the prospects a step-by-step process. Walk them through the experience of buying. You are also setting expectations, reducing fear and eliminating hesitation.
  33. Don’t Keep it Secret close:Never be too proud to let people know how much you would appreciate their business. “I won’t keep it a secret. I want your business, Mr. Customer.”
  34. Duke of Wellington close:Take all the negative points of the products and convert them into positive ones, showing your customers that in any case, they will benefit from the investment.
  35. Eager Beaver close:This works well if you know your prospect is favoring a sale. “I’ll send an agreement to you today and you can get back to me later, how does that sound?”
  36. Emotion close: “Imagine the look on your wife’s face when she sees you already booked her dream vacation. Wouldn’t you feel great?”
  37. Empathy close:“I understand how you feel. I felt the same way when I bought my home. But it turned out to be a smart move.
  38. Fly Fish close:Sales reps make promises during the decision-making phase by trying to offer an instant and profitable deal if the deal is closed immediately.
  39. Follow-the-Leader close:There are more followers in this world than leaders. Therefore, some prospects will buy only after they know that prominent people have signed up.
  40. Foot in Door close:If a salesperson can get a prospect to agree to something small, it increases the likelihood they’ll do something big later on.
  41. Guilt close:Appeal to the buyer’s sense of family obligation by pointing out how much “everyone” will love this decision.
  42. Handover close:Some prospects will just not vibe with you. Hand the sale off to another sales person.
  43. Handshake close:Sort of like the assumptive close. With the handshake close, you give your customer the offer and then automatically extend your hand. It doesn’t give them much time to think and hopefully you get a deal.
  44. Hard-to-get-it close:People want those objects that are not readily available or are too expensive. This close works because it appeals to people’s egos. People want what others can’t have.
  45. Hot Button close: The hot button close is based on the fact that 80 percent of the buying decision is determined by 20 percent of the product features and benefits.
  46. I-Own-This-Product-Myself close:Buyers will be reassured that you as a professional own or use what you are selling.
  47. Imaginary close: By asking questions about hypothetical situations, the customer imagines what life would be like with your product.
  48. Impending Event close:If you have a deadline or reason for the customer to make a quick decision, the impending event closing works well. “I only have my team in town this week. Can we schedule a day with you?”
  49. Indirect close: Also known as the question close, in which the salesperson moves to the close with an indirect question. “How does this agreement look to you?”
  50. Instant Reverse close:A prospect says, “I can’t afford it.” You immediately respond by saying, “That’s exactly why you should buy it!” Explain how and why he will benefit from paying more than he was expecting to for what you are selling.
  51. Introduce the Idea of Competition close:When a potential buyer knows the item may be sold to someone else if they walk away, they are more likely to accept your offer.
  52. Invitational close:This is used when you invite the prospect to make a buying decision. When you say, “Why don’t you give it a try?” you are suggesting that making the purchase decision is no big deal.
  53. Just Suppose close:You use the just suppose close when the prospect says he can’t afford what you’re selling. “Mr. Prospect, let me put to rest that the price is not a problem and that we can deal with your concerns to your complete satisfaction. Can we do that for just a moment so that I can finish my presentation?” The prospect will usually say yes.
  54. Level with Me close: Customer says he wants to think about it. “Level with me. Have I failed to show you the value that you will receive from your investment?” Then be quiet.
  55. Little Mistake vs. Big Mistake close:Highlight that it’s a big mistake not to buy, but under the worst scenario only a minor mistake to do so.
  56. Minor to Major close:Deliberately gain an agreement with the prospect on a minor point working up to the major point. People have more trouble making major decisions than minor ones. Propose a series of easy-to-make minor decisions, the total of which add up to a major close.
  57. Money Talks close:If you’ve helped the prospect quantify their business problem, and this number exceeds the investment required to solve the problem by using your product or service, their purchasing decision is easy to justify.
  58. Needs close:List everything the buyer has said they’d need in the product. Then review your product against that list.
  59. Negative Assumption close: The salesperson asks two final questions, repeating them until he or she achieves the sale. “Do you have any more questions for me?” and “Do you see any reason why you wouldn’t buy this product?”
  60. Negative Consequence close:Describe the undesirable ramifications of doing nothing using the information your prospect gave you during the discovery process.
  61. Negotiated close: This can be used to overcome any unreasonable objections or demands. “If we sign the contract today, we can start work on these concerns first thing tomorrow morning. Is that something you would be willing to commit to?”
  62. Nibbling close:A strategy that salesmen use by making a larger sale seem cheap by getting the buyer to bite off small pieces.
  63. No Hassle close:Complete as much of the buying process as possible for your prospect. For example, sign out the paperwork, forward materials to legal in advance, meet with procurement to settle on a mutually satisfactory price, and so on.
  64. No Pressure, But… close:Polite pressure lines often go something like this: “This is one of the last ones available at this price” or “There’s a limited amount of time on this offer and I really don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity.”
  65. One More Reason to Buy close: Give them one more reason to buy before closing again.
  66. Open Ended close:It works by asking an open-ended question, such as, “Do you feel like this product is something you would use?” If the answer is, “yes,” the sale closed. If not, you can ask for more information. This is different from asking for the sale directly. If you do that and the answer is “no,” then you have to ask why they aren’t buying, which isn’t the same as asking why a product or service doesn’t meet a need. The latter puts a prospect less on the defensive.
  67. In Your Opinion close:Asking, “In your opinion …” to a question softens the reply to the question. “In your opinion, will this solve your problem?” If the customer says no, it’s an opinion, not a fact, and you can address his concern.
  68. Order Sheet close:The order sheet close is first used when the presentation begins. The first thing you do is pull out an order sheet and write the date on it. From then on, whenever the prospect says anything about the product or service, you write it on the order sheet.
  69. Persistence close:Salespeople who quickly give up on a prospect when they hear the word “no” have lower sales than those who are more persistent. If the prospect seems ready to buy but is still reluctant, you can likely overcome resistance with persistence on its own.
  70. Porcupine close:You must be careful stroking a porcupine and you must also be careful answering customer questions. When your prospect asks a question like “Does it come in red?” answer by tossing back the question: “Would you like it in red?”
  71. Possibility of Loss close:The salesperson points out that failing to close could result in a missed opportunity, for example because a product may sell out, or its price may rise.
  72. Power of Suggestion close:The way you use the power of suggestion is by creating emotions in the prospect with words or pictures. For example, you can say, “You’re really going to enjoy the way this car handles on the road. My brother has one of these cars and he just loves the way it grips the road when he goes around corners!”
  73. Pressure close:This can be used in almost any situation in which an external factor that is out of the buyer’s control (such as new regulations or tough economic conditions) will cause them internal pain unless they purchase your solution.
  74. Puppy Dog close:The salesperson gives the product to the prospect on a trial basis, to test before a sale is agreed upon.
  75. Quality close:Instead of selling on price, highlight the value of your product.
  76. Rebound close:It is a sales technique which is typically used by more experienced salespeople, as it is highly reactive. Buyer: “By when can you implement the solution?” Sales rep: “If you sign the contract today, I will make sure our team starts working on it soon.”
  77. Reciprocity close:People are more likely to say yes when they are returning a favor. An example would be finding out their child is selling popcorn for boy scouts and purchasing up front.
  78. Repetition close:Tell them several times and several reasons why they should buy today. Repeat it until they “get it.”
  79. Reversal close:Tell your prospect you’re not sure they’re the right fit.
  80. Sales Contest close:The salesperson offers the prospect a special incentive to close, disarming suspicion with a credible “selfish” justification. “How about if I throw in free shipping? If I make this sale, I’ll win a day off.”
  81. Sales Manager’s close:If a sales manager is accompanying a trainee who makes the sales presentation, but no sale has been made, he/she can say, “Do you mind if I make a comment before we leave? I think the trainee did a fine job, but he is a truly low-pressure salesman,” and use the Assumption Close technique.
  82. Scale close:Ask your prospect how interested they are in making a purchase on a scale from 1 to 10. After they choose a number, say you’re surprised — you thought their number would be lower. Have them describe why they’d buy. Repeat their answers back to them. Then say you’re confused. If they’re so enamored with the product, why didn’t they say 10?
  83. Scarcity close:“Act now! You’ll never see a deal this good again!”
  84. Sell-it-With-Love close: Make a strong emotional appeal to buy today when the prospect is accompanying a loved one for whom the first person is going to make a purchase.
  85. Sharp Angle close:This is when the salesperson responds to a prospect’s question with a request to close. “Can you get the software up and running this week?” “If I can guarantee it, do we have a deal?”
  86. Similarity close:Describe a buyer who faced similar challenges who has seen a lot of success with your product.
  87. Solicit Objections close:Start by asking for an objection. “Is there any reason why we can’t proceed with the shipment?” This oblique approach allows the customer to raise any final objections if he/she has one without saying no to the sale.
  88. Something for Nothing close:“I happen to have a free pass for personal training right now. If you sign up today, I’ll throw it in at no charge.”
  89. Suggestion close:You close with, “Based on what you have told me about your operations, I would suggest you receive orders on Fridays. Does this work for you?”
  90. Sudden Death close:This technique is used as an ultimatum. “Mr. customer, we’ve discussed this quite a bit now. It’s taking up a lot of our time. Either this is a good solution for you or it’s not. So, one way or another, let’s make a decision right now. What do you say?”
  91. Sum-It-All-Up close:Restate the features and any services you will provide during the transaction, and all other details. Then close with a direct question: “Should I go ahead and get the paper work started?”
  92. Sympathy close:“Oh, why don’t you take the puppy home and see how it goes? If it’s not working out for you, just bring the puppy back.”
  93. Takeaway close:This works best with a product or service that comes in more than one configuration and has a value that increases when additional features are added.
  94. Testimonial close:Rather than trying to convince your prospect of your solution’s benefits, sell through a happy customer. You can either use a written testimonial or an actual customer reference.
  95. Tie Down close:Circle back to the client’s own words to overcome their objections. “You said earlier you needed to make a decision today, correct?”
  96. Trade Off close:Exchange concessions that are worth less to you, but may carry more weight to the prospect.
  97. Trial close:Use it to check that you’re meeting the buyer’s needs and are heading for the close.
  98. Urgency close:Creating a sense of urgency places pressure on the prospect to make a decision. An example would be a limited time offer.
  99. Visual close:Use visual aids such as result charts, media or video to help close a sale. Most people are visual communicators.
  100. Weekly Cost close: Calculate how much your product will cost per day, week or month.

BONUS: 101. Why-Wait close: Point out that the cost of most items goes up over time.

 

Jason R. Stowell is the division director of fitness and wellness for JCC of Greater Pittsburgh. He is an award-winning fitness leader with over 20 years of successful experience providing strategic planning, talent management, and expert-level sales training in the health and fitness industry. Connect with him on Linkedin here

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