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Common Questions and Answers
Some sales experts state firmly that a good salesperson doesn’t need to ‘close’ any sale. They believe that if a salesperson does his job, the prospect will be ready to buy by the end of the sales process without any nudging or tricky closing techniques on the part of the salesperson. In fact, some experts go so far as to say that closing techniques are manipulative and wrong.
Of course, even assuming that these experts are correct about a prospect’s general readiness to buy, there will always be sales that just don’t go that smoothly. Perhaps you don’t read the prospect correctly and fail to emphasize the best benefits for his needs. Or perhaps he doesn’t have any real urgency to buy and so has no intention of purchasing from you at this point. The best salesperson in the world won’t be able to sell successfully every single time.
Which means that, at the end of the sales process, not every prospect will be itching to buy. So do you just give up on those prospects, or do you make an effort and see if you can convince them at the last minute? Sometimes a prospect may be right on the edge but hasn’t quite made up his mind, in which case a solid close can make the difference between completing the sale and losing it.
In truth, even a very interested prospect will probably need at least a small nudge. It’s very rare for a prospect to ask YOU for the sale, so at the very least you’ll need to ask them. In many cases, just asking your prospect to sign on the dotted line is all the closing you’ll need to do. For the more hesitant prospects, though, it’s a good idea to have some closing techniques on hand.
Keep in mind that these techniques are not always the right approach. If your product is simply not a good fit or the prospect truly doesn’t have a need for it, then using high-pressure techniques is unethical. Don’t ever try to sell someone something that they truly don’t want or need. And don’t try to trick someone into thinking your product is something it’s not. But if a prospect does have a need that your product can meet, then by all means give them that nudge.
Salespeople tend to come up with their own closing techniques over time. You’ll probably find some phrases or approaches that work seamlessly with your sales presentation or that you feel more comfortable using on an appointment. Here are some fairly general closes that you can adapt to your own sales process and prospect type.
These closing techniques are fairly simple to implement and will work on many different kinds of prospects. If you presented the product well and responded to the prospect’s objections, the basic closing techniques will usually be all it takes to walk out of the meeting with a sale.
Once you’ve mastered the basic art of closing a sale, it’s time to review some intermediate-level strategies. These closes aren’t necessarily more difficult than the basic closing strategies, but they tend to be more complex. They work well for rescuing a sale that’s in some danger of failing.
The advanced closing techniques are a bit trickier to apply than the basic or intermediate closes. They require more setup time or a willingness to push the prospect a little harder. But when used wisely, they can seal the deal with prospects who otherwise wouldn’t buy from you. Don’t try using the advanced closes until you’re comfortable with the basic and intermediate techniques.
About the author
My first sales position was a summer job selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door. I continued through a variety of sales jobs ranging from retail sales for a storage company to selling bank products for a Fortune 500 financial institution.
As a small business owner, I now focuses on selling for my own company, Tailored Content, a website content provider. I write on a wide range of topics but my primary focus is sales and how to sell effectively.