In sales, if you don’t close, you don’t eat. The entire sales process is important, but closing the deal is the only reason we spend so much time prospecting, qualifying, and listening to prospects. All the rapport in the world is pointless if you’re not closing.
Believe it or not, there are plenty of salespeople who don’t actively use closes with customers. They go through the entire sales process and then just hope that everything will fall into place on its own. Hope is never a good business strategy.
Here are some of the most common closes that you can use to close more deals:
1. The Assumptive Close
The assumptive close is when you complete the sale while intentionally assuming that the prospect has already agreed to the deal. For example, once you’ve reviewed the terms with the prospect, you simply ask what form of payment they’d like to use. In many cases, the prospect won’t balk at your question, and you’ll close the deal. Always make sure that you’ve gone through the entire sales process before attempting this close.
2. The Negative Close
This type of close is risky, but can be very effective with the right type of prospect. The negative close challenges the prospect to do business with you by subtly implying that they can’t or won’t do it. You can say something as simple as “Well it sounds like this product might be too advanced for your situation,” or “I get the impression that we’re not the right fit for each other.” Make sure you don’t take it too far by insulting the prospect. Subtlety is the key to making this close work for you.
3. The Compelling Event Close
This type of close puts pressure on a prospect to make a decision by creating an “event” that builds urgency. For example, a limited-time offer that’s set to expire shortly is a compelling event, as is a product that might no longer be in stock in the near future. The goal is to offer the prospect a positive reward for moving forward quickly, a negative consequence for not moving forward quickly enough, or both.
4. The Choice Close
The choice close is when you offer the prospect a choice between two or more options. Usually it goes something like this: “Would you prefer to go with the basic or the premium package today? Premium? Great. Let’s start the paperwork.” This type of close includes elements of the assumptive close. To make this close work, always ensure that you understand the prospect’s needs and interest well enough to give them the right choice.
5. The Conditional Close
The conditional close helps you turn objections into closing opportunities and gives the prospect a “reward” for closing the deal. For example, if the prospect gives you an objection about an extra feature they want, you can offer to include that feature as a condition of closing the deal today. Similarly, you can offer something extra to the prospect but only if he or she agrees to close the deal immediately. Think of late night infomercials and how they always offer something extra for calling in immediately.
6. The High Pressure Close
This type of close can best be described as aggressively and relentlessly pushing your customer to close the deal past the point of what’s socially acceptable. The pressure close is essentially behaving like a pushy salesperson from television and movies. Even though it’s unpopular, this type of close can get results with certain prospects. But be careful because with most people, it will just push them further away.