If you are in sales, you have heard the phrase “close the sale” a zillion times. My first decade in sales, I was taught very specific closing techniques.
Some worked well. Others, I learned over time, actually caused me to lose more sales than I closed.
Now that I have been in sales almost 30 years, I can clearly see what works and what doesn’t.
So here are 5 closing myths, strategies and techniques – and how to use each one to close more sales!
You Should Offer Three Pricing Options
Many salespeople try to close the sale with three pricing options: high/medium/low, gold/silver/bronze, etc…
Three pricing options is too many. When customers have too many options, they become confused and doubt which one to buy.
Confused customers don’t buy.
Therefore, you will hear “I need to think about it” quite often.
The best strategy is to close on your single best value. People want the best value. They will pay $1000 for something they value but not $10 for something they don’t value.
Don’t let the price scare you.
The Sale Is Made In The Close
False! The sale isn’t made in the close. The sale is made long before you get to the close.
People buy for two reasons:
- You have trust and credibility
- You have done a good job demonstrating the problem your product can solve
If you are doing mostly cold calls (little credibility) and you are not asking important detailed questions to discover the pain points your customer has (and how you can solve them), you are not going to have a high closing percentage.
On the other hand, if you are working mostly referrals (instant credibility) and you are doing a good job asking detailed questions and finding the need, your customer will be sold before you even start showing your product.
This is why your product demonstration should be very short. Customers should be sold on buying from you before you even show them your product. Don’t talk your way out of a sale (salespeople make this mistake often).
Keep Closing When They Won’t Buy
When you are closing more than one person (CEO + President, HR Director + VP, husband + wife, etc…), sometimes one of these people is ready to buy but the other one is not.
The one who is not sold is trying to communicate to the other person that there is something they need to talk about. But they aren’t comfortable discussing it in front of you.
If you try to close, close, close then you will not make the sale.
The smarter thing to do is walk out of the room. Here is a video that explains exactly what to do and say in this situation. It works!
Take Their Temperature Gauge
It is much easier to close and get a “yes” when you have been closing throughout your entire presentation….not just at the very end.
Here are examples of questions you can ask from the beginning:
- If I were to show you something that can help you (insert pain point and solution), would that be something you’d be open to taking 10 minutes to take a look at?
- If you had had this product this past year, how will this have effected your productivity?
- Do you see why everyone has been getting this?
- Now that you have seen everything, what do you like best about this product? Why is that important to you?
Cover Objections Before Your Get Them
There is a saying in sales “Whoever brings up the objection first, wins”.
If your customer is the first to say “I need to think about it” or “I can’t afford this”, they will win every time.
If you bring it up first, you have a shot at winning.
So, before you start your product demonstration, simply say, “I have an important question to ask. I love “Yes’s” and I love “No’s” – it’s the “Maybe’s” that make my job really challenging. When I finish up here in about 10 minutes, can you give me either a “yes” or “no”?”
Covering this up front will not only help you eliminate the “I need to think about it” objection, but also reveal if you are sitting down with the decision-maker or not.
If your customer’s reply is “I can’t give you an answer because our CEO makes all of the decisions”, well you need to pack up and come back when the CEO is in your meeting.
Hiding Red Flags Will Help You Make More Sales
False, false, false!
At least a dozen times this past year I have been blindsided with unethical and fraudulent business tactics.
A well-known skin care company auto-billed my debit card without my permission twice. A water park charged full price and did not disclose that half of their park was closed. An affiliate partner was charging my customers a $300 set up fee without my knowledge.
These people intentionally failed to disclose important information because they fear it will cost them business.
Well, where they all had me as a lifetime, loyal customer, I now will never do business with them ever again. And negative PR is more costly than anything.
The skin care rep could have asked me if I wanted to be auto-billed or not – and email me an opt-in form to authorize.
The water park could have said, “Due to many of our popular rides being closed today, tickets are half price and there is free parking”.
When you are up front with terms, conditions and billing, you will rarely lose buyers on the front end – and most definitely won’t lose them on the back end.
Treat your customers the way you expect to be treated. Always.
What is your favorite (ethical!) closing strategy? What consistently works for you?