As you’ll discover in online sales courses, “closing” a sale essentially refers to the achievement of the desired outcome, which may be an exchange of money or acquiring a signature for purchase. There are a number of closing-the-sale techniques in terms of different ways to gain business off customers. But no matter how skillfully they are applied by a salesperson, the customer always has the option to say no, so they need some persuasion! Here are some of the more popular ones …
Alternative choice close
Also called the “positive choice” close, in this scenario, the salesperson presents the customer with two choices, both of which end in a sale. For example, “That’s a great choice of couch. Would you prefer it in blue or red?”
This is a technique where the salesperson apologises for not yet closing the sale in an attempt to regain their interest in purchasing. For example, “I’m sorry, somewhere along the line I must have caused you to reconsider your purchase or left out some important information. We both know this product suits your needs perfectly, so the fault here lies with me.”
This is also known as the “presumptive close”. The salesperson intentionally assumes the customer has already agreed to buy and wraps up the sale confidently and quickly. For example, “If I can have your credit card, I’ll get this sorted for you”.
Balance sheet close
This technique is also known as the “Ben Franklin” close. Here, the salesperson and the customer build together a pros-and-cons list of the product. The salesperson then tries to convince the customer that the pros list is longer than the cons list!
Cradle to grave close
In this case, the salesperson undercuts the customer’s objections that it is too soon to buy by telling them there has never been a more convenient time in life to buy a big purchase … and they should do it anyway!
In this technique, the salesperson simply directly asks the prospect to buy. Salespeople are typically discouraged from using this technique unless they are absolutely sure the prospect is ready to commit.
This is also known as the “question close” where the salesperson moves to the close with a soft or indirect question. For example, “How does this price sound to you?” or “How do you feel about these terms?”
Minor point close
Here, the salesperson deliberately gains agreement with the customer on a minor point and uses it to assume the sale is closed. For example, “Would your front door look better painted red? No? Okay, then blue is best then”.
Negative assumption close
In this technique, the salesperson asks two final questions, repeating them until they achieve the sale. For example, “Do you have any more questions for me?” and “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t buy this product?”
Possibility of loss close
Also known as the “pressure close”, the salesperson points out that failing to buy could result in a missed opportunity, for example, because a product’s price might rise or it may sell out.
Puppy dog close
Here, the salesperson gives the product to the customer on a trial basis to test before a sale is agreed upon.
Sales contest close
In this technique, the salesperson offers the customer a special incentive to close. For example, “What about I include free freight if you buy?”
Sharp angle close
Here, the salesperson responds to a customer’s question with a request to close. For example, if the customer asks, “Can you get the system up and running within two weeks?” the salesperson might respond, “If I guarantee it, do we have a deal?”
Four Sales Personality Types
Salespeople have different methods of nailing the sale, and an online sales course can certainly help you achieve this. However, we are all unique, and the way we sell can also be different. Here are four of the most common sales personality types, and how best to “pitch” to a customer once you’ve determined which one most resonates with you.
#1 – Assertive
You are decisive, competitive, goal-oriented, often loud, controlling and more likely to speak in sentences rather than in questions. To nail the sale:
- Be prepared and professional.
- Make short statements and get to the point quickly.
- Provide tangible and useful examples of your product’s benefits.
- Show how your product compares with your competitor’s.
- Use business metrics rather than subjective descriptions.
- Only give accurate answers, and if you don’t have one, tell your customer you will investigate and get back to them.
#2 – Amiable
Amiable salespeople are calm, informal, friendly, patient, open to challenges and good listeners who seek strong personal relationships and ask a lot of questions. To nail the sale:
- Pitch a vision, not a product.
- Build rapport with your customer before beginning your sales pitch.
- Tell stories about other clients — why they sought your product and how it addressed their issues.
- Gently guide the customer through the sales process instead of bombarding them with information.
- Offer personal guarantees like refund policies.
#3 – Expressive
You are outgoing, spontaneous, creative, intuitive, persuasive, enthusiastic, people-pleasing, seek strong personal sales relationships and are likely to speak in sentences rather than asking your customers questions. To nail the sale:
- Showcase studies and other data and fact-based information.
- Focus on qualitative rather than quantitative descriptions.
- Build rapport and work toward a strong, professional relationship.
- Check-in with your customer often to see whether you’re both on the same page.
#4 – Analytical
Analytical salespeople are formal, impersonal, serious, direct, fact-driven, prepared, likely to ask a lot of questions and not seek personal sales relationships. To nail the sale:
- Be patient.
- Provide figures and data rather than vast, unprovable claims.
- Realise the person has probably done their introductory research ahead of time.
- Steer toward facts and away from building strong, professional relationships.
Gain the skills and knowledge to reduce the negatives and amp up the positives when interacting with customers with an online course in Sales and Marketing.