Top 7 Sales Closing Techniques for More Deal Wins

Learn the best ways to close a sale with our top seven sales closing techniques, complete with guides and examples to help you along.

Sales closing techniques are tactics salespeople use to close a deal with a prospect, typically after thoroughly qualifying and nurturing them. No one closing technique works in every situation, so it’s important to learn a few different techniques to implement. Certain sales closing techniques work best in certain scenarios, and often pairing two together is the best way to improve your conversion rate.

Here are the top closing techniques to help you seal the deal:

  • The Assumptive Close: Relies on questioning the prospect about delivery details as if they’ve already agreed to make a purchase. Read more below.
  • The Inoffensive Close: Focuses on affirming the prospect’s interest in the benefits your product can bring them before going in for a close. Read more below.
  • The Summary Close: Briefly summarizes all details about the product the prospect is purchasing to segue into asking for the sale. Read more below.
  • The Soft Close: Asks if the prospect will make a purchase under a given condition, and only meets that condition if the prospect says yes. Read more below.
  • The 1 to 10 Close: Monitors the prospect’s interest by asking them how close they are to making a purchase on a 1-to-10 scale. Read more below.
  • The Urgency Close: Creates a sense of urgency and keeps the sale moving by offering a limited-time deal. Read more below.
  • The Take-Away Close: Threatens to walk away from the deal and come back to it only when the prospect is ready to buy. Read more below.

This article will focus specifically on various sales closing techniques. For a comprehensive closing process with repeatable steps you can modify for your needs, read our article on how to close a sale.

The Assumptive Close

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals looking for the most effective way to plant the seed of a sale throughout the lead nurturing process with agreeable prospects.

The assumptive close is a closing technique wherein you use language throughout your negotiation that assumes that the prospect is going to buy. You skip questions like Are you interested in moving forward? and instead ask questions as if the prospect has already told you they’re going to purchase your product. These questions sound more like And when are we going to be delivering your new X? This creates a pro-sale environment that gently resists the idea of not buying.

Here are the steps to the assumptive close:

  1. Collect Discovery Details: On a discovery call, ask pointed questions to learn why your solution could provide value to your prospect; this will serve as the foundation of your close.
  2. Ask About Purchase and Delivery: Ask your prospect questions about delivery details, and assume they’re willing and ready to make a purchase.
  3. Finish With the Summary Close: Once you’ve covered all relevant delivery details, finish with a summary close, which we'll talk about later in this article.

Assumptive closing exudes confidence in both your product and your sales process, and it keeps purchasing on the forefront of your prospect’s mind. By not asking them whether they’re interested in buying your product, you never open the door for a “no” to impede your progress. Instead, you focus on getting the prospect to lay out exactly what their ideal purchase scenario looks like. Then, you close by offering exactly what they’ve told you they want.

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Additional Reading:

For a complete breakdown, check out our article on the assumptive close, which includes steps on how and when to use it. Also included are related alternative closing techniques.

The Inoffensive Close

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals dealing with aggressive or irritable prospects.

The inoffensive close is a technique that properly handles abrasive prospects by asking how they feel about specific benefits of the product, guiding them toward a sale at their own pace. By listing out how the product can help them and asking questions to keep them feeling in control, you coax them into reacting positively to your product without aggravating them by pushing them forward.

Here are the steps to the inoffensive close:

  1. Complete Your Discovery Call: Similar to the assumptive close, reveal some of your prospect’s goals and desired results with a discovery call before starting to close.
  2. Ask Your Prospect About Product Benefits: Start asking the prospect how they feel about your product’s ability to solve their problems.
  3. Finish Your Close: After two or three positive responses, finish by repeating the benefits and asking if there is anything else they need before moving forward. Like the assumptive close, this is a good technique to end with a summary close below.

Here is an example of what the final close would look like: So, our lead generation platform can increase your pipeline growth by 30%, revenue by about the same, and save you $40,000 annually on staff. Is there anything I’m missing?

The inoffensive close is a great alternative if you feel as though an assumptive close would put your prospect off, or aggravate them in any way. It takes a bit longer, but it’s a safer bet for the prospects that are more resistant to a close, or simply need things taken slow. As with the assumptive close, the inoffensive close should be used throughout negotiations.

“Tell the prospect what you're selling and how it may help their company. Being open about your aims encourages an honest, mutually respected, and gratifying conversation, setting the road to a successful conclusion.”

Edward Mellett
Edward Mellet
Director of WikiJob.co.uk

The Summary Close

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals looking for a strong way to wrap up another closing technique, like an assumptive or inoffensive close.

A summary close is a wrap-up technique used at the end of negotiations that summarizes everything that the prospect is looking to purchase and the benefits the product or deal will bring them. This technique is a great way to demonstrate the value offered to the prospect in the deal, and ends with a strong call-to-action.

Include the below in a summary close:

  • The product the prospect is buying
  • Any add-ons the prospect is interested in
  • The benefits the product will bring the prospect
  • The value of the deal the prospect is getting

Here is an example of the summary close: So you want a 2021 (car model), white-on-black, with running boards added. If I can get all of that together for you, you’re looking to take it home today. That gets you into a new, reliable, and fun car for $3,000 off MSRP, and we got you a great deal on your trade-in. I’ll get the car into detail for you and we can get those boards put on while we fill out paperwork.

As you can see, we started with the product that the prospect is interested in purchasing. Then, we moved into the add-ons that the prospect showed interest in and their desired delivery date. Lastly, we wrapped up by explaining exactly what needs to happen next for the sale to close. Use this close to supplement other techniques on this list — to do so, repeat the details of the deal, then continue on to another technique, like the assumptive or inoffensive close.

Pro Tip:

When discussing options or add-ons, like accessories and warranties, include any that your prospect showed interest in, not just those that they asked to purchase. By framing them with all of the other value-adds in the deal, you are more likely to convince them to take the add-ons and increase the value of your deal.

The Soft Close

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals looking for a way to get a stronger commitment to making a purchase from prospects throughout the sales process.

Soft closing is a technique that involves asking your prospect if they will make a deal under a given condition, like If we can do that for you, could we make a deal today? One major benefit to soft closing is that you can use it throughout most of the sales process, including discovery. It gets strong, concrete commitment from your prospect and limits demands from them by ensuring that you only make concessions that will lead to a sale.

Here are some tips to make the most out of this technique:

  • Soft Close in Response to Objections and Demands: Instead of building your dialogue around a soft close, use it in response to prospect demands or objections as a way to make them commit to a sale when you agree to a significant concession.
  • Use Relaxed Language During Discovery: If you’re soft closing based on needs or demands early on in the sales process, finish with Are you interested in making a deal? instead of Can we make a deal today? to avoid sounding pushy right from the start.
  • Ask for Elaboration on Rejections: If you soft close in response to an objection, and the prospect doesn’t commit to making a deal in return, then ask them What would get you interested in making a deal? to uncover what’s needed before you can finish up.
  • Ask Yes or No Questions: When soft closing, don’t ask open-ended questions like If we can do X for you, how would you feel about the product? Instead, opt for yes or no questions that directly ask if a deal can be made.

Soft closing is best used in conjunction with other sales closing techniques, like the assumptive close. This is because you still want a technique that gives you a clearer roadmap to a sale and doesn’t require objections in order to be useful. It’s a great way to counter objections, get commitment, and figure out exactly what your prospect wants.

The 1 to 10 Close

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals looking for a way to evaluate their progress throughout the sales process, and work with your prospect toward a sale at the same time.

1 to 10 closing is a technique that employs questions as a way to figure out how much progress you’ve made toward a sale throughout the entire process. While speaking with your prospect, you’ll ask questions like On a scale from 1-10, one being not interested at all and 10 being ready to buy right now, how interested are you in making a purchase? If they answer with any number below eight, you can ask them what’s holding them back.

Below are some steps to improve your 1 to 10 closing:

  1. Use 1 to 10 Closing Sparingly: Don’t ask your prospect a 1-10 question every time they speak; ideally, you’re only 1 to 10 closing whenever you’ve passed a landmark in the sales process, like the discovery process, initial pitch, or successful objection handling.
  2. If It Isn’t a 10, Follow Up: As we said before, if the prospect responds with lower than an eight, ask What’s holding back your interest? Even if they’re at an eight or nine, you can pivot to the question What would turn that into a 10? 10 is always your destination before you close.
  3. At 10, Call Them to Action: When they respond with a 10, tell them exactly how to move forward with a purchase (what paperwork needs signing, where they should place an order, etc.).

The 1 to 10 technique is best used in tandem with another sales technique. With the 1 to 10 close, monitor your progress with the prospect, then use the other technique, like the summary close, to wrap up the deal. With the 1 to 10 close, you’ll know exactly where the prospect is in their buying process and can get them to think of that, as well. Many times, the prospect won’t realize how close they are to buying until they’re asked, and this can speed up the closing process.

The Urgency Close

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals that are closing a deal, but the prospect attempts to reschedule the close to another date or time.

The urgency close is a technique that responds to a prospect’s desire to reschedule the close. It gives them a reason why the close should happen right now, like a limited discount or benefit that won’t be around later. Sometimes, that discount or other benefit will be decided right then and there. It usually sounds like this: I understand that you’re busy, but we are currently having a 10% off promotion that ends today or Can we get it done today if we throw in an X with your order?

The benefits usually offered in an urgency close are as follows:

  • Discount: Either a flat dollar amount, or a percentage, off of the price of a purchase.
  • Free Add-On: An accessory or merchandise item that relates to your product or brand, thrown in free with a purchase.
  • Warranty: A full-length warranty, or possibly a shorter or more limited warranty option that your business could use specifically for this purpose.

The urgency close is best used when there are no other options available to get your prospect closed that day. It’s a bit higher-risk, as it sometimes gives extra value without getting any in return, and can come off as “salesy” to most people. It’s necessary, though, to do anything that you can to get a close while you have the customer on the phone. You never know if they will actually call back in the event that you let them go.

“Make an offer to your prospect that they can only get if they commit within a certain time frame. This is the last product we have left, this price is only good for a limited time until a certain date, and so on. The prospect now feels as if they are missing out on something, so it makes sense to do it now if they are likely to say yes.”

Richard Latimer
Richard Latimer
CEO of Veritas Buyers

The Take-Away Close

Who Should Use It: Sellers dealing with a prospect who’s right on the verge of making a purchase but taking too long to decide or coming up with unreasonable objections to get a better deal.

The take-away close is a technique wherein the salesperson threatens to take away the deal, or take a step away from it, until the prospect is ready to commit. It usually sounds something like this, which is usually used in response to a prospect who’s close to a purchase but coming up with reasons not to buy: I appreciate all the time you’ve spent working this deal with me, but it seems like we may need to take a step back until you’re ready to purchase.

This is a risky close, as it invites the prospect to halt the process; the signs that it's appropriate are:

  • The Deal Has Taken Twice as Long as Usual: Don’t use this close on the first closing attempt, or on any deal that hasn’t taken at least twice as long as it should have.
  • Significant Concessions Have Been Made: Threatening to take away a regular deal that they could get any other day of the week won’t be very effective, so only use this close if you’ve made significant concessions to make it an extra valuable deal.
  • The Prospect’s Demands Are Unreasonable: Only use this close when the prospect’s demands will make the deal unworkable for you or your business.

The take-away close clearly isn’t for the faint of heart, but you’d be surprised how often it can turn around deals that seem to have hit a dead end. Make sure that your situation meets at least one of the criteria above before you use it, though, as it can be dangerous to invite your prospect to walk out or leave the call.

Top 5 Sales Closing Statements for Technique Enhancement

Closing statements are what invite your prospect to move forward with a deal, and they’re a vital part of the process. So, no closing technique guide would be complete without going over some successful closing statements to improve your techniques. You can use them verbatim (with your own deal information, of course) or just as a guide to craft your own.

Here are our top five closing statements to enhance your closing techniques:

  • Looks like we are good to go. Let’s shake on it and I’ll get the paperwork ready.
  • If all your needs are covered with this deal, let’s get the paperwork started and send you off with your new (product) today.
  • Alright, we can get you (concession) if we can shake hands right now and get your signature on the paperwork today.
  • I’ve drawn up your deal for you right here, exactly how you asked for it. Can I get your signature on this and let you ride off into the sunset with your (product)?
  • Thank you so much for spending the time with me today to work on this, I think we’ve gotten to the best possible deal for both of us. What do you say we get some papers signed?

Each of these will hand your prospect the final say on a positive note. The idea is to call them to action in a way that excites them to make a purchase, and emphasizes the work that has gone into the deal.

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Additional Reading:

For more sales closing statements, check out our article on how to ask for the sale, where we list effective transition statements, closing questions, and closing statements you can use in tandem with the techniques in this guide.

Bottom Line

The key to closing a deal is knowing which technique to use, how to use it, and when it’s appropriate. Now that you understand all three, it’s time to get out there and close some deals. If you stick to the techniques and closing statements on this list and test them out individually or paired together, you’ll improve your lead nurturing to deal closing conversion percentage time.

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