Top 11 Sales Closing Techniques for More Deal Wins

Learn the best ways to close a sale with our top eleven 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 after qualifying and nurturing them. Certain sales closing techniques work best in certain scenarios, so it's important to first understand each prospect's personality, then choose the appropriate technique(s) to use with that particular buyer. Next, you'll pair the technique with a corresponding transition phrase, closing question, and closing statement to finalize and close the sale.

Here are the best sales 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 Option Close: Gives the prospect a choice between two products, levels, delivery times, or another detail to encourage them to agree to the deal. 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 Sharp Angle Close: Agrees to a prospect's request for a discount or another concession on the condition that they'll agree to the sale. Read more below.
  • The Soft Close: Offers the prospect a concession unprompted, and only meets that concession if the prospect says yes to a deal. 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 scale from 1 to 10. Read more below.
  • The Puppy Dog Close: Allows the prospect the ability to try your product or service before they buy in hopes that they'll want to continue using it. 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.
  • The Suggestive Close: Recommends add-ons or upgrades to upsell the prospect once they've indicated that they're ready to sign. Read more below.

This article will focus specifically on various sales closing techniques. To learn more about how to pair your chosen closing technique(s) with sales transition statements, closing questions, and closing statements, check out our article about how to ask for the sale. For a comprehensive closing process with repeatable steps from recognizing buying intent to marking the deal as won or lost, 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 {product}? This creates a pro-sale environment that gently resists the idea of not buying.

Here are the steps to the assumptive close:

  1. Nurture the Prospect and Recognize Buying Intent: After qualifying your lead, nurture them until you understand them well and they seem interested enough for you to transition into an assumptive ask.
  2. Ask About Purchase and Delivery: Bring up questions about delivery details, and assume the prospect is willing and ready to make a purchase.
  3. Finish With a Closing Statement: Once you’ve covered all relevant delivery details, finish with a closing statement summarizing the details and let them know you'll draft up a contract.

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.

Show More >>
bookmarks

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 relevant alternative closing techniques in case you decide it's not right for you.

The Option Close

Who Should Use It: Sellers who are interested in the assumptive close but believe their prospects will respond better if they feel as if they have more agency during the sale.

The option close is similar to the assumptive close in that you don't give your prospect a direct opportunity to say "no," but the main difference is that you give them more of a feeling of control by asking if they prefer one detail over the other, assuming that they'll choose one. While you can increase this to more than two options, it's typically best to keep the choice as simple as possible.

Below are a few of the details for which you can give your prospect a choice:

  • Product or Service Types: Give them a choice between your various products and ask which they believe will best help them; be prepared to guide them in the right direction.
  • Tiers With Varying Features: If you've already established which product would best help them, let them choose between two pricing levels according to what each includes.
  • Start Dates: Assume that the sale will happen, and ask if they'd like to start their subscription or purchase on date A or date B.

Because option closing is so similar to assumptive closing, we can take the assumptive delivery date example question from the previous section and transform it into an option close question: Would you like us to deliver your new {product} on date A or date B? This makes it easier for the prospect, and it also gives them a vital feeling of control over the deal. Ultimately, it doesn't give them a clear opportunity to say "neither" and decline the sale altogether.

Show More >>

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 Qualification and Nurturing: Similar to the assumptive close, review your prospect’s goals and desired results, then educate them on your product or service, 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, summarize the benefits (combining this technique with the summary close) and ask if there's anything else they need before moving forward.

Here is an example of what the final close would look like: So, our lead generation platform can increase your pipeline growth by 30%, and 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. It also gives them more control than the assumptive close or the option close above. As with the assumptive close, the inoffensive close should be used throughout negotiations.

Show More >>

“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:

  • Chosen Product or Service: The product or service the prospect is buying.
  • Additional Features: Any upgrades or add-ons the prospect is interested in.
  • Benefits: The ways in which the product or service will help the prospect reach their goals.
  • Monetary Value: The value of the deal the prospect is getting.

Here's an example of the summary close: So you want a 2021 (car model), white-on-black, with running boards. 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, 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 as 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 — repeat the details of the deal, then continue on to another technique, like the assumptive or inoffensive close.

Show More >>

Pro Tip:

When discussing the additional features listed above, include any that your prospect showed interest in, not just those that they asked to purchase. Let the prospect either accept them or ask you to remove them from the deal. This is a good way to tie the summary and suggestive closes together, which we'll cover later.

The Sharp Angle Close

Who Should Use It: Sellers who are able to agree to a certain request or demand from a prospect but want to ensure it actually leads to a deal close.

Sharp angle closing is a technique in which you respond to your prospect's request for a certain incentive by asking if they'll make a deal in return. One major benefit to sharp angle closing is that 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:

  • Respond to Demands With the Sharp Angle 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 concession.
  • Ask for Elaboration on Objections: 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.
  • Ensure You Can Deliver on What You Promise: If a prospect makes a demand that requires approval from your boss, ask them if giving them that concession would earn their business. If they say yes, get approval and then follow up with them ASAP.

To show how to use the sharp angle close, let's say your prospect has their eye on a certain add-on but asks you to give it to them for free. Assuming it's a realistic request, you can then say, If we can do that for you, could we make a deal today? If the add-on is important enough to them, they'll likely say yes. Once your prospect starts asking for small concessions, they're probably interested enough to make a purchase, so the sharp angle close can work well.

Show More >>

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 by offering special deals.

Soft closing is similar to sharp angle closing, but instead of responding to your prospect's demands, you use it unprompted to surprise and delight them and make them feel like they're getting a special deal. Soft closing works well because it can help you build a solid relationship with the prospect, and they'll often remember your flexibility after they become a customer, as well. It increases the likelihood that they'll say yes to a deal and gets your partnership off to a great start.

Below are a few things to keep in mind while soft closing:

  • Use Relaxed Language: 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.
  • 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.
  • Make Realistic Offers: Similar to the sharp angle close, be sure that you can actually give your prospect what you offer them. This is often easier to gauge with the soft close since you're offering the concession unprompted, not responding to a prospect's demand.

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 get commitment and figure out exactly what your prospect wants.

Show More >>

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, also called the scale close, 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 sales pitch, or successful objection handling.
  2. If It Isn’t a 10, Follow Up: If the prospect responds with a seven or below, 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 you hit 10, tell them exactly how to move forward with a purchase (e.g., what paperwork needs signing, where they should place an order).

The 1-to-10 technique is best used in tandem with another sales technique. 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.

Show More >>

The Puppy Dog Close

Who Should Use It: Salespeople who are able to easily give their prospect a free trial of their product or service.

The puppy dog close involves giving your prospect access to your product or service for a trial run in the hopes that they won't want to give it up when the trial period ends. The name comes from the idea that if you walk into a shelter and take a puppy home, you'll fall in love with it and won't bring it back. Once you give your prospect that feeling of ownership and allow them to experience some of the benefits of your product, the expectation is that it will be difficult for them to go without it.

Here's how to use the puppy dog close:

  1. Offer a Free Trial: Ask your prospect if they would like to try your product or service for X amount of time before they buy. Many will say yes since testing the product decreases the amount of risk on their end.
  2. Set Up the Trial: Create an account for your prospect (for Saas products), mail them the item (for physical products), or give them access in another way. Explain how to get the most out of the product or service and give a demo if needed.
  3. Follow Up for Their Feedback and Decision: When the trial period is over, give them a call or send them an email to notify them. Ask what they thought of their experience and whether they'd like to keep it and move forward with a contract.

To introduce the puppy dog close, you can say, It sounds like you're interested in {product}, but I know we all tend to feel more comfortable with a purchase after trying it out. I can give you a two-week trial if that would be helpful to your decision. Do you want to take it for a spin, then let me know what you think? This type of close tends to work especially well for physical products because your prospect might want to avoid the hassle of returning it (as long as they like it enough).

Show More >>

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, aka the scarcity or the now-or-never close, is a technique that responds to a prospect’s desire to delay the close. It gives them a reason why the close should happen right now, like a discount or benefit that won’t be around later. 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'll actually call back in the event that you let them go.

Show More >>

“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 and is 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 Much Longer Than 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 by 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.

Show More >>

The Suggestive Close

Who Should Use It: Sellers who have gotten their prospect close to signing and now want to maximize the sale.

Suggestive closing — also referred to as suggestive selling, add-on selling, or upselling — is a technique in which you ask a prospective customer if they'd like to upgrade to a higher level or include an additional feature to receive more benefits from the purchase. While you can use this at any point after you've recognized strong buying intent in your prospect, it tends to work best right after the prospect has agreed to the sale and you've started drafting the contract.

Below are the best ways to suggest upgrades or add-ons to your prospect:

  • Showcase a Highly Related Item: If they've chosen a certain product level, point out a feature that the next level up would give them and relate it to the goals or pain points they've shared.
  • Offer a Maximum of Three Suggestions: Choose 1–3 pointed suggestions that you believe would further help your prospect reach their goal. Giving too many options can make them feel as if you're just trying to get more money from them.
  • Mention Any Current Promotions: As you're finishing up the deal and writing the contract, let the prospect know that you have a deal going on, relate the deal directly to your prospect, and ask if they'd like you to add it to the contract so they can take advantage of it.

When done right, the suggestive close is a great technique to pair with another closing technique on this list. It works well because it can come across as somewhat of an afterthought to your prospect. With the suggestive close, you can also show your prospect that while you are attempting to upsell them, it's based on a helpful suggestion that will benefit them.

For example, if your prospect has chosen a product and decided on a specific tier, you can say, This {product and tier} will work great for you, and I look forward to seeing how you like it. I know you mentioned you were also looking for {feature}, which comes with the next tier up or can be included as an add-on. Would you want access to that?

Show More >>

Pro Tip:

When I sold cars at a dealership, I used the suggestive close whenever a customer had agreed to buy a car and we were working on the final details. I'd ask questions like You mentioned you'll be driving your young kids around in this car. Do you want to add running boards to help them get in and out more easily? By offering relevant, helpful additions, I often increased the value of the sale.

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 statements to enhance your techniques, plus what each helps you do:

  • Quickly Wrap Up the Discussion: Looks like we are good to go. Let’s shake on it and I’ll get the paperwork ready.
  • Confirm the Prospect Is Pleased: If all your needs are covered with this deal, let’s get the paperwork started and send you off with your new {product} today.
  • Use a Concession to Your Advantage: Alright, we can get you {concession} if we can shake hands right now and get your signature on the paperwork today.
  • Show a Completed Contract: 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}?
  • Mention the Mutually Beneficial Deal: 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 gives 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's gone into the deal.

bookmarks

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 so you can develop the best closing method for you. Now that you understand all three, it’s time to get out there and close some deals. If you stick to the variations of sales closing techniques on this list and test them out individually or paired together, you’ll improve your lead nurturing to deal closing conversions and establish your closing style.

Selling Signals
Actionable advice for sales professionals
Address
355 Lexington Ave,
18th Floor,
New York, NY, 10017
COPYRIGHT SELLING SIGNALS, LLC – 2022