7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Closing Strategies Do’s and Don’ts

Every sales person prefers to use different closing strategies. These do’s and don’ts for closing strategies can help.

Claire McConnachie

Every sales person prefers to use different closing strategies. Though not all closing strategies are created alike or have the same pattern of results, all do share fundamental guidelines for what sales people should and should not do when moving to a close. These do’s and don’ts for closing strategies can help.

Do: Introduce an Upsell as Part of Your Closing Strategies When the Prospect Is Ready for It

Don’t: Change Closing Strategies to Begin an Upsell at the Last Possible Moment

Closing strategies that introduce a major upsell at the last moment usually cause prospects to have a negative reaction, typically either “Why didn’t I hear about this before?” or “Wait, there’s more about this to know?” Either of these reactions can erode a deal and lead to backward movement in the sales pipeline or an exit from the pipeline altogether. Make sure that your closing strategies plan your upsell as early as possible in the process so that prospects are not caught off guard by new information.

Do: Be Realistic About Deal Outcomes

Don’t: Jump Ahead In Your Conclusions

If you move too far forward of where your prospect is standing, he or she will not be ready to meet you at the closing table. Similarly, if you move too far ahead of your prospect you may begin to think that your prospect is not going to be willing to meet you at the close, when in fact all he or she is looking for is a little more information before making a commitment. Be realistic about your closing opportunities when formulating closing strategies, and be sure never to move ahead of your prospect by reaching premature conclusions about readiness to buy.

Do: Follow a Policy of Honesty with Your Prospects

Don’t: Be Tempted to Answer Questions You Can’t

There is nothing wrong with telling a prospect, or any other business partner, that you do not have the information he or she is looking for but will do what you can to find out. Yet when faced with a question many people are tempted to prevaricate and provide an answer that ‘sounds right.’ This is one of the worst things that you can do to derail your closing strategies, since it goes against the grain of a major sales ‘do’ for closing strategies: always be honest. If a prospect later finds out that misinformation was shared, the damage to the customer relationship may be difficult or impossible to repair. Prepare your closing strategies by gathering as much information as you can before moving to the close, and never be afraid to say, “Let me get back to you on that.”

Do: Plan Your Closing Strategies Ahead of Time

Don’t: Practice Drive-By Selling with Your Strategies

The closing strategies you use should be tailored to the individual prospect and the needs of his or her business. Strategies that provide an individualized approach make prospects more receptive in addition to making your path to a close clear. Plan your closing strategies for each prospect once you have enough information to make an educated decision, and avoid the practice of ‘drive-by selling’ by introducing a close when the prospect is not ready for it.

Do: Practice Your Timing for New Closing Strategies

Don’t: Implement Strategies On the Fly

Timing is important for success in deploying new closing strategies, and in this case the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is applicable. When you are working on meeting your sales goals by developing new closing strategies, know that it is acceptable to experiment with your timing until you find the results that you want to see. However, remember to plan your strategies to match the expectations and attitudes of your prospects as far as possible. If you know how you plan to deploy your closing strategies ahead of time, you can make your process for sales success practical and repeatable.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.