7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Understanding Which Closing Strategy Works Best

The following is a solid, basic list of effective closing strategies that you can use in your sales appointments and meetings.

Claire McConnachie

Sales reps experience the most success when they understand which closing strategy will work best in a given situation. Not all closing strategies are appropriate in all situations, and it takes experience and discretion to instinctively choose the right closing strategy for each transaction. By knowing and practicing your closing strategy options, however, you can increase your chances of making a sale.

The following is a solid, basic list of effective closing strategies that you can use in your sales appointments and meetings. Finding the strategies that work best for you will pay off hugely in the long run.

Ask Questions

After listening to a prospect’s concerns and presenting your material, you can ask questions as your closing. Asking questions gives you important feedback that can help you position your product or service in the context of your potential customer’s desires. Here are some questions you can use as part of your closing strategy:

  • Does this sound like something that would work for you?
  • Would this make your job easier?
  • How does this sound?
  • Would this help you to make your revenue goals?
  • Can you see this working in your operation?

These questions help your prospect to visualize how their lives would be improved with the help your products or services, and it puts the ball in their court; they have to make a decision.

Apply Time Pressure

Telling a prospect that time frame, features, or pricing may change if he or she doesn’t make a decision is a more aggressive closing strategy, but it can be very effective in certain situations. Sometimes this kind of closing is called a thermometer close because you’re turning up the heat. 

This closing strategy is most useful when you have a prospect who has been stringing you along, unable to make a firm decision. There are several ways you can apply time pressure. You can remind your prospect that their competitors might obtain a service or product first, creating an imbalance in the competition. You could also tell your prospect that if a sale isn’t made by a certain date, his or her business goals could suffer.

Use this closing strategy wisely. It can be a turnoff if used indiscriminately, but when you use it appropriately it can lead to success.

Be Persistent

Being a sales person takes persistence, but sometimes you need to take your persistence to a higher level if you want to close a sale. To pursue a persistent close, all you do is simply continue to raise closing questions in order to get your prospect to change a “maybe” to a “yes.” 

This closing strategy should only be used on prospects who are very interested by show reluctance that you can likely overcome. If you use this closing strategy with everyone, you’ll soon get a reputation for being difficult or too aggressive. When the situation is right, however, persistence can be a very effective closing strategy.

Use Printed Materials

Bringing out printed company policies can be a great way to close a sale. For example, you could present a price list of volume discount schedules and say, “If you spend another $20,000, you’ll get an additional 10 percent off the listed prices here.” 

Printed materials bring the transaction into the here and now, the black and white. Essentially, it’s saying, “Okay, we’ve discussed this, and now it’s time to make a decision.” You can also combine this with other closing strategies, like the time pressure strategy: “Our new price list is coming out next month, so I won’t be able to guarantee these prices much longer.”

Understand these closing strategies so you can use them well when you feel the time is right. When you’re comfortable using a variety of closing strategies, you’re much better able to meet your personal sales goals.

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.