Secure the Deal with These 12 Sales Closing Techniques

BY:  Rebecca Herson
September 2, 2021
Updated on May 15, 2023
17 MIN. READING

Table of Contents

When your salespeople make a sales call, the most important step is closing the deal, or at least evolving the relationship to the next step. But it’s not that easy – closing a sales deal depends on several key factors, including budget, solution functionality, and what the competition has to offer.

In most cases, when a company searches for a product or service, they shop around, usually looking at two to three different solutions to solve its unique pain points. Fortunately, salespeople have various closing techniques at their fingertips but it’s important to know how, and when, to use them. We’ve put together seven different types of sales closing techniques to help ensure your reps close that deal!

Assumptive closing technique

With this technique, your sales rep already assumes that they’re going to close the deal, and projects confidence that the solution they are providing is the one that will work best for the potential client.

This boosts client confidence that the salesperson knows what they’re talking about, helping to move the sales process more easily to the next step.

For this sales closing technique to work best, the rep needs to be familiar with the client and the particular problems they face. This, in turn, allows the rep to make specific offerings that apply directly to the client’s business needs.

However, salespeople need to be careful when using this closing technique. Make sure they are not too confident, as this can come across as your salesperson thinking they know more about the client’s business than the client does! Also, if the client has too many sales objections from the start, the salesperson might want to avoid this technique or at least wait until they get a better handle on the customer’s problems and are closer to closing the deal.

Now-or-never sales closing technique

When using the now-or-never technique, the salesperson first tries to gauge the potential client’s desire to find a solution – so this technique works best when the client approaches the sales rep with the mindset that they want a solution immediately. Once the client projects this type of urgency, your salesperson should assure the client that this was the perfect time to contact them and then describe your company’s solutions.

It’s important for your salespeople to properly gauge the client’s urgency when using this technique. In addition, the now-or-never technique works best when your salespeople have some leeway on pricing in order to beat competitor prices.

This sales closing technique also works well with small requests for clients that are easy to implement. But the one time NOT to use this technique is when your salesperson determines that the product doesn’t fit the specific needs of the client.

Downsizing your solution technique

Downsizing a solution gives your salespeople the option of taking away features from a solution that a potential customer might not want. This allows them to offer lower, more competitive pricing, which the customer might be more likely to accept, plus, they won’t feel like they’re overpaying for a product or service.

This technique works great when there is a price objection on the client’s part, as your company is able to provide the customer exactly what they’re looking for, at a price point that is more in line with what they’re willing to pay.

It’s also best used when there is a clear desire and very focused customer requirements. Remember: The solution must be able to be scaled down in order to offer the client exactly what they want at a lower price.

Keep in mind that if your solution is all-inclusive and can’t be customized, then this technique is not a good fit.

Summary close technique

Usually, with a sales call, your salesperson talks to a prospective customer about what your product offers, especially in comparison with what the competition is offering. Then this is usually followed by some demonstration of what the product or service can do. So in many cases, this flood of information can be confusing to the client.

With the summary close technique, your salesperson gives a summary of what was talked about close to the end of the call. This is best in a simple, cross-tabular matrix format, allowing the client to more easily see what the product does and the benefits provided.

Your salespeople can do this by using one or two slides, allowing the client to easily understand what they’ll gain from the product or service. The client can then determine whether or not the solution fits what they’re looking for. This type of summary can be very impactful, especially if given toward the end of the call.

Salespeople should only summarize what is necessary and what corresponds to the particular client’s needs. This keeps your solutions front and center without bombarding the client with too much information, and can be very impactful, especially if given toward the end of the call.

Pet, animal store, or puppy dog closing technique

This technique is like when you fall in love with a puppy dog at the store and they offer you the chance to take him home for a few days. In the context of a sales process, this sales closing technique helps to build a connection by offering a smaller version, or trial, of the product or service – allowing the customer to first try a product out, and see if it fits. By offering a few simple features of the product, your salespeople can generate client desire to try out more advanced features of the solution.

This technique also helps build a stronger bond between the customer and the product. Plus, offering this type of trial for a limited time means that when the trial period is up, the client has, hopefully, developed a reliance on the solution, and wants to keep the puppy…er, product.

It’s also important to note that any trials used with this closing technique should be simple to set up and easy enough for the client to use on their own, or else the customer will want to give that puppy right back!

Columbo close technique

No, this technique doesn’t have anything to do with wearing a rumpled raincoat (if you’re too young to know what I’m talking about, here’s the backstory). But Columbo was also known for his curiosity, which gave him an edge in solving cases. In the world of sales, this technique uses a parting shot to try to drive interest in a product. By doing this, your salespeople can leave a potential customer with the highlight of the product to think about as the call ends.

Using this sales closing technique, the salesperson keeps the highlight of your product toward the end of a call / presentation for best effect, especially when they feel there might be some competition, or if a split decision is being made by the client. This highlight can be leveraged to close the deal, as the main goal of this technique is to create a “wow” effect about a promotion, feature, warranty, or anything else that might get the client’s attention.

Hard close/nothing-to-lose technique

These types of closing techniques come into play after your salesperson has made their pitch and explained everything to the potential customer, including budget and other considerations. At this point, your sales rep might feel like they have nothing to lose, making the customer an offer to try and get them onboard.

This could involve the customer putting in a small deposit and trying the solution to see if it meets their needs. The salesperson could also work on a plan with the client to get them to try out the product with a budget to come after that. The idea is for your salespeople to get their foot in the door in the hopes of getting the client interested in your company’s product, with the idea of working on a more robust buy-in at a later point.

This kind of approach tends to lay everything out in the open, as the customer might come straight out and tell you that the product your salesperson is trying to sell doesn’t quite fit their needs. At least in this case, both your salespeople and the customer can move on quickly so neither party wastes time on a product that the client doesn’t need or want.

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The options sales closing technique

With the options sales closing technique, your salespeople want to create a few options for the client to select from, because everyone loves options! The options close falls somewhere in between the assumptive and hard close techniques.

The idea is to give the customer options such as specific features the product offers, or pricing options which gives more flexibility when choosing a package that fits their budget. Your salespeople should have both a less and a more expensive option ready. They might even include a third option that doesn’t relate to the solution the client is seeking. Why? It’s a psychological strategy that leads the customer back to the first two options presented!

This technique works best with clients who might want to close the deal, but have some concerns or questions that affect their confidence when striking a deal. Keep in mind: in order to use this technique your solution must have the flexibility to all for the creation of various options.

Sharp angle/Sharp curve/U-turn closing technique

As a part of the buying process, many buyers have already researched what’s available before even talking to your salesperson. So, a potential customer might try and hold out for what they deem is the best deal. If your salesperson catches on quickly and realizes they’re holding out, they might try offering the client a good deal up front, such as a free trial or trying the product at a slight discount.

The salesperson can then return to investing in presenting the product more fully at a later point. This gives the client the chance to check out the solution and see how it works to fix their problem.

With this technique, the customer is offered the deal up front with the hopes of enticing them to try the product or service out. This technique works best if you have an insider at the company or already know someone at the company. This champion at the company can give your salespeople insider information on what the company is looking for, allowing them to tailor an offer to meet this demand.

When it comes down to it, this technique is more in line with a second or subsequent call, and not the initial sales call to a company.

Keep in mind: Your sales rep shouldn’t use this sales closing technique if the client is showing any signs of rejecting the offer. So, if they notice that resistance is there, they should consider using a different technique instead.

Asking for a friend closing technique

This method is perfect for clients who seem completely disinterested in the sales pitch. In fact, maybe the client is only listening to the sales pitch to be nice. It happens!

When using the “asking for a friend” technique, your salespeople should focus on talking about the high-level details of the solution you’re offering and avoid discussing making an actual sale. Here’s how it works: The salesperson asks the client if they have a friend who might be interested in the product or service. This way, at least the salesperson can gain another connection for a potential sale later on.

When using this technique, it’s important to not give too much detail about the sale of the product so the prospect doesn’t think that the salesperson is “just trying to sell them something.” If you don’t put on intense sales pressure, they will most likely be more willing to connect you to other prospective clients, as well as be open to a future sale.

Keep in mind: The salesperson can use this tactic to try and find out if there’s another client pain point. If so, your company might just have the perfect solution. The bottom line: This technique creates a closer connection between your salesperson and the original client.

Case study/Suggestion closing technique

Just like the name suggests,  with this closing technique your sales rep uses past experience, or a case study, to relate to the story they’re trying to tell as a part of the current sale. This could be something from a past sales experience or one from a past customer.

This closing technique is extremely effective because it uses something from a case study that’s already been proven in the market, and sets up your salesperson as a problem solver. By offering a solution that solves the client’s pain point, the client is more likely to listen and purchase the recommended product or service.

Keep in mind: Your salespeople should avoid mentioning the company the case study is about, especially if they are a smaller company. Of course, if the case study involves a larger company and a well-known solution, your salesperson should definitely mention the company by name, while at the same time avoiding revealing any confidential information.

Question sales closing technique

Probing clients is a salesperson’s specialty! So your salesperson can use the question-closing technique as a way to probe the client for additional information. How it works: The salesperson asks questions about whether the solution will fix the client’s problem, or not in some cases.

This allows your sales rep to determine how to adjust and fine-tune the current sales call, or a future call, to track more toward what the client wants. This also gives your salesperson an opportunity to find a workaround for a client’s concern about the solution presented.

Keep in mind: This type of sales closing technique works great with clients that hold their cards close to the vest and don’t like to reveal too much information. The technique can draw them out, allowing your salespeople to learn more about the client.

Mixing and matching closing techniques in sales

The best part about closing techniques is they can be used together for a more effective selling strategy. For example, your sales rep could use the case study closing technique initially to establish themselves as a trusted professional. If they still notice objections from the client, they could then use the question-closing technique to find out where the resistance is coming from.

Ultimately, all of these sales closing techniques give your reps a better connection with their clients, which often leads to a sale.

These are just some of the many closing techniques available for your salespeople to leverage, and I guess it goes without saying that they can practice each of these techniques using Second Nature’s sales training software. Taking advantage of automated conversation simulations with Jenny, our AI sales coach, your salespeople can perfect their sales closing tactics, giving them the best opportunity to make a sale when it really counts. See how it works!

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About the author

Rebecca Herson

Rebecca is head of marketing at Second Nature.

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