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15 Sales Closing Techniques, Why They Work, & Real World Examples

15 sales closing techniques

15 Sales Closing Techniques, Why They Work, & Real World Examples

From providing use-case examples to an indirect timeline, here are 15 responses to, “What are the tried-and-true, real world techniques to closing a sale?”

  • Provide ‘Social Proof’ With Use-Case Examples  
  • Always, Always, Always Follow Up 
  • Get Your Foot in the Door 
  •  Create a Sense of Urgency 
  • Send a Handwritten Note 
  •  Build Upon Shared Values 
  •  Ask the Hard Questions 
  •  Know Your Unique Selling Points Inside Out 
  •  Assume the Deal Is Already Closed 
  •  Offer a Suggestion 
  •  Go With the Soft Close 
  •  Just Ask for the Close 
  •  Focus on Quality Over Profits 
  •  Demonstrate How the Product Works 
  •  Provide an Indirect Timeline

Provide ‘Social Proof’ With Use-Case Examples

Sharing customer success stories is an impactful way to close a sales presentation as they clearly illustrate how businesses achieve success using your solution. These stories provide a kind of proof that encourages prospects to sign the dotted line. We close our own presentations by illustrating how Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising rounds out our clients' strategies by tapping into venues they previously could not reach. 

 For example, 8x8 Inc.—a provider of voice over IP products—wanted to expand brand awareness and launched their first campaign in New York using static billboards. To tell the story, we used text, photo, and video. This creates a framework of how 8x8 Inc. increased their sight conversions by 350% and brand awareness by 400% as thousands of drivers viewed these ads on their commutes to work each day. Real world success stories, when you back them up with hard data, resonate louder than any persuasive sales pitch ever could. 

 Chris Gadek, VP of Growth, AdQuick 

 Closing deals is easier when your sales team is armed with strong social proof. People do business with companies they trust, and they trust companies that their peers trust. Modern sales closing techniques should always include testimonials and other customer success stories.

Always, Always, Always Follow Up

Let’s be honest—the odds of you closing the deal in your very first interaction with a client isn’t realistic. It takes a lot more effort, proactive communication, and perhaps even multiple follow-ups before you can win a potential client’s trust and attention. 

 The key lies in consistently reaching out so they know you’re committed, serious and organized—if you’re haphazard or late, you may come across as someone who doesn’t care enough about closing the deal. What worked for us was creating a schedule of timely reminders that ensured we never missed out on a follow-up. 

 Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street 

 Most of the best sales closing techniques involve constant customer interaction. Diligent sales teams never let their prospects forget about them.

Harry_Morton Pullquote Simplynoted

Get Your Foot in the Door

My best technique to close a sale is the “foot-in-the-door” strategy. This entails asking for a small commitment before attempting to make a larger one, starting with small requests to increase the chances of success. This strategy works because it builds momentum, and it encourages customers to stick with their initial agreement and move further down the line. 

 For example, I recently sold a subscription box service by initially offering free samples of our products. By providing customers with an opportunity to sample our products first, they were able to get comfortable with the product, understand its benefits and understand how it would fit into their lifestyle. This allowed me to move onto more in-depth conversations about subscription options and ultimately closing the sale. 

 Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO 

 Modern sales professionals understand the pain points associated with making an initial purchase. To offer an easier path to entry, sell not just the product — sell a foot in the door first. This is a form of puppy dog close, where you let the customer try the product out first. In this case, they're trying out your company.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Closing a sale can be tough, especially if your lead is on the fence about your product or service. You don’t want to let a tough client go, especially when you’ve been investing time into building the relationship. If you have a client who’s indecisive about your product, but you’ve exercised all of your resources, the best thing you can do to close your sale is to create a sense of urgency. 

 Sometimes, a little fire is just what a person needs to decide on investing in your service and becoming a customer. Depending on your industry, you can create this sense of urgency by highlighting an offer exclusive to them and making it an offer they can’t refuse. This urgency sales technique can help you motivate your point of contact to a close. 

 Bill Lyons, CEO, Griffin Funding 

 You can also try a sharp angle close. A sales manager we used to know was very successful with turning feature questions into sales opportunities.

A pile of handwritten notes.

Send a Handwritten Notes

Handwritten notes are perceived as valuable, far more than a digital communication. To make an impression on your budding potential customer, send them a warm, handwritten note thanking them for the opportunity to serve them. 

 Simply Noted makes sending handwritten communications as simple as pushing a button. We integrate with your CMS and marketing automation packages, allowing you to automate handwritten notes as easily as an email. You can set your sales process success to automatic with this sales closing technique. You get the warmth of a puppy dog, but the strength of 

 Rick Elmore, Founder and CEO, Simply Noted

Build Upon Shared Values

No matter what you do for a living, it's likely that there are plenty of other qualified people and companies that can do the same thing you do. You could compete with them on price, but that’s just a race to the bottom. Instead, try connecting with people based on your shared values. You may not close deals with everyone, but when you come across people who care about the same things that you do, closing with them will be a lot easier. 

 Once you get this tenet down in your communications, you can focus your prospecting and lead generation on people and companies that align with you. One example I can share is a client who I helped promote their small business. I showed them that I’m part of their local community, as a small business advocate and as someone who hosts a podcast designed to help founders with business advice. These attributes made it clear that we shared core values, which meant putting the deal together from there was easy. 

 Dennis Consorte, Digital Marketing & Leadership Consultant for Startups, Snackable Solutions 

 You can close sales more frequently when your customer feels you share something in common.

A group of sales executives asking the hard questions.

Ask the Hard Questions

Sales reps must pose detailed questions to prospects to accomplish fundamental objectives. Effective salespeople concentrate on making a sale. Through a succession of inquiries, they arouse the client's desire and dispel all barriers to buying. Even better, a question can be used to complete the deal, allowing the salesperson to answer any remaining concerns and secure a commitment at the same time. 

 For instance, “Do you think what I'm offering resolves your problem?” While keeping the door open for more selling, this inquiry enables you to determine whether the prospect is convinced of your product. If the response is “no”, their opinion—which is still unproven—remains, allowing you to carry on with your business. The next step is to sign on the dotted line if the response is “yes”. Here’s another query you can use to seal the deal: “Is there any reason this can't go through?” This inquiry either seeks resolution or further details regarding the customer's lack of conviction. It benefits both parties. 

 Raviraj Hegde, Head of Growth, Donorbox

Know Your Unique Selling Points Inside Out

If you want to sell your product more effectively, it’s crucial to know how to distinguish your product from the rest. When you know the unique functions and details of your service, you’re all that more likely to gain trust and give potential clients a clear idea about how you fit into their ecosystem and enhance their brand. 

 At CMR Surgical, we highlight how Versius—our latest surgical robot—offers unique selling points (USP) such as freedom of port placement, a lighter and modular design, enhanced precision and control, and more. Laying all your USPs on the table can help a client understand why your product is a cut above the rest, which makes their decision that much easier. 

 Asma Hafejee, Senior Marketing Executive, CMR Surgical

Assume the Deal Is Already Closed

My best technique to close a sale is to follow an “assumptive close” approach. The key to this kind of method lies ultimately with your confidence. You can only use this method when you’re sure to close the deal. In an assumptive close, you assume that your buyer is highly interested and keenly motivated to invest in your product. Meaning, there’s a high chance of them purchasing your product, and you’re fairly confident in closing the deal. 

 As a result, you ask the client directly how much they’re getting. Or you can ask if they have an interest in similar exchanges. You have to show assertiveness without any aggression in this kind of approach. If you have an aggressive attitude, you risk scaring away or putting off your customers. 

 Sean Harris, Managing Editor, Family Destinations Guide

Two people engaged in an in-person sales call.

Offer a Suggestion

My favorite technique for closing a sale is to approach with the “suggestion close” method. The key here is to ask the customer if there's anything else they might need, and then to suggest additional items that could benefit them. It works because customers feel as though they’re being afforded options, rather than simply being sold to—it increases a sense of agency in the decision. 

 For example, I once closed the sale on a car using this suggestion method; I asked the customer if he was sure he was happy with his choice of model and color, and when he agreed, I suggested a few optional extras that would make his experience more enjoyable. The customer ended up adding on several features that he hadn't originally intended to purchase, but he was still delighted by my suggestions. 

 Ludovic Chung-Sao, Lead Engineer & Founder, Zen Soundproof

Go With the Soft Close

When we’re showcasing the advantages of our service to a potential buyer, we offer a gentle guided question to see if they’re interested in learning more. The approach goes something like this: “Would you be interested in learning more if, for instance, I could cut maintenance by 25% and boost productivity by 15%?” In this method, you've managed to state the advantages in detail without offering any aggressive or unexpected requests. 

 If the above example still appears overly simple, you could try instead asking, “Would it be in line with your company's objectives if I told you that I could cut maintenance by 25% and boost productivity by 15%?” This slight change to your approach makes it so the customer isn’t under any obligation to you, and you’ve still bought yourself more time to understand their demands as a business. 

 Seth Larson, Owner & CEO, 1st Key Homebuyers

Just Ask for the Close

The best technique to close a sale is just to just ask for it. This may seem obvious, too obvious even, but it’s shocking the number of people that would accept a sale after a good salesperson simply offered it. As the salesperson, it’s your job to present an enticing offer too great for any client to refuse. However, no matter how great your pitch is or fantastic a presentation you host, if you’re hesitant to ask a client to sign after all is said and done, you can actually harm your overall sales efforts

 So be direct with your request with strong statements rather than skirting around the issue. In my experience, I was pitching to a potential client and crafted a quality sales pitch. At the end, I had the sense that these potential clients would appreciate a direct approach, so I said, “If there are no further questions, I’ll gather the paperwork for you to sign.” They agreed, signed, and from there became loyal clients. 

 Ana Codallo, CTO, Key Opinion Leaders

Ana Codallo - Pullquote -Simplynoted

Focus on Quality Over Profits

In my 40+ year career as an inventor, I've focused 100% of my attention on quality, not profits. Doing so demonstrates to potential customers that you’re truly dedicated to providing people with an excellent service that will exceed their needs. 

Quality products often equate to higher customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to increased consumer loyalty and repeat business. Customers can tell when they receive a product that isn't high quality, and so focusing on this when closing a sale ensures that the customer feels valued and satisfied. It's what has worked in this 100-year-old business, with the proof in my brand's growth and the recent successes with household name celebrities. 

 Marc Werner, CEO & Founder, GhostBed

Demonstrate How the Product Works

Having a demonstration is the most effective technique for closing a sale because it gives the potential customer an opportunity to see how the product functions in real life. There are many benefits to this technique that can't be replicated any other way. 

 For example, if a customer wants to know how well the product works with their computer and printer, showing them how easy it is to install and print will give them a chance to see firsthand for themselves, instead of just having them take your word for it. A demonstration also allows potential customers to get an idea of what it would be like to use the product in their own home or office. The third and final benefit is that showing demos gives the salesperson a chance to address any questions or concerns that the customer has before they make a purchase. 

 Jack O'Carroll, Founder, honest SEO

Provide an Indirect Timeline

The last sentence of your proposal and any follow-up communications should stand alone as its own paragraph, and should start off with “Would it make sense to…”. For example, if you've been proposing that the prospective buyer purchase $5,000 worth of advertising from you by the end of January so that their campaign can go live in February, your closing paragraph should read something like, “Would it make sense to get your response back before the end of January so we can get your campaign live by February?” 

 By phrasing your proposal this way, you're not really asking them for a yes. You're being somewhat indirect and, therefore, less threatening. Yes, it makes sense for them to give you the answer within the proposed timeline. It’s hard for them to say it wouldn't make sense for them to get back to you by the end of January. And, once they've agreed that the timeline makes sense, getting back to you with that coveted “yes” becomes all that more likely than them getting back to you with a no or never getting back to you at all. 

 Steven Rothberg, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, College Recruiter

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