closing a sale

3 Approaches To Closing The Sale

Posted on July 23rd, 2013

Closing the sale is not old hat! With the introduction of all the ‘new’ ways of selling some of the building blocks are being overlooked leaving sales people confused and ineffective.


A potential client told me recently how her people had become very skilled at networking within client accounts. They were ‘covering the bases’ and ‘mapping’ their accounts effectively. But they were not gaining commitment and she was concerned.


Here are three approaches we cover in our sales courses. Keep in mind that it’s not important how you ask, as long as you do. As actress Mae West once remarked, ‘He who hesitates is a damned fool.’


The next steps close


One of the simplest techniques is to talk about next steps. When you believe the customer is ready to buy, start discussing implementation details:


‘What dates do you have in mind for this project?’


‘Who shall I coordinate with in your office?’


‘Who should our technical people speak to regarding installation of the new software?’


‘Who would you like to send on the January course?’


Once the customer joins you in discussing these details, the sale is effectively closed.


The direct close


This is a straightforward request for the business. It is uncomplicated and reflects the salesperson’s confidence in the solution. As always, it must only be used when you know you have a satisfactory match.


‘So there you are . . .Would you like to go ahead?’


This is one of our favourite closes. There is no mystique – it’s clear, to the point, and everyone knows what the expected outcome is.


Another favourite is: ‘How would you like to go forward?’ This is soft, easy to say and always sounds appropriate – perfect for consultative-partner selling.


Here are some other examples. Pick the ones you feel comfortable with and use your words, not ours.


‘Shall I put you down for 10 terminals?’


‘Can I have your OK to start delivery next week?’


‘Can we install it for you right away?’


‘Can we call it a deal?’


‘How about it, can we go ahead right away?’


‘Will you give us your approval to go ahead?’


‘Can we have your order?’


The alternative close


This is a popular form of closing question for simple sales. We give the customer a choice between two alternatives: a choice of delivery date, financial arrangements, quantity, colour etc. The choice should be of a minor nature and both alternatives should be attractive to the customer. Her answer reflects her personal preference. When she answers she has committed herself to order.


‘Would you like delivery this month or next?’


‘Would you prefer to invest in this outright or make use of our leasing arrangements?’


‘This projector comes in two colours, blue and grey. They are both popular, which one would you prefer?’


‘Do you want to handle this by credit card or cheque?’


The important aspect of closing, as the Nike strap line puts it, is: ‘Just Do It’.


Use the power of silence when closing the sale


After you ask for the business, keep quiet and wait for the other person to respond. It is natural for people to hesitate just before they buy.


Read more about LDL sales courses.


Watch a video on how to use the LACPAAC® selling model to close a sale which is stalled post proposal.