A sales pitch without a solid close is a lot like a jar without a lid, the offer is wasted before it can be handed over.
You’ve probably heard and seen a myriad of expensive sales courses offering secrets to closing, or pop culture references to “the closer”. That mysterious sales rep that seems to have a super power for making prospective customers eat out of their hands. But closing a sale isn’t magic! In fact, with a little practice and trust in your intuition, it’s not even difficult.
My sales career has spanned over 10 years in a variety of markets including B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). It began though, with a baptism by fire into the unforgiving world of commission sales in possibly the second most reviled market behind second-hand cars…insurance! I had to learn fast. And I made a lot of costly mistakes trying to avoid what I felt were “slimy” sales techniques. But the truth, and the most valuable lesson I ever learnt about sales, is that you can’t convince anyone to do anything!
At the end of the day people buy people with great stories.
Closing a sale is the climax of the story. It’s the point at which you invite someone to become a part of the story themselves. It shouldn’t be scary or daunting, it’s exciting!
Read on to learn my top 5 techniques to closing that next sale, without even trying.
My 5 HOT Tips to Closing a Client Easily
While I’m focusing on the close in this article, it is important to point out that the pitch and the close go hand in hand. And while I’m not going to go into constructing a whole pitch, I’ve always taught that every meaningful sales interaction has to begin with setting clear intentions with your prospect.
Before you begin to pitch, let your prospect know your intentions for the interaction and the outcome you expect at the end. This way there are no surprises or sudden hard closes at the end.
At the end of the day, people buy people with great stories. Click To Tweet
It doesn’t need to be a monologue, just sincere and concise – “Ok Melissa, I’m so glad you made the time to meet with me today. We’re going to discuss your needs and objectives so that I have a clear understanding of what I might be able to offer you by way of solutions. Then we can discuss pricing and next steps, is that okay?”.
1. Always Be Closing
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. It’s almost a trope in the world of sales, but is often misinterpreted to mean “attempt to close the deal every 5 minutes”. And while the origins of the mantra has its roots in the redundant world of pressure sales, the basic premise is still essential to making the sale.
“Always be closing” means actively being aware of, and taking advantage of opportunities to move the sale toward a close.
- When the prospective customer makes a statement that is aligned with your offer, point it out.
- If a prospect tells you they need to consult with a partner before making a decision, confirm a timeline and set up the next interaction as soon as possible.
- Be sure to offer direct and limited options when further interactions are required. For example “Let’s meet again soon, is Wednesday or Friday better for you?” Is more likely to result in a follow up meeting than “Give me a call when you’re free to meet again”.
Be diligent in progressing the interaction toward a sale, especially when you reach objection management or procrastination. Acknowledge hesitation, but don’t let it kill the momentum.
2. Set Your Objective
Having a crystal clear objective for your close is essential before you reach the close in the pitch. And as mentioned earlier, ensuring the customer is aware of your objective at the outset is far more likely to yield a positive result.
So ask yourself, what do you want your prospective customer to do at the end of the interaction?
- Pay a deposit?
- Agree to a commencement date?
- Sign a retainer?
It may even be as simple as “Great, thank you Melissa. I’m going to put together a letter of offer for you based on what we’ve discussed today and give you a call next week to see if you have any questions. How does Tuesday morning sound?”
Set the objective, and close accordingly.
3. Yes vs No Momentum
No doubt this one sounds familiar as well, and it should.
Yes/No momentum has been an effective sales technique for an age. Usually employed by asking your customer targeted questions for which the answer is yes, the premise of this technique is to get the customer in a rhythm.
Sales star – “So would you like to increase your click through rate for your Facebook ads to talk to more leads?”
Prospect customer – “Yes.”
Sales star – “And you agree that my 7 step formula addresses the shortfalls in your current process?”
Prospect customer – “Yes.”
Sales star – “And you would like to get started as soon as possible, so you get a better return on investment from your ad budget?”
Prospect customer – “Yes.”
This example builds a rhythm of saying “yes” and helps the customer feel more comfortable giving you a yes response to your close.
While less popular, no momentum can be used in the same way. The psychology of this approach emphasises the pain point or problem your solution addresses to make the solution appear more urgent.
Sales star –“So you’re not getting the amount of leads you would expect from your investment?”
Prospect customer – “No.”
Sales star –“And the leads you are getting are not relevant or from your target market?”.
Prospect customer – “No.”
Both approaches can be utilised, however keep to the “yes” track as you get closer to the end of your close.
4. The Recap
Often overlooked, the recap or “in summary” is a crucial step in cementing your prospective customers’ understanding of what you’re offering and how it addresses their problem.
Taking notes throughout the interaction will make this step A LOT easier! The recap can be as long as it needs to be, but it’s best to focus on the customers’ problem and how your solution addresses it, point by point.
Not only does this demonstrate to the customer that you’ve listened to their concerns, but refreshes their mind on what’s been discussed so far.
Taking 5 minutes to perform this step can mean the difference between a meaningful close and an irrelevant offer.
5. The Pause…..
And finally, not for the faint of heart this technique requires practice and patience.
The pause is one of the most effective ways to bring out your customer’s position. Whether they’re still on the fence or ready to buy, a closing question followed by silence will tell you exactly where you stand.
Another way of considering this technique is putting the ball completely in the customers court. “So are you ready to get started Melissa?”……..
It will take some practice, but I promise once you’ve mastered this technique, silence will become one the most powerful sales tools at your disposal.
So, are you ready to sell?
All of the above techniques require practice, but studies suggest it only takes 50 repetitions to form a habit and more than 66 days to break one!
Try closing your friends into a group outing or sell your partner on the benefits of them cooking dinner while you drink wine and watch.
Above all else, remember that selling and closing is just a conversation with an objective. A story that your customer wants to be a part of, after all that’s how you got the meeting in the first place!
Let us know in the comments if you have any secret closing techniques that have worked wonders for you.
If you’re a member of the Fempire Academy, you can check out this training here from Fempire CEO and Founder, Marnie LeFevre for more inspiration!
If you’re still a future member, you can join the waitlist here!
Nicole is a Fempire team member with a passion for branding and small business. With a background in both corporate sales and content marketing, she understands the art of turning strangers into leads and leads into customers. Nicole is a LGBTI+ advocate with a mission to see female representation and influence in business and community leadership.