Every salesperson has a common goal – to get the client to buy whatever it is that they’re trying to sell. Seems simple right? However, closing sales is rarely that straightforward. After all, when was the last time you can remember a pitch opening with “Do you want to buy this?” and the client replying, “Yes.” Therefore, experienced salespeople have developed a number of techniques to market their product, soften prospect resistance, and close the deal. Techniques vary from sector to sector, with each depending on the specific scenario. However, through nuanced, sensitive application, these techniques are invaluable to sales completion. Here, we cover the five stages of the sales cycle and the methods top salespeople use to close more sales faster.
Index of Content
The 5 stages of closing sales
A thorough understanding of the sales process is invaluable to closing. Often, professionals are so focused on delivering their pitch, they forget that people skills are what make the difference. After all, very few clients are receptive to a hard sell; they like to be sure that their satisfaction is your number one priority. Through a structured approach, salespeople can stay focussed, ensuring their approach is strategic, customer-centric, and ultimately, highly effective.
Knowing what your client wants is key to a successful sale. It seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many professionals get swept away in delivering a well-rehearsed pitch. Before diving in, salespeople need to learn about their client’s preferences. Be sure to listen; this approach places the customer at the centre of the sales process, making them feel valued, empowered, and more inclined to buy.
Once you’ve listened to the client’s needs, it’s time to be inquisitive. Next, you can drill deeper into the client’s specific requirements as well as those of the company.
Armed with this knowledge, you can develop a tailor-made pitch that appeals to the client’s desires. Once you know about their challenges, you can work towards providing solutions.
Finally, your moment has come – it’s time to deliver the pitch. Identify the key decision-makers and make eye contact. Remember, a good pitch is always factual and concise. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or ‘over-sell’ the product. Be clear, honest, and open at all times.
4- Test the water
Getting your client to sign on the dotted line is nerve-wracking. Often, salespeople struggle to formulate a delicate way to approach the close. Therefore, a good strategy is to test the water. Ask the client questions like, “How do you feel about what we’ve discussed so far?” That way, you can assess whether or not they’re ready to buy or if they need more persuading. This is also a good technique to solicit any objections, so you can respond accordingly.
5- Seal the deal
The final stage is when you put your closing techniques into action. This should be the most powerful, persuasive part of the process. Even if you don’t close there and then, this is still your time to shine – who knows, if you follow up in a couple of weeks, you can close the deal then.
5 closing techniques from the pros
A thorough understanding of the process is important, but mastering the techniques is even better. Once your sales team has a thorough understanding of the strategic framework, they can develop techniques for closing sales. As we’ve stressed so far, the sales technique will vary from client to client, depending on their specific requirements. Furthermore, sales methods should vary from rep to rep, with each team member leveraging their unique talents. Even though there’s no sure-fire approach, below are a few strategies that top sales people deploy when finalising a deal.
1- The financial close
Often, money is the make or break factor. Therefore, offering the customer a financial incentive is a time-honoured sales strategy. For instance, offering a discounted price for a limited time is a classic way of speeding up closure.
2- The empathy close
The empathy close is where you use emotion to close the sale. This method is focussed around solutions as opposed to products, placing the client’s problems at the centre of the pitch. Through an empathetic approach, salespeople leverage one of the most valuable sales tools – the customer’s trust.
3- The time close
Time is money. When it comes to closing the deal, emphasise the impact that your product will have on the client’s business over a given timescale. For example, the faster you can deliver your product, the more quickly the client can start reaping the benefits. However, always be sure your targets are achievable.
4- The scale close
It may seem like a cliché, but quantifying the benefits of your product can be an effective technique. Use a scale of 1 to 10 so the client can quickly and easily visualise the use-value of your product. This will particularly appeal to industries whose pitches are structured around facts and figures.
5- The visual close
Visuals have a huge impact. Clear visualisation is a simple, straightforward way to illustrate the benefits of a product or service. The visual close allows you to deliver a more creative, memorable pitch that can win over the most demanding clients.
Why connect with your clients is key to closing sales
Building a strong relationship with the client is key to closing sales. A positive, trusting dialogue increases your influence over the buyer, which in turn makes them more open to your message. This gives salespeople access to key decision makers, valuable insights, and deeper customer knowledge. With this intelligence, sales reps can connect your product to the buyers needs and develop a nuanced sales approach. By centring the client’s challenges, needs and desires, salespeople can ensure they deliver sales success.