Q. Dear Zenagos,
I don’t like to pressure people into buying, but I feel like I could probably improve my close rate. How do I balance these two things?
If you don’t like the feeling of being pressured, then of course you won’t want to close sales by pressuring others. The good news is that you don’t have to be pushy to be a great salesperson. There are many effective ways to close a deal.
Surface objections with a warm question
If you are completely opposed to applying pressure, then ask a question that will surface any remaining objections (reasons why the prospective customer – or “prospect” – is not yet ready to buy). For example, check to make sure you’ve addressed all of the prospect’s concerns by asking, “Have I answered all your questions?” If the prospect is worried about the price or a feature of your offering, this is likely to surface that issue, so you can address it. (If you would like to learn more about how to identify and address customer objections, download Zenagos’ free eBook: “How to Identify and Overcome Customer Objections.”)
Try a presumptive close
The most famous closing tactic is known as the “presumptive close” or “assumptive close.” To use this technique, you assume that the client is ready to buy and suggest the next step. This might sound like, “How will you be paying for this: cash or credit? or ”Great, I’ll sign you up for the Tuesday class.” Your prospect will either nod in agreement (moving you toward closing the sale) or provide a new objection. Many salespeople are frustrated when a new objection arises, but a new objection is actually good news – it means that the prospect is still interested in your offering and needs more information. Just address the objection and gently ask for the sale again.
Keep adding to your toolkit
While the presumptive close is the best-known and most effective tactic for closing, there are many other ways to close. If you search online, you will find dozens of closing techniques, many of which sound like heist scams from an Ocean’s movie.
Some salespeople can offer a test drive or free trial, which can be referred to as the Puppy Dog Close – because you’ll fall in love with it and never return it. And some salespeople swear by the Takeaway Close – in which they use reverse psychology, telling the prospect that they are probably not a good fit for a very exclusive offering (Salesforce, 2021). Some salespeople create urgency with a Now or Never Close – making a one-time offer, but only if the prospect buys right now. Still others use the hilariously named Columbo Close – in which the salesperson lets the salesperson get nearly out the door and then entices them back by saying, “Just one more thing. . .” (Hubspot, 2023). This was the rumpled detective’s famous one-liner on the long-running Columbo TV show in the 70’s and 80’s.
Talk to other salespeople whenever you can, and be curious about how they sell. You can always learn something new to add to your toolkit.
How to close a sale: Tips, techniques & why they work. (2023, May 4). Hubspot blog. Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-closing-techniques-and-why-they-work
How to close sales like an absolute pro. (2021, August 3). Salesforce blog. Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from https://www.salesforce.com/resources/articles/sales-closing-techniques/