24 Sales Closing Techniques: How to Close a Sale
Learn how to close a sale with ease by adding these 24 closing techniques to your sales toolkit.
Today, we know that in most organizations about 25% of the sales reps drive 75% of the total sales revenue.
What makes a small percentage of reps so much more successful than the rest?
I can tell you that it’s not charisma or experience - although those do help.
It’s being empowered with a combination of enablement, knowledge, motivation, confidence, tracking and the right tools to perform at their best.
Sales used to be an all or nothing game. Make a sale, get a commission.
There was no way to progress you towards that win and increase your chances of winning. Because of that, most reps didn't hit their quota.
20% of reps driving 80% of the revenue on average has become a norm.
With new data available and this shift to digital and machine learning, that is changing.
It turns out the best reps do the basics right at the right moment during the sales cycle.
Before you read these 24 sales closing techniques you need to know that today, AI expands your ability to win more and win fast by realigning sales around small wins that lead to the big win. Download our Signal-Based Selling eBook to learn how to focus sales on the signals that close deals.
To help you level-up your selling game and add more closing techniques to your sales toolkit, we’ve put together a list of 24 different sales closing techniques.
Take a read through the following and see if you can pick up some new closes to improve your conversion rate:
24 Sales Closing Techniques: How to Close a Sale (with Examples)
1. The Puppy Dog Close
This simple, age-old sales technique has a cute name and execution. It was created on the premise that when someone takes a puppy home, they rarely bring it back.
The aim is to apply this to the product or service you’re selling. If you can get the customer to try before they buy, like taking a free trial or a test drive, it increases the chance that they’ll keep the product or service.
An example of a puppy dog close would be something like:
“If you’re not sure if this product is right for you, I’d be happy to ship one to you to try. That way, you’re going to know for sure and won’t regret walking away.”
2. The Visualization Close
Never underestimate the power of visualization. 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and you can use this to help you close a sale.
If you can help a customer visualize seeing themselves using a product and how it will benefit them, it’ll make the decision to buy an easier one.
For physical products, if you can get the product in front of the customer, that’s ideal. For software, getting them to agree to a live demo has the same effect.
If it’s not possible to get the product in front of a customer, do your best to explain it in detail.
An example of a visualization close would be something like:
“Just imagine for a moment how it would feel/fit/look to have this product. Try to picture how it would change your life for the better. Shall we make it a reality and make a deal?”
3. The Now Or Never Close
This is one of - if not the - most traditional sales closing techniques. It’s most effective when someone is close to buying but just needs a little extra nudge.
The idea is you add some extra value to tip the balance if they buy right now. This could mean throwing in an extended warranty, offering an upsell at a discount, or anything relevant to what you’re selling.
An example of a now or never close would be something like:
“If you buy today, and today only, I’m able to throw in an extra 6 months warranty or 50% off any additional purchases.”
4. The Scarcity Close
Commonly seen with online purchases that have a countdown timer, the scarcity close involves putting a deadline on an offer - then it’s gone.
This type of close uses the psychological technique of making someone feel like they’re missing out. It’s human nature to take action if we feel like we’re missing out on something and will often be that motivating factor that closes a deal.
An example of a scarcity close would be something like:
“This offer is only available for the next 3 days or until we run out of stock, and this stuff is selling out fast.”
5. The Option Close
The option close is another common sales close that every salesperson will have been taught by a mentor or on a sales training course.
Just as the name suggests, you give the customer more than one option to close a sale. Instead of leaving them lingering over one product, gently recommend they choose between two.
An example of an option close would be something like:
“Product A is great for you, and I know it’s going to exceed your expectations. Don’t rule out product B though, it’s slightly cheaper and will still do most of what you’re looking for.”
6. The Inoffensive Close
The inoffensive close is designed to help you get a better handle on sales when dealing with a dominant customer that likes to feel like they’re in control.
The idea is to guide them towards a close while letting them feel like they’re not being pushed. This is where being able to read into a customer’s personality plays a huge role.
Trying to use scarcity or a now or never technique will push dominant customers away. Instead, you should try and recap all the critical information and ask non-confrontational questions.
An example of an inoffensive close would be something like:
“We’ve been through all the options, and it does feel like this product is perfectly suited to your needs. How do you feel about it? I can get the paperwork if you’re ready to work with us on this?”
7. The Assumptive Close
The assumptive close technique, also known as the presumptive close, is a closing tactic that involves the salesperson assuming the customer has agreed to the sale.
You have to time an assumptive close carefully. If you try it too early, you’ll scare a customer away, or worse, force them into a sale that they likely will go back on later. If you wait too long, you risk seeing them walk away empty-handed.
An example of an assumptive close would be something like:
“I’m really pleased this is exactly what you’re looking for! Shall I get started by taking down your details?”
8. The "1 to 10" Close
The “1 to 10” close is a sales technique that works particularly well with conscientious customers who like to analyze things before deciding.
When you want to try and close the sale, ask them how close they are to deciding on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being not interested and 10 being ready to buy.
If they say 5 or less, you have some work to do. If they say 8 or above, you know you’re close to closing.
An example of a 1 to 10 close would be something like:
“How close to making a decision do you think you are from 1 to 10? 9, you say, what can I say to help you make that a 10?”
9. The Question Close
The question close, as the name suggests, involves using questions to take a customer to close.
You’re always going to ask many questions during the selling process, but this technique involves being a little more deliberate about taking the sale to a conclusion.
You can ask what the customer needs to help them decide if they meet all of their requirements. Or, more directly, you can ask why they aren’t willing to buy it.
An example of a question close would be something like:
“We can both see this product is what you’re looking for, is there anything holding you back from buying it today?”
10. The Analytics Close
The analytics close, also called the Benjamin Franklin close, involves making two lists; one with the pros of the product for the customer and one with the cons.
It’s often referred to as the Benjamin Franklin close because it’s said that this is how he would make decisions for himself.
Assuming there will be more pros than cons, you can then read back the lists to the customer and give them a compelling argument to buy.
An example of an analytics close would be something like:
“As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. I really think this product is as good as it’s going to get for what you need. What do you say, time to see for yourself by buying it?”
11. The Urgency Close
The urgency close involves adding some urgency to the deal without going as far as using scarcity or now or never, as discussed earlier.
Instead, you can apply a little urgency to help persuade someone close to making a decision. Exactly how you do this will come down to a judgment call based on how the conversation is going and the type of product/service you’re selling.
An example of an urgency close would be something like:
“Take your time, but I do have to tell you that we’re down to a limited number of these items left in stock.”
12. The Hard Close
The hard close is best used when you’re working to a deadline, you think your time could be better spent with other customers, or you think the customer needs to be pushed to make a decision.
There are a few ways you can approach this. You can tell the customer to either buy now or come back later or tell them this is their last chance to get the deal you're offering.
As long as you’re giving the customer a hard out, either way, you’re going to know pretty soon if you have a deal.
An example of a hard close would be something like:
“I’m going to have to ask you to make a decision now. This deal isn’t going to get any better than this. Do you want to buy?”
13. The Empathy Close
Emotions and feelings play a big part in sales. The better you can relate to a customer emotionally, the more significant impact your words will have on them.
To use an empathy close, try and put yourself in their position. Try and understand how the product is going to make them feel and get that across to them.
An example of an empathy close would be something like:
“I can imagine how difficult it is right now without this product. If you were to buy this, you’d save a lot of time. Just think what you could do with that spare time.”
14. The Take Away Close
The takeaway close is a psychological technique that involves taking something away from the offer to make the decision (and price) slightly lighter.
This technique can go in two directions. The first, creating a sense of missing out, which makes the customer buy the whole product. The second is to help them decide if the price was holding them back.
An example of a take away close would be something like:
“This PC comes with 8 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. That’s going to be more than you need. How about we reduce these and see what we can do with the price?”
15. The Sharp Angle Close
This sharp angle close is a traditional sales technique commonly used in real estate, but you can apply it to any industry.
To utilize this type of close, you need a customer to ask you a question, ideally requesting something. Then you respond with a request to close the deal if you can fulfill their request.
An example of a sharp angle close would be something like:
Customer - “Can you get this delivered to me sooner than advertised, like within 3 days?”
Salesperson - “If I can promise that, do we have a deal?”
16. The Sales Contest Close
This technique takes some cheek as it’s not always accurate, so it isn’t for everyone. But it’s a commonly used tactic and does allow you to provide some added value to the customer.
Essentially you’re appealing to their generous nature by telling them you “might” win a sales contest by closing the deal with them.
Sales is a competitive environment, there are usually some rewards for top sellers, so it’s not always a complete lie!
An example of a sales contest close would be something like:
“You know, if we make a deal today, I win a discount card for salesperson of the month. Is there anything I can do to help you make up your mind?”
17. The Apology Close
The apology close is a technique where a salesperson apologizes for not closing the sale. Effectively making the customer feel like it’s such a good deal, it’s a foregone conclusion.
It’s a psychological technique designed to put the customer in the mindset that the sale is closed, and it was your fault for delaying it.
An example of an apology close would be something like:
“I owe you an apology. I’ve been going on about this product for way too long. We both know this is perfect for you. Shall we make a deal?”
18. The Minor Point Close
The minor point close involves the salesperson agreeing with the customer over a minor point to do with the deal and using that to close the deal.
This could even be agreeing to disagree on something. As long as you’re getting on the same page as the customer and building trust, you can close the deal.
An example of a minor point close would be something like:
“It’s not perfect, I agree. Still, it’s the best you’re going to get, so I think it makes sense to make a deal here.”
19. The Something for Nothing Close
Everyone likes to feel although they’re getting something for free, and it certainly sweetens the deal when you’re trying to close a sale.
The something for nothing close involves adding something extra to the deal for free to help close the deal. Certainly, this is something you should think about beforehand to maintain a good margin.
An example of a something for nothing close would be something like:
“I can see our product is a perfect fit for you. How about I give you 10% to show my appreciation, and we make a deal right now?”
20. The Backwards Close
The backwards close is a gripping psychological technique that aims to put the customer at ease by asking if they know anyone else interested in your products/services.
Asking about referrals is typically a conversation for after closing a deal. However, by opening with it, you can discuss your product’s benefits without the customer feeling like they’re being sold to.
An example of a backwards close would be something like:
“If you know of someone this product would help, we’d love to discuss it with them. We know it can improve productivity and save money when implemented into any business.”
21. The Calendar Close
If you’re stuck at the final stages of closing a deal and feel like it’s taking up too much time, you can use a calendar close to come back to the deal.
Sometimes, giving a customer time to think a deal over is all it takes. Just let them know you’ll be back in touch and set a date to carry on the conversation.
An example of a calendar close would be something like:
“I can see you need some time to think this over. How about I call you back in 5 days when you’ve had a little more time?”
22. The Summary Close
It’s easy to get lost in a never-ending conversation about the thing you’re selling and lose track of the points that matter to the customer.
The summary close involves running over a summary of why the customer needs what you’re selling, what the key benefits are, and leading into closing the deal.
An example of a summary close would be something like:
“So, we know this product is within your price range, does exactly what you’re looking for, and integrates with your existing software. Are you ready to make a deal?”
23. The Impending Event Close
The impending event close involves coming up with an upcoming event that affects the deal. This could be something like discontinuing the product or a sale ending.
As long as you put a short timeline on the event and clarify that the deal will not be as good afterward, some customers may make a decision there and then.
An example of an impending event close would be something like:
“I know for sure that this offer will be ending in two days. You need to buy before then to secure this price.”
24. The Needs Close
Proving that a customer “needs” what it is you’re selling helps make closing a deal a lot easier. After all, you’re helping them to help themselves!
The needs close involves highlighting the reasons why a customer needs the product or service you’re selling. If you can do that, you should be able to make a deal.
An example of a needs close would be something like:
“If you want to save time and money, you need this product. I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t buy it, can you?”
While all these sales closing techniques are helpful, in this day and age, you need to be armed with data and intelligence to do exactly what improves your odds of winning.
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