26 Closing Techniques

Number One. The appointment close. The first closing technique is aimed at getting appointments on the telephone. If you use a telephone to get appointments, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be. Many salespeople avoid the telephone because they have been rejected and turned down so many times. The very thought of telephoning triggers fears of failure and frustration. As a result, they seek every other way possible to make contacts. The telephone, however, is the finest and fastest way to get good appointments. If you know how to use it properly in approaching the prospect by telephone, the first thing you say has to be something that breaks preoccupation, grabs attention, and points to the result or benefit of the product. Here is an example of a telephone prospecting script when I sold sales training programs. I found that I could get appointments 9 out of 10 times with qualified prospects using this simple technique.
First, I would call up and ask the receptionist, How many salespeople do you have at your company? I had determined that my ideal prospect business had at least 20 salespeople. If she confirmed that they had 20 or more salespeople, I would then ask, who is the person who makes the decisions regarding sales training in your company? She would say, Well, that would be Mr. Jones. I would say thank you. And what is his first name, please, Bill Jones? I would then ask, Could I please speak to Mr. Jones?

When I got through to him, I would say, Hello, Mr. Jones, this is Deon Huff with Personalized Services International. I was wondering if you would like to see a way to increase your sales by 20 to 30 percent over the next 12 months. Your opening question should focus on what the customer receives as a benefit and what your product does to improve his or her life or work. Remember, no one cares about what your product is. Your customer only cares about what your product does. What do sales managers think about all day long? What do they care about? What determines their incomes? Answer sales.

And they think not only about sales, but about increasing sales in some way.

When you ask, would you like to see a way to increase your sales by 20 to 30 percent over the next 12 months? The first question that the prospect asks should be. Yes, of course. What is it? If the prospect is not replied with the words, What is it?

You need to rework your question until he or she does.

When you\’re telephoning for an appointment, you are telephoning to sell a face-to-face meeting with the prospect, not to sell your product or service. The biggest mistake you can make on the first call is to start describing your product on the telephone. The minute you start to give details or prices, the prospect will almost always say No. Thanks, I\’m not interested. I can\’t afford it; I don\’t have the time and so on. All you\’re asking for when you call initially is for 10 minutes of his or her time when the prospect asks, What is it? You respond by saying, That\’s exactly what I want to talk to you about. I just need about 10 minutes of your time, and you can judge for yourself if it\’s what you\’re looking for.

If the prospect asks, How much is it? You say, Mr. Prospect, if it\’s not exactly what you\’re looking for, there\’s no charge at all. This is a powerful response. Get the price issue out of the way immediately. If it\’s not exactly what you\’re looking for, it doesn\’t cost you anything.

Remember, the good prospects are busy and hard to get to. Poor prospects are not busy, and they\’re easy to get to. If you call up someone and ask for an appointment and the person says, Sure, come on over anytime, you can be sure the person isn\’t going to buy anything from you. If the prospect then asks, Well, could you tell me a little about it? I would say I would like to tell you about it over the phone, but I have something I have to show you in 10 minutes. I\’ll be able to show you what I\’ve got, and you can judge for yourself. It\’s what you\’re looking for.

The magic word is show. As soon as you say the word show, you\’ve sidestepped the request to describe it on the telephone. If the prospect says, Well, could you send me something in the mail? I would say I would like to send it to you in the mail. But you know how bad the males are? Why don\’t I drop it off personally sometime this week?

What about tomorrow afternoon? If the prospect is at all interested, he or she will say, OK, why don\’t you drop it off personally? And we\’ll agree to a time? I would then ask, will you be there if the process has? Yes, I\’ll be there. I would say that\’s great. Will three o\’clock be convenient for you? I\’ll be in your neighborhood, and I\’ll drop it off personally. Remember, sales materials are to be left, not sent; you hand them to the prospect at the end of the sales conversation, not at the beginning, and not as a substitute for professional selling. If the prospect is not there when you arrive for any reason, refuse to leave anything behind. Instead, offer to return at another time whenever possible. Don\’t mail information when people say, send me some information in the mail. What they\’re really saying is go away. I\’m not interested.

When you send it to them in the mail, it usually goes straight into the wastebasket. If you\’re going to send things in the mail, it\’s better that you put it in the envelope. Throw it in your own wastebasket and save yourself the cost of a stamp.

Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that when we mail information and today email it, we\’re actually making sales, but only sales or sales, not mailing or email, you know, sales information that no one reads. Instead, you focus single-mindedly on getting ten minutes of the prospect’s time. This is the key expression.

You be the judge. You decide for yourself; hey, this is what you\’re looking for. You then repeat. All I need is 10 minutes of your time, and you can judge for yourself. This is sure as the prospect that you will be there for only a short time and he or she can decide. You assure the prospect that you will not use pressure. You will just show him or her what you\’ve got like a trader in a bazaar laying out wares. If the prospect is not interested within 10 minutes, you assure him or her that you will leave. I found that if you ask for 30 minutes, you may have to wait four weeks, maybe forever. Have you asked for 10 minutes? You can almost always be inserted into the schedule.

Don\’t make the mistake of using the old high-pressure sales trick or saying, how about 10 o\’clock today or two o\’clock tomorrow?

This type of alternative closed has been used so many times that it just insults the prospect. Instead, say it would sometime this afternoon be convenient or perhaps tomorrow morning. Sometimes the prospect says, why don\’t you call me on Monday and we\’ll set up an appointment? You quickly reply by saying,

Look, I\’ve got my calendar right here. Is your calendar handy?

Of course, the prospect is sitting at his or her desk with a calendar handy.

You say, let\’s set up a time right now. How about 10 a.m. Monday morning? Don\’t allow yourself to be put off with call me back on Monday. It is just another way of getting out of seeing you face to face the very best customers you will ever have are the ones you are going to have to fight to see for the first time. They\’re also the ones who buy the most. When they try to put you off when they try to avoid you and make excuses, what they\’re saying is that they may be very good prospects. Someone is going to get an appointment with those prospects and sell them your product, and it might as well be you, be persistent, be polite and be firm. Focus only on selling that 10-minute meeting. Say All I need is 10 minutes of your time, and you can decide for yourself if the prospect asks for details about your product or service. You say it\’s too involved to go into on the phone, but it will just take 10 minutes, and I\’ll show you what I\’ve got. Sell only that 10-minute appointment. If you cannot close on telephone appointments, you can\’t even get to first base resolve to become very good on the telephone. If you\’re tense about using the phone, if you\’re nervous, it\’s because you\’ve had frustrating experiences in the past. You\’ll become more confident as you become more competent, and confidence only comes from repeated calling and experience.

Number Two. The approach close. You use this approach close right at the beginning of the sales presentation. The purpose of the approach close is to get the prospect to make a commitment to giving you a decision at the end of the presentation, rather than saying afterward, I have to think it over. Recognize that sales resistance is the highest at the beginning of the sales presentation. This is because we live in a commercial society. Someone is trying to sell us something hundreds of times every day we see here or are otherwise exposed to thousands of advertisements each day in the form of radio, newspapers, television billboards, emails, buses, and so on. Everybody\’s trying to sell us something, so we have natural sales resistance from the age of five. There\’s a simple and powerful way to overcome this natural resistance at the beginning of the sales conversation. You simply say this, Mr. Prospect. I\’m not here to sell you anything right now. All I\’m going to do is show you some of the reasons why other people have bought this product and continue to buy it over the years.
And all I ask you to do is look at the reasons why others have bought it and judge for yourself. You can then tell me one way or another whether or not these reasons apply to you and to your situation. Is that fair? I\’ll just show you why others have bought it, and you tell me whether it makes sense to you or not.

The prospect? We usually agree to this proposal. What you\’re doing is offering him or her a deal. The deal is I won\’t try to sell you if you\’ll listen with an open mind to my presentation. The prospect usually says, OK, go ahead. You then ask qualifying questions and make your sales presentation at the end of the presentation of the prospects as well. I have to think it over. You can say, Mr. Price, but you promised you\’d give me an answer one way or another.

It\’s a simple but powerful closing technique. You promised you\’d give me an answer one way or another. And from what you\’ve said, it seems that this product is just ideal for your situation. You can then go ahead and ask for the order.

Number Three. The demonstration close. This is another closing technique that you can use right at the beginning. It is simple and effective, and you can use this close in almost any sales situation. You use the demonstration close to qualify the prospect with your opening words and get a clear statement from the prospect that he or she is in a position to buy and pay for this product. When I use this close in selling mutual funds, I would say, Mr. Prospect, if I could show you the very best investment you\’ve ever seen in your life, are you in a position to put $5,000 into it right now? That prospect might say, well, I don\’t know. I haven\’t got 5,000 right now. If you really liked it, could you invest $4,000?
Well, I\’m not sure. How about $3,000? Well, yes, I could invest three thousand. So, if I could show you the very best investment you\’ve ever seen? You could put $3,000 into it right now. What you\’ve done with this approach is to change the focus of the discussion. The discussion is no longer about whether or not the prospect listens to your presentation. The main question in the prospect’s mind is, can you demonstrate or prove that you actually have an investment or a product that is as good as you say? You can adapt this close to different products or services. I used to ask if I can show you the best sales training system that you\’ve ever seen. Are you in a position to commit to it right now? If the prospect says, Well, if it\’s that good, I could make a decision right now.

Then you go through your presentation at the end of the presentation, the prospect can\’t say, Well, I have to check with a boss, I have to talk to Harry, I have to check our budget. The prospect has told you in advance that he or she can make the decision. The prospect has already said in effect, Yes, I have the money. Yes, I\’m qualified. Yes, I have the authority to decide. For this reason, a strong opening question that grabs attention and offers to give the prospect exactly what he or she wants is quite powerful. If you phrase your question well, the only question the prospect should ask in response is what is it in real estate, for example? I\’ve seen this quote used over and over again if I could show you exactly the house you\’re looking for. Are you in a position to make a decision today? One of the first questions that you should ask people when you take them out is if we could find the exact house you\’re looking for at the right price. When would you be able to take possession asking this question as you get into the car? They may tell you that they don\’t know. They may tell you that they\’re not in the market at all. They may be just taking up your time looking at houses because they have nothing else to do. Your time is valuable, and you are entitled to ask if this prospect is really capable of buying.

Number Four. The hot button close. The hot button close is considered by many sales professionals to be the most powerful closing technique of all. The hot button close is based on the fact that 80 percent of the buying decision is determined by 20 percent of the product features and benefits. In my experience, as much as 90 percent of the buying decision is determined by about 10 percent of the product features. It\’s up to you to find the hot button.
The key benefit of your offering is that the prospect wants more than anything else from your product or service. You then push this hot button over and over again. Every time you mention the hot button, the prospect’s desire for your product or service increases. Good salespeople are those who question skillfully and listen carefully to the answers. They listen for what is called the Freudian slip. If you ask enough questions and give prospects enough opportunity to talk. They will tell you everything that you need to know to sell them. The reasons for buying will just slip out.

That\’s why the old saying telling is not selling is true. You are only selling when you are asking questions and giving prospects the opportunity to tell you what they\’re looking for, what they want, what they need, what they\’re concerned about, and what their worries are.

You are selling only when you are listening attentively. The more you ask questions and listen, the more likely it is that the prospect will say. This is what I\’m really looking for. This is the key benefit for every prospect. There is a key benefit or hot button that he or she must be assured of getting before he or she will buy.

Your job is to find out what it is and then convince the prospect overwhelmingly that he or she will receive that benefit. One of my favorite stories in the hot button close is about a real estate agent who takes a couple to see a home for sale. It\’s an old house. It\’s what they call a starter home, a pre-owned starter home, a fixer-upper one that requires lots of work, a handyman special.

They pull up to the house, and in the backyard, there\’s a beautiful flowering cherry tree. The first thing the wife says is, Harry, look at that beautiful flowering cherry tree. Ever since I was a girl, I have wanted to have a house with a beautiful flowering cherry tree in the backyard.

They get out of the car and go into the house. The salesman is no dummy. He knows that the final decision will be made by the woman, Harry. Mr. “Tough Guy” immediately says look at this; the steps would have to be replaced. The salesman says yes, but look at that beautiful flower in the cherry tree out in the yard.

They walk into the house, and Harry says this carpet is worn out. We have to be replaced as well. Yes, the salesman says. But from here, you can see that beautiful flowering cherry tree, Mrs. Smith, as they walk through the house. Harry says, Look at this living room. It needs new baseboards and light. Yes, as a salesman. But look at the beautiful view you have of that lovely flower in the cherry tree from this room, says the salesman. This happens in almost every room; the kitchen needs new plumbing, but you can see that beautiful flowering cherry tree out the window. The bedrooms are too small but look at the view of that beautiful flowering cherry tree from the window.

At the end of the presentation, Mrs. Smith says, Harry, I sure do love that beautiful flowering cherry tree. This was the hot button, and they eventually bought the house because of that flowering cherry tree.

Your job is to discover the hot button and then push it over and over again. It\’s amazing to me that salespeople don\’t talk, talk, talk, but, well, not asking tough questions to find out the prospects hot-button their real buying motivation. The prospect will say, I\’m really interested in a house with a pool that salesperson will say, Isn\’t this a beautiful yard? Yes, but it doesn\’t have a pool in it. Well, here\’s a beautiful house.

You could put a tennis court over there, yes, but it doesn\’t have a pool. This house has a wonderful basement, yes, but it doesn\’t have a pool. The prospect keeps saying What I want is a pool. The prospect will tell you if you listen closely exactly enough what he or she has to be assured of getting in your product or service as a professional. Your job is to listen for that hot button and then build your selling efforts around it until you know the hot button. It\’s almost impossible for you to make the sale.

Number Five. The Trial Close. The trial close is a technique that a professional salesperson uses throughout the presentation to elicit feedback and to determine what the prospect is thinking and feeling about each feature. It\’s also called the check close. You use it to check your progress. You present a part of your product or service offering. And then you ask. Do you like this? Is this the sort of thing you\’re looking for?
Is this what you had in mind? Is this better than the one you have right now? These are all trial close is the best thing about a trial. The check close allows the prospect can answer no. And it doesn\’t end the presentation. For example, you could ask, Is this the sort of layout that you\’re looking for? The prospect may say no. You can then say, Well, that\’s good to know. We have several other layouts you could ask, Do you like this color? If the prospect says yes, you know you were getting closer to a sale. If the prospect says, No, I don\’t like that color, you can say, Well, that\’s all right. We have several other colors available. The trial or checklist is like a signpost at a crossroads that tells you which way to go.

Imagine that you are traveling down a road, and you come to a fork at the fork. You ask, How do you like this? Are we on the right road at the next for you? Check again to make sure the customer is still happy with what you are showing him, or her good salespeople use trial clauses throughout the sales conversation. They never present a piece of information without confirming that they are on the right track by checking. For example, you drive up to the front of the house. Do you then ask, How do you like the outside look of this house? You enter the house, and you ask, What do you think about this entry hallway? You ask, Do you like this color scheme? You ask, Do you like the way this is laid out? Professional salespeople ask questions continually. The answers give them continuous feedback that enables them eventually to develop a clear picture of exactly what the prospect wants.

Number Six. The power of suggestion close. The way you use the power of suggestion closes by creating emotions in the prospect with words and pictures. You talk as if the prospect already owns the product or service you are selling. For example, you can say, \”You\’re really going to enjoy the way this car handles on the road. My brother has one of these cars, and he just loves the way it grips the road when he corners.\”
You say you are really going to be happy when you travel in this car this summer or you say you are really going to enjoy this holiday to Europe, or you say you are going to love this tour, or you say you\’re going to enjoy living in this neighborhood. This is one of the best neighborhoods in this part of the city. You talk to your prospects throughout as if they had already made the decision to buy. You continually create mental pictures of what it\’s going to be like to use to enjoy, to benefit, and to own the product as you create these emotional word pictures. They\’re thinking changes. They put themselves into the picture instead of thinking, should I buy it or not? They\’re thinking of how they\’re going to enjoy it. You should always be talking with your prospects as if they have already bought your product or service. This suggestive language exerts a powerful influence on their thinking and decision-making.

Number Seven. The ascending close. The ascending flows are often called the part by part close or the Yes, yes, yes, Close. This closing technique can be used for any product or service. It\’s been very popular in selling mutual funds, investments, and at one time, encyclopedias. Encyclopedias selling is actually a perfect example. Before a person began selling encyclopedias, he or she would have to learn the encyclopedia sales presentation. The presentation was brilliant. A group of psychiatrists designed it in the 1950s at the cost of a quarter of a million dollars. Many millions of dollars today. It was then used to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of encyclopedias worldwide. The ascending close works through asking questions that the prospect can only answer with yes to determine if he or she is a qualified prospect. This method is so powerful because every time you ask a question and the prospect says yes, his or her buying temperature or desire to own what you\’re selling rises. You don\’t know how high the prospect’s buying temperature is when you meet him or her for the first time. But you know that there\’s a certain point at which the prospect will say, I\’ll take it. If you can ask enough Yes, questions, the prospects of buying desire will finally rise to the boiling point, and he or she will ask, How do I get it? When can I start? How soon will it be available in the encyclopedia sales presentation? For example, the salesperson would start by knocking on the door and asking, Hello there. Do you live here?
This is a good qualifying question. If the person who answers says, No, I\’m just visiting, there\’s no point in continuing or making a presentation. If the person says, Yes, I live here, the salesperson then says, Well, we\’re doing a survey in this neighborhood, and we\’d like to ask for your opinion on higher education. May I ask you a couple of questions? If the prospect says yes, the salesperson then asked, Do you believe in the value of higher education? If the prospect answers yes, the salesperson, then ask, Do you feel that continuous learning is helpful to someone who wants to be more successful? The prospect again answers Yes. After several questions like this, the salesperson asked, Would you be interested in accepting a free set of encyclopedias from us to put in your home as a prospect says yes again? The salesperson then asked, May I come in and explain what you get? The prospect again says yes. There were 42 yes questions in the presentation. By the end of this presentation, the prospect has said yes, yes, yes, over and over. And with the final yes, he or she has purchased the $2,000 set of encyclopedias. Any presentation can be designed so that it elicits a series of yes, answers from a qualified prospect. I design each of my sales presentations, sometimes taking many hours so that it fits on one page with about 7 to 10 questions. Each question is faced, so that elicits a yes answer. Each question requires the prospect to agree. Each question becomes more specific until the final yes question is would you like to take delivery right away? The prospect then answers. Yes, and it\’s a sale. This type of presentation takes skill to design, but it is one of the most powerful methods of selling that you can ever develop and use. If ever you find yourself saying yes, yes, yes in a sales presentation, you know that it\’s perfectly professionally designed.

Number Eight. The Invitational Close the invitational close is simply inviting the prospect to make a buying decision. My favorite invitational close is why don\’t you give it a try? When you ask, why don\’t you give it a try? You\’re suggesting that making the purchase decision is no big deal. It\’s the sort of product or service that you can try out.
You can ask, why don\’t you give the car a try?

This sounds like an easy decision to make. You\’re suggesting that if the prospect doesn\’t like it, he or she can try something else. Why don\’t you give it a try as a subtle way of saying that he or she still has options? If you\’re selling services or intangibles of some kind, you can ask, Why don\’t you give us a try? Another version of the invitational close is Why don\’t you take it? A real estate salesman found that his sales increased almost 40 percent using this technique. Each time he showed a house to a couple, he would ask a trial closing question like, How do you like the house? If they said, it seems very nice.

He would then ask, Why don\’t you buy it? Why don\’t you make an offer? He was amazed at how many prospects had. Well, sure, why not?

Other versions of the invitational clothes are How many would you like? What color would you like? And would you like us to get started on this right away?

And is this what you had in mind? In each case, you invite the prospect to make a decision instead of just standing there at the end of the presentation. There\’s the story of the salesperson who comes back to the office, and he says, Boy, did I have a lot of good interviews today? The other salesperson says, Yeah, I didn\’t sell anything either.

Remember that you do not offend people by asking them to make a buying decision once they have indicated an interest in the benefits of your product or service. Don\’t be afraid to ask, to invite them to buy.

Number Nine. The price close. Salespeople often say that everybody buys everything on price. They say that price is the key thing that everybody wants the lowest price and so on. Have you heard these arguments before?
The fact is that in almost every case, the price is not the major reason that anyone buys anything. Price is important only when what you are selling is identical to what everyone else is selling, like gasoline at the corner station. Whenever there is a distinct difference between what you sell and what others sell price is not the determining factor. It is almost always salespeople who make an issue of price. When the prospect asks, How much is it? The salesperson tells them the price, and the prospect immediately responds; that’s too much. I can get it cheaper somewhere else. Your competitor sells it for less. The salesman tries to defend the price and gets into a wrestling match with the prospect. The salesperson says, Well, it\’s x dollars. The prospect says I can\’t afford it. The salesperson says, but it\’s worth it. The prospect says I can get it cheaper somewhere else. The salesperson says yes, but it\’s not as good as the one we\’ve got, and they get into an argument that goes around in circles. The fact is that you can never win by arguing on the basis of price. The basic rule on price is that whenever possible, price should never come up until the end of the sales presentation unless, of course, it\’s written down on your materials everywhere. In some cases, there\’s no way that you can avoid giving the price upfront, especially if the price is published as in selling cars or houses. But if you\’re selling a product or service that is more complex where the price varies depending upon what the customer buys, price shouldn\’t come up until the end.

People almost always object to price, no matter what it is. Everything always costs more than people expect to pay. Did you ever hear a prospective customer say, Wow, that\’s a lot cheaper than I expected? Everything costs more than people expected to pay, but a willingness to pay and the ability to pay are two different things.

Very. Few people are willing, but many people are able when the price question, how much is it comes up before you\’ve had a chance to show the prospect exactly what it is that he or she is getting for the money you counter with a question, Mr. Prospect is the price your only concern? The prospect will almost always say, Well, no price isn\’t my only concern. You then say, Well, that\’s good. Could we come back to the price in a second when the prospect asks right at the beginning, how much is it? You can say Mr. Price paid, the price is the best part. \’m going to cover that in just a minute, and I think you\’ll be very happy about it. Could I come back to that in a couple of minutes? The prospect will almost always agree and let you go on with the presentation. In any case, always put off the price discussion as long as possible until you have fully described the benefits of your product or service. When you mention the price and the prospect says, Wow, that\’s a lot of money, what he or she is really saying is you haven\’t given me enough reasons to justify that price.

Remember that a price objection is really a price question. A price question is when the prospect says that\’s too expensive. What he or she is saying is, from what you\’ve told me so far, I don\’t see how you can charge so much for your product or service. The prospect is really asking, can you give me some more information to justify the price?

Remember, that it\’s not the price, but the reasons for the price that are the most important. You say, Mr. Prospect, it may sound like a lot of money, but let me tell you why it costs what it does and why it is worth every penny.

You then explain the values and benefits of your product or service to the prospect that more than justify the price. Be proud of your prices when the prospect says things like it cost too much or you charge more than your competition, you say, Mr. Mrs. Prospect, you are right.

As a matter of fact, it costs $1,227 more than our closest competition. And yet we sell thousands of these every year to intelligent people like you who are equally cost-conscious. Would you like to know why we sell so many?

You then explain why people buy from you and continue to buy even at higher prices. Make every attempt to neutralize the price objection at the beginning. If you don\’t do this, it just sits there like a big orangutan in the middle of the path between you and the sale.

Number Ten. The just suppose close. You use the just suppose close. When the prospect says that he can\’t afford what you are selling. You reply and say, Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, just suppose that price is not an obstacle and that we can deal with your price concerns to your complete satisfaction. Can we do that for just a moment so that I can finish showing you what I\’ve got? The prospect will usually say OK, by the time you get to the end of the presentation, you should have explained the value of what it is. You are selling in such detail that when you tell them the price, he will see that it makes sense. Just say, just suppose the price is not an obstacle can I go on.
Number Eleven. The sudden death close? The sudden death close is a technique you can use as an ultimatum with a prospect who won\’t say yes and won\’t say no. You\’ve probably had an experience where you\’ve made a presentation in the person, or the company has not made a decision. You go back to the prospect who says he or she needs to think about a little bit more. You go back again, and it\’s the same story. He or she still needs time to think about it a bit longer. The prospect won\’t give you an answer one way or the other. After four or five visits, you realize you\’re spending too much time going back to this person. He or she won\’t make a decision, and you\’re losing time that you could be used to call another other prospects. It\’s time for the sudden death close, which worked successfully about 60 percent of the time.
Here\’s what you do. You fill out the sales contract with all the details, except for the signature, exactly the way you\’ve discussed the product or service with the customer. You take it back to the prospects, and you say, Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, we\’ve discussed this quite a bit now, and I know this has taken up a lot of your time. It\’s taken up a lot of my time as well, and either this is a good idea for you, or it\’s not, so one way or another, let\’s make a decision right now. What do you say? You take out the contract, put a tick mark next to the signature line. Put your pen on top of the contract. Slide it across the desk and say, now, if you\’ll just authorize this, we can get started right away. You then remain completely silent and wait. If you will just authorize this, we can get started right away.

Sometimes the silence can go on for several minutes or even longer. But the longer you wait quietly without speaking, the more likely it is that the prospect will decide to buy. The greater the tension, the more likely the sale. The only pressure that you are allowed to use in a sales presentation is the pressure of the silence after you\’ve asked the closing question, and the basic rule is this the one who speaks first after the closing sale loses in 60 percent of cases? The prospect will look at you, look down to the contract, look back at you and then finally make the buying decision and sign it, and the other 40 percent of cases, the prospect will finally say no and push it back to you. In either case, the indecision is over, and you can get back to calling on new prospects.

Number Twelve. The sharp angle close, you use the sharp angle close when the prospect wants the product, but it\’s bringing up all sorts of smokescreen objections. These are not serious reasons for not buying; they are just excuses for not going ahead with the sale. For example, the prospect might say, Well, I don\’t know if we can afford the monthly payments with a sharp angle or bear trap close. You turn the objection around and use it as a reason for buying, you reply. If we could spread the payments over a longer period and get them down. Would you take it?
You used the objection as a way of closing by answering it with a solution and then asking for the order. You close on the objection. The prospect says. I don\’t think that your product will perform to my specifications. You say if we can prove to you that it will.

Will you take it to the prospects as well? I don\’t think you can get it here on time, you immediately say. If we can get it delivered to you on schedule, will you take it? This approach forces the prospect to say either yes, I\’ll take it, or that\’s not the real reason why I\’m hesitating about making a buying decision. This gives you a chance to uncover exactly why the prospect is holding back from a decision.

Number Thirteen. The Instant Reverse Close. The Instant Reverse Close is a technique that you can use in many sales situations. It takes courage to use it the first time, but once you\’re comfortable with it, it\’s very effective. For example, let us say that a prospect says I can\’t afford it. You immediately respond by saying that\’s exactly why you should buy it. The prospect will react with surprise. What?
How do you mean you\’re sensing Mr. Prospect? That\’s exactly why you should take it. And then, you explain how and why the prospect will benefit from paying more than he or she was expecting to pay for what you are selling. You may not even have an answer when you first say this, so you have to think of the answer very quickly. A logical answer. It doesn\’t have to be great. It just has to be logical. Here\’s another way that you can use the instant reverse close. You call a prospect to arrange an appointment, and the person on the line says, I\’m not interested.

Have you ever heard that before you say, Mr. Prospect? That\’s exactly why I\’m calling. I didn\’t think you would be interested. The prospect will be caught off guard. What do you mean? You\’ll say? You say, Mr. Prospect. Most of our very best customers were not interested when we first contacted them, but now they\’ve become our best customers and they recommend us to their friends. The prospect will usually say, Well, really? What is it then?

And you say it\’s exactly what I would like to talk to you about. I just need 10 minutes of your time, and I have something I have to show you. You then move immediately to close on the appointment. The prospect might say, We don\’t use that in our house. You say that\’s exactly why you should take it.

What? Well, if you keep using the same product, Mrs. Prospect, you\’ll never have any idea of all the others that are available to you today. And then, you proceed to ask for a few minutes to show the prospect how your product or service is better or more affordable than he or she might have thought.

Number Fourteen. The change places close. The change places close is simple, you\’re giving a presentation, and you\’re getting sales resistance. The prospect will not tell you the key issue of why he or she is holding back from buying what you were selling. For every product or service that a prospect can buy, there is a key benefit that he or she wants to enjoy. And there\’s a key issue or key objection that stops him or her from buying it. Until you can discover that key objection and remove it, the prospect will not buy from you. Many of your closing techniques are ways of getting the prospect to tell you what is stopping him or her from making a decision.
Here\’s how you use that change places close in this situation. You say, Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, would you change places with me just for a second? Please put yourself in my shoes. Prospects will do this if they are at all empathetic. You say, imagine if you were talking to someone that you really respected and you were showing him a product or service that was really good for him, and he wouldn\’t tell you why he wouldn\’t make a decision one way or another. What would you do if you were in my position? Almost invariably, the prospect will say, Well, I\’ll tell you why I\’m hesitating, and he or she will give you his or her reasons for hesitating, enabling you to overcome the hesitation and go on with the sale. Or you can simply say, Mr. Mrs. Prospect, what would you do if you were in my position? To prompt for more information, you can ask, tell me, is it the money? If the prospect says yes, it\’s the money, you can then ask Mr. Mrs. Prospect, what would we have to do to satisfy you on that point? Or what would we have to do to make it work for you? Or how far apart are we?

These are powerful closing questions. If the prospect says no, it\’s not the money you can then ask, then may I ask what it is? It\’s causing you to hesitate if he or she then tells you the reason you can ask what would we have to do to satisfy you on that point?

Most people are honest. They will say, Well, this is what we would have to do to make a deal, and you say, OK, let me see what I can do, and at least you\’re still in the game. You still have a chance to sell.

Number Fifteen. The secondary close. This is one of the most popular of all closing techniques. You use it to close on a secondary issue. Sometimes it\’s called the minor point close. For example, imagine you were selling a car and the prospect has not yet made a decision, you say. By the way, would you want the standard CD player or the full surround sound system in your car? It doesn\’t matter to you which the prospect chooses if he or she gives you an answer. The prospect has decided to buy the car. The sound system is a minor point. Purchasing a car is the main issue. Let\’s say you\’re selling a house before the prospects have even said that they\’re ready to buy, you ask.
By the way, would you want to take possession on the first or the 15th of the month?

The occupancy date is a minor or secondary point. Whichever date they select, they\’d made the decision to buy the house. In other words, you close on a minor question rather than on the entire purchase decision. It\’s much easier for a prospect to make a decision on a minor point than on the whole offer. You can always find a minor point to close on. You can ask Will that be cash or charge even before the prospect has decided whether to buy? Well, I\’ll pay cash. The prospect has made the buying decision. How he or she pays for it is a minor issue.

Number Sixteen. The alternative close. The alternative close is based on the rule that you never offer a prospect. The choice between something and nothing always makes it a choice between one of two items always offer a choice between Product A or Product B. Which house do you like better, this one or that one? Which car do you prefer? The two-door or the four-door?
Which type of tires would you like? The radios or the standard ones always give the prospect at least two choices. The prospect will often answer and say, Well, I like the product better, or I like the product, be better, or I don\’t like either product.

You can then ask why this gives you an opportunity to continue selling, but don\’t ever ask, Do you want this or not? If you have only one product, you can offer a choice in methods of payment.

Would you like to pay with cash or a credit card? You can offer a choice and delivery options. Would you like us to send it out, or would you like to take it with you? Always try to offer a choice of some kind, either of which leads to a sale.

Number Seventeen. The preference close. Always ask, Which do you prefer? This is called the preference close. Which do you prefer? Asking people which they prefer is a good way of finding out where you are in the sales presentation.
This is another version of the alternative clothes, and it\’s very effective at getting a buying response from a prospect.

Number Eighteen. The assumption close. The assumption close is often called the talking past the sale close. You simply assume that the person has decided to buy. You talk exactly as if he or she has just said yes, I\’ll take it.
You assume the sale and ask something like, How would you like to make payment? Or Where would you want this delivered? Or how soon do you need it?

For example, imagine that you have just finished your presentation for a new car.

You ask, How would you like to pay for this? Our finance company or yours? Even before the prospect says Yes, I\’ll take it. You ask, how would you like to pay for this? You assume that he or she has decided to buy. You talk past the sale, and you go on to wrap up the details. This assumption closes is one of the most powerful closes you can learn, and it takes only a little practice to master.

Number Nineteen. The summary close. The summary close is used at the end of the presentation. You say, Now let\’s just briefly go over what we\’ve talked about. You then summarize everything that you have just discussed. And explained, you summarize the features and the benefits one by one. You go through the entire list right down to the last reason the prospects should buy; you then ask, can you think of anything else?
The prospect will usually say, No, I think you\’ve covered everything; you then say, Well, then why don\’t you give it a try? Or Why don\’t we get started on this right away? Or why don\’t you take it? And you just simply closed the sale. When you summarize all the reasons for buying the product or service one after another, you build the maximum buying desire in the prospect. You lower his or her resistance and prepare for the closing question.

For example, let\’s say that you\’re selling a home. You say before you make a decision, let\’s look at all the features of this particular home. Well, it has this open kitchen, and it has a big backyard, and it does have four bedrooms and a den. It has a double garage.

It\’s on a quiet street, close to schools and shopping. It\’s well built and cared for, and the price fits within your guidelines and so on. You can probably come up with 40 positive features if you really think about it. Often, the prospect is not fully aware of how good a product or service is until the salesperson describes it perfectly. A summary close can be a powerful way to convince the prospect overwhelmingly that what you\’re selling is the ideal choice for him or her.

Number Twenty. The order sheet or contract agreement close. The order sheet close is used at the beginning of the sales process, right when the conversation begins. The first thing you do is you pull out an order sheet and write the date on it. From then on, whenever the prospect says anything about the product or service, you write it on the order sheet.
The prospect may try to stop you by saying, Wait a minute, don\’t write anything down. I\’m not buying anything today; I\’m just looking. You reply, I understand, but I have a terrible memory for detail, so I just like to write everything down. And if you don\’t buy anything today, we\’ll just throw it away, OK? And you keep writing on the order sheet. Eventually, the prospect gets used to seeing his or her information written on your sales contract it becomes harder and harder not to be ready to buy when the sales conversation is over. Another way that you can use the order sheet close is to just pull out the order sheet at the end of the presentation and start filling it out. I assume the sale and begin completing the details. The customer has to stop you from writing to stop the sale from proceeding. You then say, could you give me the exact spelling of your last name for mailing purposes? If they do so, they\’ve made the decision to buy.

Number twenty-one. The relevant story close. This is a powerful closing technique because we make most of our buying decisions with the right brain. The right brain is stimulated by stories and pictures. Whenever you can create a picture, as in the power of suggestion close or whenever you can use visual sales aids, or whenever you can tell a story about your product or service, you can stimulate the prospect to buy. People may forget all the technical details of your product in 10 minutes, but they\’ll remember a story about your product or service for years.
You can use a relevant story when the prospect is having trouble making a decision. You can use it in the middle of a presentation as well. You can tell a relevant story about another prospect who is hesitating about buying this product or service and then finally decided to do it. Tell how happy that person is now because of that decision. You can use stories especially to arouse a buying desire or to answer objections to arouse buying desire. You tell stories about your happy customers and how much they enjoy using your product or service. To answer objections, you say, that reminds me of Sam Smith, one of our best customers. He was concerned about the price as well, but now he says that this is one of the best decisions he ever made.

Stories are very powerful.

Number Twenty-two. The doorknob close. This is also called the lost sale close. It\’s a technique that you can use when you have almost lost the sale. Let\’s say that you\’ve made your presentation; you’ve given it your best shot. The prospect will not budge. He still has that one major issue, that one major objection that is holding him back. He\’s not telling you as objection because he knows that if he tells you you\’re going to answer it and make the sale, you\’ve said everything you can think of. You\’ve asked all the right questions. Is it the money you\’re concerned about?
How far apart are we? What do we have to do to make a deal today? The prospect keeps saying, Well, I\’m not sure I want to think it over, but he won\’t tell you what it is. It\’s stopping him from buying. You know that he can afford it and that he likes it and wants it and so on.

Finally, say, Mr. Prospect, thank you very much for your time. I know how busy you are, and I appreciate you\’re talking to me. I\’ll be on my way now.

You close your briefcase, stand up and go to the door. You put your hand on the doorknob. At this moment, the prospect begins to think about what he\’s going to do as soon as you leave his sales, resistance drops. You then turn around and say, Oh, by the way, just before I go, I was wondering about something. I know that you\’re not going to buy anything today, but I wonder if you could help me with my sales presentation.

Could you tell me what was the real reason that you didn\’t buy today?

Often the prospect to say, Well, I\’ll tell you the real reason was this at that point, you take your hand off the doorknob, you go back and sit down, you set down your briefcase. You say, Mr. Prospect, I\’m so glad you told me that that\’s my fault. Obviously, I didn\’t explain that part of our offering to you. May I go over that point just one more time? Now you have the key reason for not buying. And if you can answer it effectively, you can close 50 percent or more of these lost sales.

Number Twenty-three. The referral close. The basic rule is that you should never leave a prospect or a purchaser without getting at least two referrals when you finish speaking with a prospect or a client, whether he or she buys or not.
There are various ways to get referrals. Here\’s an example you say Mr. Prospect or Mrs. Prospect. I know you\’re not in a position to make a decision today, but could you give me the names of two or three people whom you think might be able to take advantage of this offer? This is a form of the alternative close. You give her a choice between two or three referrals. A prospect will almost always pick two because it\’s easier, she says. Well, yes, I can give you a couple of names. Prospects will usually give you the first names that pop into their minds, people that they know quite well. These will be the names of friends or business associates. You then ask Mrs. Prospect what you happen to have their phone numbers handy. Prospects will usually have the phone numbers nearby.

You write down the numbers now that you\’ve closed on the phone numbers. You ask, Which of these prospects should I call first? Here you\’re using another alternative close.

She might say, Well, call Bill first. Now she has answered affirmatively to four questions in a row. You then ask Mrs. Prospect, Would you call Bill right now and tell him that I\’m coming over?

She says, Well, sure, she picked up the phone calls bill and made an appointment with him.

As you sit there, the reason why a referral is so much more powerful than a cold call is that with a referral, you have all the credibility of the person who is referring you with a cold call. You start off with little or no credibility at all, and credibility, the amount that the prospect trusts you and believes you are the critical factor in buying.

You need 100 percent credibility before the prospect will buy. If you get a referral, you start off with 90 percent credibility already. It\’s only natural if someone whom you know and respect sends somebody to see you, you will treat that stranger with the same courtesy as you would treat your friend. Always ask for referrals. Never leave a presentation, if at all possible, without at least two referrals.

Here\’s another idea with regard to referrals, go back to all of your previous customers. Call them up and ask them how they\’re doing. Are they happy with what they bought? Do they have any problems or questions? Is there anything that you can do for them? If possible, go and call on them in person. I have a friend who\’s an excellent salesperson every January, right after the holidays. He calls on every customer he\’s got. He spends two or three weeks calling on all of the people who have bought from him after making sure that they don\’t have any problems and ensuring that they\’re happy. He asks each one for two or three referrals.

It takes him the next six months to work through all those referrals. He makes half his sales for the year without any cold calling. Any person he\’s been selling for more than 90 days should be working off referrals. Most of the time, referrals that people give you or that come to you as a result of good things that you\’ve done in the marketplace are worth their weight in gold.

Number Twenty-Four. Perhaps the most important quality for sales success is boldness. You must learn to act boldly and close boldly. Ask for the order with boldness and courage.
Number Twenty-Five. Ask for the sale confidently, as if you expect the prospect to buy.
Number Twenty-Six. Ask as though it\’s impossible to fail. Ask the closing question like it\’s inconceivable that the prospect could say anything, but yes, look the part.
Dress and groom like a top salesperson. This gives you confidence and impresses the prospect. Speak clearly and confidently. Make sure that your voice is strong and bold when you ask. Ask is if you expect the prospect to say yes to close strongly and consistently.

  • You must be enthusiastic about what you are doing.
  • You must love your product.
  • You must believe in your company.
  • You must constantly expect to succeed.

Especially you must persist, as Napoleon Hill said, \”Persistence is to the character of man, as carbon is to steel.\”

If you persist and refuse to give up, you must eventually succeed greatly if you keep selling and asking for the sale. No matter how many times prospects tell you no, you will become excellent in this profession. No matter how many phone calls you make or customers, you approach the doors you knock on, no matter how many times you get turned down.

If you will keep persisting and persistent and persisting, you will become one of the great salespeople of your generation.

These are the 26 best closing techniques of all time. They are vital sales tools. You have to master them through study and practice. The more tools you have in your sales toolbox, the more likely you are to make a sale. For some fields of selling, you\’ll need only two or three closing techniques, and you use those all the time. But the more sales closing techniques you know, the more confident you will become at closing. The more sales you will make and the more successful you will be.