It’s time for the make-or-break moment. The final few lines of closing dialogue that determine whether or not a prospect becomes a customer.
The journey through the sales process will vary for just about every buyer, but let’s assume that at a minimum you’ve had at least one follow-up call or email exchange with your prospect, that you have a good understanding of their budget, who’s involved in the purchase decision, and what pain points your solution is expected to solve.
The following closing strategies, adapted from Hubspot, are intended to help you overcome any hesitation on the part of the buyer and actually sign them up as a customer.
This close relies on a positive mindset: approaching the deal as if the buyer has already said yes.
Going with this strategy requires a strong feel that you’ve answered all of the prospect’s outstanding questions and that they are positively disposed towards your solution.
Reading their body language, taking stock of the specific questions they ask (and their level of detail), and a lack of objections can all point to a possible assumptive close.
For example, if you feel that a conversation with a customer has gone particularly well, you can wrap up the conversation with a polite yet authoritative question like,
“Did this meeting go according to your expectations?”
“Does this product effectively address the pain point you mentioned?”
If they answer yes, then following up with a leading question around payment can sometimes be effective (assuming your offering costs a reasonable amount on a credit card):
“Would you like to be billed via credit card or should I email you an invoice?”
If you’ve answered an objection or two, consider:
“Is there anything else stopping you from (implementing our solution / going ahead with this) today?”
And, if the conversation has been brief but promising:
“Your time is valuable–let me have our operations team send you our agreement–does that sound good for you?”
The confidence you show the prospect with an assumptive close can sometimes tip the scales in your favor.
The summary close is similar to the assumptive close, requiring a similar level of confidence, with the added ingredient of a visual or written summary of the value your product will offer the buyer.
For example, if you’re pursuing a pandemic-era sale via video chat, you might end the conversation with a single slide summarizing the value of your product or service, or potentially a graphical representation of how it will help the buyer.
After you review the slide, “If that all sounds good to you, I can send over our contract for signature later this morning?”
Highlighting the key points in your conversation in one simple pitch brings a layer of concreteness to your discussion, refreshing your buyer’s memory and helping to close the deal.
“I Understand” Close
As mentioned previously, simply displaying confidence is important. But you can also show confidence more subtly while continuing to prove your value.
Empathizing with your customer’s issues, and explaining how your product or service has helped customers with similar issues to theirs, raises the security your buyer has in choosing to go with you.
“I understand where you’re coming from with that. Our customer [X] was looking to solve the exact same problem. They’ve seen incredible progress since implementing our solution and I’m confident you will too.”
Proving to customers that you have met issues and concerns that they currently have, and effectively solved them, inspires confidence that they would be in good hands with your company.
In certain cases, the best way to gauge if a customer is prepared to make a decision, is to simply be direct and ask them. If the buyer still has hesitation, try to address them directly and make a final push to prove value. Convince them that their problem will be solved with your support. And if they don’t have any hesitation, even better–you’ve got the deal.
“So, I think we’re on the same page that [X], at $[Y price] sounds like it will work. Is there any reason we can’t turn this into a contract?”
Now or Never Close
Sometimes, some light pressure can go a long way. This is a closing strategy that is based on conviction, but combines it with an offer, like a discount or another intangible benefit (priority support, premium onboarding, or similar).
The success of this strategy comes from inducing a sense of urgency for a customer who is showing signs of wanting to purchase, but isn’t quite over that line. Making them an offer they can’t refuse could be that tipping point.
“It sounds like this is a great fit for what you’re looking for. We’re offering customers that sign up with us this month [offer]. If you’d like to take advantage of that, I can get you set up before that promotion runs out?”
A Final Note on Closing Strategies
Every customer will be different. Experience will be your best friend in helping you determine the best way to convert your potential buyers into customers. Using these strategies can prove to provide a solid jumping off point for your own closing strategy.