The purpose of any closing technique is to get your customer to say ‘yes’.
In selling, this means the process used to bring your customer to a decision, whether that be yes or no. Closing sales is becoming increasingly difficult as customers are now savvier and more assertive than ever before.
In other words, they aren’t as daft as you think. With the help of comparison websites and celebrity customer service ‘Gurus’, consumers know they can source cheaper alternatives to your product/services at the click of a button.
There are six commonly recognised types of closing techniques:
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- The Confirmation Close
- The Conditional Close
- The Indirect Close
- The Direct Close
- The Assumptive Close
- The Alternative Close
Although successful in certain situations, not all of these closing techniques will help you close a sale or get your customer to sign onthe dotted line. Here’s why:
1. The Confirmation Close
The Confirmation Close is used throughout the entire sales pitch to lead the customer into giving a positive response at all times. It involves the use of ending sentences and questions with positive confirmation words like ‘Yes?’, ‘Agreed?’, ‘Okay?’ etc.
“You agree that you deserve the best quality and service, yes?”
“This is what will happen, agreed?”
Your customer will laugh you off the phone for asking ridiculous leading questions. Try to think about the real needs of your customer and clarify the sale with confirmation questions, such as: “Does that sound good to you?” Or, “What do you think about that?” This technique will elicit a much more positive response and show the customer you care about their needs.
2. The Conditional Close
The conditional close works on the basis that if you do something for the customer the customer will do something for you (normally to sign up). This closing technique builds up a social agreement on the premise of a sale in return for solving the customer’s a problem.
“Try our product/service for free and we will only charge if you don’t return it.”
“If I can get you a blue one, will you take it today?”
The customer will use your product/service for a trial period; return it and then move on to your competitors for another free trial.
Instead, set a closing objective which can be specifically measured. Depending on your product or service, sales might come after trials or several meetings of negotiation. Be patient and stick to your specific closing objective. Remember to start questions with variants of the phrase. “Will I…?” instead of “Will you…” as this will help avoid objections from the customer.
3. The Indirect Close
The Indirect Close is used to lead the customer to say ‘Yes’ at certain points during the conversation. By asking certain questions you lead the customer in agreeing that they like the product you are offering, which makes it then easier for advisors to start the whole sign-up process.
“I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a great offer?”
“That sounds great, doesn’t it?”
The customer knows that if they hold out, they’ll find another discount or better product/service somewhere else. Give them time to process the benefits of your product / service and consider the offer you have made them. Offering them this pause in the sale can be a nice surprise for the customer, who may have been expecting a harder selling style.
4. The Direct Close
Quite simply, the Direct Close involves asking the customer directly for their agreement to take the product you are offering.
“Would you like to go ahead and take the service?”
“Can I set this up for you now?”
Wait for the right moment. Check to make sure that the customer is actually ready and willing to buy. You’ll be able to judge this having had a positive conversation with the customer and identified that they are ready – otherwise, they’ll likely put their barriers up and reject the sale.
5. The Assumptive Close
The Assumptive Close is used to lead customers who are hesitant in to saying ‘yes’ to you. This technique assumes that the customer is going to say yes anyway, so advisors automatically begin any registration process as a natural part of the call.
“I’m just going to get this set up for you now…”
“To get this started can you confirm a few details for me?”
The customer will think you’re too pushy if you don’t time it correctly. Let the sale emerge from the conversation and clarify the situation before assuming the customer is really interested.
6. The Alternative Close
The Alternative Close is used where there is a choice of products or payment methods; anything that offers the customer a choice of methods of taking your product.
“What do you prefer, Package A or Package B?”
“Would you like to pay by A, B or C?”
Reality: The Alternative Close is a variation of the Assumptive Close, where you act as though the customer has already decided to buy. If you use too many alternatives, the customer will be faced with the complex decision of how they should choose between the alternatives offered.
We hope you’ve found our tips useful.