10+ Closing techniques and tactics covered here by “The Sales Doctor” include:
- The Trial Close
- The Order Blank Close
- The 1-10 Close
- The Porcupine Close
- The Feel-Felt-Found Close
- The Similar Situation Close.
- The Reduction to the Ridiculous Close
- The Direct Question Close
- The Secondary Question Close
- The Alternative Choice Close
- The Lost Sale Close
How many closing techniques do you really know and use?
In recent surveys, most salespeople could only recite 2.
To be really competent in this “ART OF CLOSING”, we must know and use multiples of techniques in combination, much like a prize fighter. They win the match with a series of combinations.
These 10+ Powerful Closes are going to require that you actually go through the hard headed process of learning. You’ve got to learn them. As you will see when we get into some of the more advanced closers, the words themselves are very critical.
The Trial Close
In his book, “Sales Closing Power” and in his Masters of Success Sales Training Series, J Douglas Edwards says “don’t be so eager to tell them. Understand the principle of asking them. We miss so many opportunities of closing the sale by suffering from of the salesperson’s diseases… It’s called diarrhoea of the mouth. Salespeople just talking, talking, talking.
A trial closing question is not, and I repeat is not, a question that requires a decision.
A trial closing question is a question where you ask the prospect for their opinion, not a decision
Some examples of these trial closing questions are:
- How do you feel about the ….. ?
- In your opinion ….. ?
- Are you happy with …..?
- Do you like ….. ?
- What do you think about the….. ?
- You must ask at least three or four trial closing questions before asking a closing question
- With trial closes you are testing the water….Testing the temperature of the prospect and their keenness to own your product or service.
- I was taught use a go, trial close, trial close, trial close…… Close.
- Test the water, test the water, test the water….Close.
- Most salespeople do no trial closing and wonder why they get negative responses to their closing efforts. Be different. Be professional.
- Trial close, as a habit, before closing.
The Order Blank Close
The Order Blank close is known as the basic close. You can’t succeed in sales without using this closing technique.
As the World’s Best Sales Trainer, J Douglas Edwards said… “To use your order Blank Close is a very simple process. You ask the customer a question, the answer to which you write down on your Order Blank, Agreement or Company paperwork.
Rather than saying… Shall we go ahead?… You simply ask a reflex question and write the answer on your order Blank.
These questions could be:
- How do I spell your full name?
- What is your correct mailing address?
- Where do you want delivery to be made?
As you ask the questions, you fill out the paperwork. If they don’t stop you, you made a sale.
All the questions you are asking are reflex questions. These are all questions that they don’t have to think about when answering.
When you have completed your company paperwork, just ask…”Could you please approve this for me.”…and hand them your pen.
NOTE…Please delete the word sign from your vocabulary and replace it with approve, okay, or endorse.
Check out www.davidjackson.com.au Free Stuff Good vs Nasty Words.
One thing to remember is when you ask a closing question….Shut up!
You see, if you shut up, only one of two things can happen.
- No 1 … they go along with you
- No 2 … they give you a reason for not going along with you.
Either way, you should be in control in both situations.
Personally, having listened to many sales trainers over the past 30+ years and the two words shut up, are the most important words you will ever learn as a closer. Remember … when you ask a closing question ….. Shut Up!
www.jdouglasedwards.com.au check out Sales Training Series resources.
The 1 to 10 Close
This is one of my favourite closing techniques taught to me by American sales training guru Joe Charbonneau CSP.
This is one of the best ways in asking your prospect where they are at on a scale of 1 to 10 and what you should be doing to move them to a 10 out of 10.
Salesperson….Name, on a scale of 1 to 10, one being that we’re absolutely nowhere and 10 being that you would like to own the product or service, whereabouts do you see yourself?
Prospect… About a seven.
Salesperson ….. That’s great. If you were me, what do you think I should be doing to move you from a 7 to 10?
Prospect ….. The price is still a little too much. Give me a better price.
Salesperson ….. Thanks for that name. So other than the price, are you happy to move forward with us?
Prospect ….. Yes
We now know what the real objection is. Handle it.
If the prospect gives you a number of four or less out of 10, go back to the start of your presentation and demonstration and find some hot buttons. At a score of less than 4/10, these people are not ready to close, their temperature is too low.
Salesperson….Name on a scale of 1 to 10 one being that your not very enthused by this product and 10 being that should love to take it home right now if possible, whereabouts do you see yourself
Prospect I suppose around about six salesperson
Salesperson that’s great. We are not far away. Let me ask you, what would you like me to do to move you from a 6 to 10
Prospect well, you said it would take two months to deliver. I do want to wait that long. The longest I can wait is two weeks, not two months
Salesperson thank you name. So other than the delivery date, you are happy to move forward with us
Prospect ….. Yes, but I can’t wait two months
Salesperson….Can you be a bit flexible on the two weeks?
Prospect ….. A little. I could go to four weeks.
Salesperson… So just to clarify my thinking, if we were able to deliver the product within a four week period we can conclude this business
Prospect ….. Yes
Salesperson….Do get the product within a four week period to the prospect or offer him or her alternative products now so you can have some options.
The Porcupine Close/Secondary Question Close
This is a closing technique where you answer a question with a question.
Prospect… Can I have it delivered on Wednesday?
Salesperson …. If I can have it for you on Wednesday, shall we order it?
Prospect… Does it come in red?
Salesperson…. If I can get it for you in red , do you want to take it now?
Prospect …. Can I get the finance over a five-year period?
Salesperson… If I can get the finance for you for a five-year period,
are you happy to move forward?
Prospect …. Can I get the photocopier with a colour option fitted?
Salesperson….If I have one in stock with the colour option fitted, you want to take it now or have it delivered?
Most salespeople answer the prospects question with the yes or no. When you do this, the conversation ends. No more talk.
Be different….When the prospect asks you a question, use the Porcupine Technique and answer the question with a question. It keeps you in control of the conversation.
Obviously you can’t do this with every question given to you by the prospect, but you certainly can answer the question with a question a lot more often than you are doing now.
The Feel – Felt – Found Close
This is one of the oldest closing techniques in the book, and certainly one of the easiest to learn and use. These three words, feel, felt, and found are keys to 1 of the most empathetic of all closing techniques.
Let’s look at an example:
- Prospect…. I just want to think it over.
- Salesperson…. That’s fine. I understand how you feel.
- Many of my other customers have felt the same way about major decisions..
- May I share with you what they found.
- Prospect…… Yes, sure.
- Salesperson…… Now go to similar situation close.
- Prospect….I need to get some of the prices/quotes.
- Salesperson….That’s fine name. I understand how you feel
I’ve had many customers who felt the same way and said the same thing.
May I have your permission to explain to you what they have found?
Prospect ….. Of course.
The Similar Situation Close
These are closes where you tell a story about someone just like them, and there are two kinds of them. One is what we call plus story. You tell a story about people or a company just like them who made the yes decision and how much they gain from that decision
The second is a negative story similar situation. This is simply telling the story about someone who didn’t make the decision, someone just like them or a company just like theirs and how much they missed out on and suffered because of not making a decision.
The Reduction to the Ridiculous Close
It costs too much…… A money objection.
This is one of the most common objections you will get and it can be answered so easily with the Reduction to the Ridiculous closing technique. This technique focuses on the difference in the amount that you want for the product and what the prospect wishes to pay. Let’s have a look at an example:
ASK …. How much too much?
Prospect …. The motor vehicle is about $3000 too much.
Salesperson …. Thank you. So what you’re saying is you think our vehicle is around $3000 too much, is it correct?
Prospect…. Yes, I like it but my budget is $28,000.
Salesperson…. OK. May I ask you, how long were you thinking of keeping your new car?
Prospect …. I keep all of my cars about five years.
Salesperson …. Could you just take my calculator and put in these numbers for me?
Prospect…. [prospect does the numbers, not you ,where possible]
Salesperson …. Could you put in $3000 and divide it by five. What’s that come to?
Salesperson….That’s $500 per year. Could you divide that by 52 and tell me what do you get?
Prospect …. Around 11.5
Salesperson…. That’s about $11.50 per week extra you will need to invest in this vehicle. Please divide this by seven… What did you get?
Prospect …. Around $1.60
Salesperson…. Can I ask you, name, is a $1.60 day going to prevent you from owning the car of your dreams? It’s less than a cup of coffee per day.
By doing the maths above and having the customer or prospect involved with your calculator, you are able to see how we can reduce the initial amount of $3000 down to $1.60 per day.
It is now a $1.60 day decision, not a $3000 decision. This is the power of the
The Direct Question Close
The Direct Question Close is where you ask your prospect a direct question the answer to which can only be answered with the yes or no. It doesn’t matter either way. You, as a professional, will be able to handle it. Let’s look at some examples of some direct questions you can ask, the answers to which will affirm your prospects decision on the question ask
You want to go ahead?
Are you able to take delivery tomorrow?
Do you need finance?
Will anyone else be involved in your decision?
Do you want seafood for lunch?
Will you complete the task by 4pm?
The Puppy Dog Close
Many say and write this is the most powerful of all closing skills, yet you don,t have to close.
This is one of the most popular closers used to sell product today. Turn on your television, watch an information channel, and all you will see is we can deliver you our product for anywhere between seven and 30 days for no payment and all you have to do is try out the product. Free return with 30 days.
Research has shown that the moment that product is delivered to the person’s home or business, a very high percentage of products stay.
These products that can be delivered to your home for a trial period for no outlay include mobile air-conditioners, high-end vacuum cleaners, expensive beauty products cars, office equipment and high-end cleaning and maintenance products. The sellers know that once you the consumer gets the product in your hand and you like the features and benefits of the product, you respond by paying for it
This puppy dog close is without doubt one of the most effective closing techniques available
All you have to do is allow your product or service to be delivered, only outlay a delivery fee, to your prospect to try it out.
It’s a proven fact that once these products or services are delivered, you would need a crowbar to get them back from the prospect who has now become a customer.
On a personal basis, I used this close endlessly when a manager at City Ford in Sydney. When I lent a prospect a car overnight for them to evaluate with their family, my success of a sale was over 90%.
I was amazed and am still amazed how very simple this is. All you have to do is let someone have it overnight, a few days or up to a month before asking for payment or seeking confirmation that a sale has been made.
The Alternative Choice Close
This is such an easy close to master.
You give the prospect a choice between buying this all buying that, or buying this way or buying that way.
- Which do you prefer, cash or credit?
- Which do you prefer, the vehicle in blue or green?
- Which do you prefer, diesel or petrol?
- Which do you prefer, the finance figures over 12 months or 24 months?
- Which do you prefer, a reservation for Saturday night or Sunday night?
- Which you prefer, the three-bedroom or the four-bedroom townhouse?
Always start your alternate choice question with the words….Which do you prefer?
Your answer will always be one or the other.
The Lost Sale Close
As the saying goes, you don’t win them all.
Here is a close taught by the greatest sales Trainer ever, J Douglas Edwards and this to be used when you feel as though it’s all over. You have tried everything and nothing has worked. You have attempted using a variety of closes for no benefit. Here is a simple three step process for giving it one last shot:
- No 1 ….. Pack your bag or stand up if at your desk with your prospect
- No 2 ….. As you get to the door, stop, turn around slowly and face the prospect
- No 3…. Ask a question….May ask you a question?
Customer ….. Sure
Salesperson ….. I was wondering if you could help me?
Firstly, I just want to apologise to you for not being able to give you the product or service that you first inquired about.
Just so I don’t make the same mistake again, would you mind telling me what I should have done to earn your business?
Was a product the right product?
Do you believe the product was good value?
Were you happy with the delivery time?
Did you find warranty period and conditions acceptable?
And lastly, were you happy with the financial arrangements,.
Customer…… As I told you previously, I still think your prices a bit high. Salesperson… Thank you, name. So just to clarify my thinking, other than the price, you’re happy to move forward with us on the product?
Customer…… Yes, if you can be a bit flexible on your price I’m happy to buy
Salesperson……So, how much too much are we?
You have probably discussed this price issue a number of times. Now, you have one last chance to close a sale. I suggest to you at this time you go through the Reduction to the Ridiculous closing technique if you haven’t used it or if you have used it, do it again or if possible, have third person in the more senior situation or position assist you as the final point of any negotiation
As the saying goes….It’s never over till the fat lady sings.
The Lost Sale Close certainly needs practice and use at every available Lost Sale situation.
The Assumptive Close
This is at sales closing technique where we assume that the customer wants to buy / own the product or service and we act accordingly.
Here are some examples:
- What delivery date would you like?
- How would you like to pay for it?
- When should we start getting this program implemented?
- How soon you want it?
- Where do you want it delivered to?
About David Jackson CSP
David is internationally known as “THE SALES DOCTOR” for his Vitamins for Success and prescriptions for uplifting Profits. He has over 30 years of experience as an internationally recognised Sales Skills and Communication Coach including Keynote Public Speaker. David brings the ability to positively transform the skills and attitudes of his audiences with humour and real world experiences. He will lift and elevate you to a new level.
Follow David on www.davidjackson.com.au or www.thesalesdoctor.com.au