After 20 years in sales as both a rep and a leader, I’ve seen a lot of deals won (and lost). For a long time, selling didn’t change much. But, the rate of change in the way buyers evaluate and buy has been huge over the past few years.
When I first got started in sales, if you needed to buy something, you had to work directly with a salesperson. Now, buyers spend only 5% of the buying journey with a sales rep and virtually 100% of buyers say they would prefer to self-serve part or all of their buying journey. Moreover, there are more stakeholders involved in deals now than ever before, with an average of six to 10 people on every buying committee.
All this is to say that, for sales reps today, closing a sale is a tougher climb. And, as a sales leader, I’m always thinking about how to evolve my team’s capabilities so they can better achieve their goals in this new environment.
Today, I’m sharing 14 sales closing tips and techniques that you can rely on to bring the deal home, faster. Let’s get started ⚡️
7 Sales Closing Techniques That Work Every Time
There’s no one way to close a sale. After all, what you say at the end of the sales journey depends entirely on who your buyer is and what they are looking for.
Here are seven sales closing techniques you can use to push that deal across the finish line.
1. The Assumptive Close
What it is: Trust that you will definitely close the deal and use language that affirms that belief.
What to say: As the call comes to a close, finish answering any lingering questions. Then, without hesitation, launch directly into the next steps:
“Let’s get this set up by [date] so that we can hit your goal of [X]. We’ll go ahead and schedule your onboarding and training for [date], and you’ll be up and running by the end of next month. Does that work for you?”
What to keep in mind: This only works after you’ve developed a relationship with the buyer and determined that your solution really is the right fit for them. This also works well as part of building a mutual success plan (more on that later).
2. The Opportunity Cost Close
What it is: Focus on what the prospect could lose if they don’t choose your solution.
What to say: Highlight the pains they will encounter if they choose not to work with you:
“I’d hate to see [negative consequence] happen to your company because you didn’t have the right tools. Would you like to take the next step to prevent that from happening?”
What to keep in mind: This technique is best for overcoming objections. So, use this technique if your buyer is on the fence about whether your solution is a smart investment or if they’re still unsure about the return on investment (ROI) they stand to gain.
3. The Try Before You Buy Close
What it is: Let the buyer try out your solution before they buy.
What to say: Invite your buyer to test drive your solution, no strings attached:
“If you’d like to try [the product] for 30 days for free with no obligation to buy, I can send one out to you by [date]. If it doesn’t work for you, just send it back. What do you think?”
What to keep in mind: The key is to offer your buyer the chance to use your product without needing to lock in a commitment. This helps increase trust because it removes much of the risk that comes with buying. Also worth noting: You might also hear this close referred to as the Puppy Dog Close. At Drift, we know there’s no such thing as a free puppy. Try before you buy is more on the money — and more likely to help you think of yourself as a trusted advisor (which you are!).
4. The Sharp Angle Close
What it is: For buyers angling to get something special out of the deal, work out a win-win deal between you and your prospect.
What to say: Incentivize the buyer to sign the deal by agreeing to grant their special request:
“If you are able to sign on before [date], I can commit to including [special request]. Does that work for you?”
What to keep in mind: For this strategy to work, you have to be able to make good on your promise in a reasonable time frame. It is important that the earlier signing date aligns with your buyer’s business goals as well.
5. The Question Close
What it is: Lead the buyer to your product by asking probing questions.
What to say: Move the deal forward by asking questions that drive the buyer to clarify their feelings towards your product, so you can respond to any concerns they have:
- Are there any roadblocks preventing this deal from happening?
- How well does our product/service meet your needs?
- What do you think is the logical next step for solving [key challenge]?
What to keep in mind: When you go in for the close, you’ll want to embed your findings from these questions into the final pitch, so that you’re offering specific solutions to your buyer’s problems.
6. The Commitment Close
What it is: Most of the time the best approach to closing is recapping well, making a confident recommendation, and then simply asking for the deal. Do this early on in the buying process, even before the evaluation is complete.
What to say: Just ask:
“If we are able to show you during this evaluation how we can meet your needs, would you like to move forward with [product/service]?”
What to keep in mind: For this to work, the salesperson needs to have a good read of the situation and an existing relationship with the buyer — much like the assumptive technique we discussed above.
7. The Video Close
What it is: Is there anything worse than getting to the finish line only to have things get bogged down at the negotiation stage? At Drift, we use video to clearly explain pricing for that respective deal and continue the conversation from there.
What to say: When you see your buyer viewing the video, jump in and chat with them in real time to address any questions or concerns about pricing:
“Is there anything I can answer right away?”
What to keep in mind: With Drift Video, you can lock your content so only specific individuals can see it. That way, your buyer can’t forward the pricing video or document to your competitors and use it as a bargaining chip.
How to Close a Sale More Quickly: 7 Tips
Now that you have these sales closing techniques in your toolkit, it’s time to start closing those deals. But what does it take to get to that final moment?
In a landscape where buying is naturally time-consuming, you want to stand out by delivering a fast and streamlined sales process. Here are seven tips that will help you create a buyer-centric experience that closes more deals, faster — no matter what play you run.
1. Treat Every Interaction Like a Mini Close
There’s a lot you can cover during an hour-long sales call. The last thing you want is for your buyer to leave the meeting thinking about a stray comment or random product detail. As a seller, you want to ensure your buyer walks away convinced that your solution is the right solution for them.
That’s why you should end every conversation with a mini close. Recap everything you’ve learned about your buyer’s goals and challenges, and drive home the value that your solution can create for them.
This is the storyline you should be threading throughout the entire deal. By doing a mini close at the end of every meeting, you have a consistent and reliable way to remind your buyer why your solution is the one they need.
2. Build a Mutual Success Plan (Workback Plan)
Have you ever seen a deal drag out for an extra month or two? Then you probably know how much one stagnant deal can hurt.
To prevent your deals from losing momentum and eventually fizzling out, you need to create a mutual success plan immediately after your first discovery call. You can do this by mapping out all the steps that need to happen from discovery to close and then determining how you will resource those steps (e.g. bringing a manager in for a specific meeting, providing security documents, etc.).
A mutual success plan gives you a clear strategy for how you’re going to get to a signed contract. And, more importantly, it helps you stay on track for your customers’ target go-live date, ensuring that no step is overlooked and that you are continuously driving towards a closed deal.
Here is a snapshot of the template Drift uses:
3. Identify Your Decision-Makers
Remember how I mentioned that the average buying committee today has between six and 10 decision-makers? Well, if you want to successfully make the sale, you’ll need to fine-tune your selling to each person. Because while the head of marketing operations has completely different priorities from the head of sales, you may have to get both on board for the deal to close.
That’s why you should do the work upfront to figure out what the buying group looks like, what they care about, and what objections might slow your deal. You have to understand the full scope of what the buyer is trying to accomplish and how your product is going to solve that problem. You can figure all this out by consulting your sales champion, early and often.
But it’s not enough to do this just once. With every new stakeholder that gets involved, restate your business case and ask them for their feedback. This way, you can gain a full understanding of what that person wants, which use cases matter to them, and what objections they have — so that, in the end, you can address everyone’s viewpoints and win them all over.
4. Sell the Solution, Not the Product
From your first call to your final interaction, your buyers want to know: Why are they buying from you? And why should they be buying now?
Your buyers aren’t interested in a long list of product features. Instead, you want to focus on how your product can solve their problems.
So, every time you talk to the prospect, tie back to your buyer’s specific goals and reframe the conversation around how you can help them achieve those outcomes. As long as you continue to talk about solutions, you won’t end up being seen as just another product for their tech stack.
5. Use Asynchronous Communication to Your Advantage
While hour-long calls and Zooms are helpful, remember that buying is a full-time job. And, as a seller, the most important thing you need to do is to get your buyer the information they need, when they need it.
So, instead of booking dozens of calls, leverage asynchronous communication, like text, video, and chat, to quickly deliver information and answer buyer questions. For example, our sellers like to use Drift Video to send personalized messages or explain concepts that are too complicated for email. Plus, video gives us an extra opportunity to answer questions and book meetings with the chatbot.
Asynchronous communication like this allows you to get the point across quickly — without taking up unnecessary time and without having to book a meeting time that works for everyone on the buying committee. You can save weeks for both you and your buyer. And, considering how many people are involved in the sale, the quicker and easier you can make the process, the better.
6. Ask for the Sale
Surprisingly, a lot of sellers have a hard time popping the big question — they’d rather wait until they’re absolutely confident that the buyer will say ‘yes.’
Of course, you can’t do this on the first discovery call. But if you’ve made a good case for why your solution is the right fit for the buyer, go ahead and ask if they intend to buy. If the answer is ‘no,’ you can follow up by learning what their objections are so that you can effectively move the conversation forward.
7. Close Deals Faster with Drift Deal Room
Looking for an all-in-one solution that will give you a space to collaborate with your buyers to close your deals quickly and efficiently? We’ve got something that will help.
Introducing Drift Deal Room, a centralized hub where buyers and sellers can manage the entire sales process together. Deal Room ensures that every seller and decision-maker is in sync by providing access to all communications and resources (which is especially crucial for new stakeholders) and setting expectations through mutual action plans.