Every salesperson who wishes to stay in the profession must learn how to close sales effectively. Building a relationship with a prospect, and educating them about your products or services, is all for naught if you can’t convince them to buy what you’re selling.

Many closing techniques have been discussed by the top sales professionals in all fields. These five have proven to be effective in many different sales situations and over many years.


Always be closing

This technique – often shortened to the acronym “ABC” – highlights a key aspect of sales interactions: that the purchase decision can happen at any moment. Because you never know exactly what the prospect is thinking or how long the conversation will last, you should be constantly looking for opportunities to close the sale. For example, don’t assume that the prospect wants to listen to an entire 30 minute product demonstration – he might make a comment halfway through that indicates he’s ready to make the purchase decision.


Ask about next steps

You should never just end a conversation with a prospect and walk away without subsequent steps being discussed. The next step question forces the prospect to come up with something to tell you. If he can’t think of anything else to say, the decision to purchase may be the obvious statement from his mouth.


Expect something in return

The interaction between a salesperson and a prospect involves back and forth, give and take. You should always be willing to respond to whatever the prospect requests – but it’s reasonable to ask for something in return. If a prospect wants a demonstration of how your accounting software works, ask them to accept a trial version in return. If a prospect asks you about available financing options for a big-ticket item, ask them about their available budget for the purchase.


Add value

If the prospect is concerned about the price, add value. While you probably can’t be flexible on price, there is a range of ways in which you can insert additional value into a transaction. If you’re selling a computer service and the prospect balks at the hourly fee, add a remote monitoring service or an anti-virus program for no extra charge.


Stay positive

Everybody responds to a positive attitude and a smiling disposition. Even the most cynical, suspicious prospect will be unable to resist your willingness to answer every question, respond to every objection, and agree to every request. Your positivity should eventually convince the prospect that you’re being genuinely sincere and helpful.

The five techniques will not work with every prospect on every occasion. Sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control that affect a prospect’s willingness to close a deal. But using these methods will give you the best chance of closing any sale with any prospect.

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