Closing Techniques

It is rare for customers to offer salespeople the business. They naturally expect that as you are there to sell, you should ask for it.

You should not be afraid that you will suffer in any way by asking for the business. The worst consequence is ‘No’ and that will always give you the chance to try again.

• The decision should be made as easy for the customer as possible
• Should be conducted as naturally as possible
• Should be part of the sales process - The salesperson
• Should make the customer feel good

In order to be competent in closing you need a number of different techniques which will enable you to close without high pressure. Here is a list of the more common closing techniques:


This is a case of directly asking for business:

E.g. "Shall we complete this paperwork?"
"can you get me the order number?"

The technique suits a number of salespeople with the direct style. A busy buyer will often appreciate this open and honest approach. However, many salespeople feel uncomfortable being so direct. Some buyers, and a number of situations require a more subtle approach.


Rather than asking for the business in a direct style, the indirect approach involves asking a question about when or how the buyer wishes to proceed.

E.g. "When do you need the new system installed?”
"How often do you require delivery?"

A positive answer from the buyer would indicate that the decision is being made in your favour and you may wish to respond as follows:

E.g. "As you want the system installed by 1st April and our delivery is 8 weeks, we should complete the paperwork to get the order here on time".
"If you need delivery twice a week, shall we arrange for two initially and if that is not sufficient we can always increase that to 3?"


A recognised method of giving the prospect an easier choice to make rather than difficult choice of should they buy or not.

E.g. "The next stage is to complete the order form - would you like to complete it or shall I?".

Who completes the paperwork is an easier decision to make than shall I buy or not.

(Also known as the yes hook)

A good technique to use either:

1. When there are strong reasons for the prospect to buy and s/he still needs this fact reaffirming in their mind.
2. When you believe that there are strong reasons to buy and you are not sure that the customer is fully convinced.
3. They are an analytical type of customer.


You "So the quality meets your specifications?"
Prospect "Yes"
You "You are happy that we can supply the volumes that you require?"
Prospect "Yes"
You "The price is within your budget?"
Prospect "Yes"
You "Our two day delivery time is within your three day requirement?"
Prospect "Yes"
You "So you are happy with all the details, shall we go ahead and complete the order form"
Prospect "Yes"

It is a recognised phenomenon that if a prospect says yes four times they are much more likely to say yes the fifth time.


You should always make the buying process as easy and as natural as possible for the prospect - as if this is what normally happens and that there is no big decision to make.


"Now that you are happy with all the details, the next stage is to complete the paperwork. How many units do you need for the first consignment?"


This technique can be used when the buyer questions what you are offering.


Buyer "We need a delivery turn around time of 2 weeks".

Salesperson "If we could guarantee delivery within 2 weeks, will you place an order?"

You can also use this technique when the product/service that you are presenting is not quite what the buyer wants.


Buyer "Your model is red and we only buy blue models".

Salesperson "If we can supply the model in blue to meet your requirements, would you place an order?"


A useful technique if the meeting has been long or when there has been a number of detailed meetings especially when a number of buyers are involved. You should summarise briefly the benefits of going ahead with your suggestions that specifically relate to the prospects circumstances.


"So to summarise, you require a supplier with ISO accreditation; which we have. You may require supplies of up to 1,000 units per month; which we can supply. You need a delivery turn-around time of 3 days, and we can supply in 2 days, and you require a 24-hour helpline in case of any problems; which we can provide at no extra cost. Therefore, we can meet all your requirements and the next stage is to complete the order form".


Many prospects are motivated by fear. They are often natural born worriers who will buy so that they will have less to worry about. Therefore, emphasise the loss of benefits of not proceeding or the potential consequences of not going ahead. Many industries continue to use this technique successfully; it is the classic "buy now whilst stocks last".


"Our 24 hour IT support package means that your system will only be down for a maximum of 1 hour, currently every time your system goes down you say that it takes a minimum of 2 hours to repair at a cost of £1,500 per hour in down time, therefore your system only needs to break down twice to pay for the support package for a year".


If you are offering any form of incentive you should always give a time limit. The time limit often prompts the action.

You can also benefit from giving a reason to buy now such as end of special offer period or impending price increase.


"As a valuable customer we can offer the 5% discount that you requested if the order is placed today".


"Placing your order today will guarantee …"


If some buyers are concerned about entering into a purchase agreement only to discover later that they have made the wrong choice or that your company does not deliver what you have claimed. In these circumstances, often when the buyer is hesitant about making a decision, the no obligation close can be appropriate.


"We offer a full refund if you are not completely satisfied, therefore you will have the opportunity to test the goods out and if you decide that they are not suitable we will refund payment in full".

Of course, you can only use this technique if this option is available to you.


Some buyers want third party confirmation/approval of what you claim. Often to speak to an existing customer in a similar situation to them. This is understandable, especially if the buyer is making a big decision for his business. However, offering a third party reference should always be used as an opportunity to close.


"I am happy to provide a reference for you to speak to. Upon speaking to a suitable reference, if you are happy with what they say, will you place the order?"

Using this technique gains commitment from the customer. Otherwise there is a possibility that the buyer will speak to the reference, and then have a further think about whether to proceed or not. You are also clarifying whether there is anything else preventing the buyer going ahead once they have spoken to the reference.

Closing is a very dynamic situation. So be sure to use the most suitable technique in each situation. To develop your sales skills further attend a closing skills sales training course.