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Selling is tough. To make matters worse, there are a million different models out there on the subject.
Everyone claims their method is the best, but in the end most overcomplicate the process.
So today, I’m going to share a different approach. Instead of listing a bunch of theory and sales models, I’m going to talk about the 40 ways to close more sales that have worked for me in my 21-year sales career.
What Does Closing Mean in Sales?
Before we get to the nitty gritty, let’s first take a couple of minutes to discuss the basics.
The close is basically the point when your prospect agrees to buy your product or service. This is the final step in the sales process where the prospect agrees to do business with a salesperson.
There are many types of selling situation. In order for a salesperson to successfully close the sale, they will need to gain agreement from their prospect. But this doesn’t always happen right away.
Sometimes a prospect is at the end of the buying process and ready to go. But usually the sales cycle can last for quite some time depending on the industry.
In most cases an educated customer is your best customer because they know what they want. This can make the closing process quite simple.
One big mistake that I see salespeople make is not closing for the business. They are too casual about the process.
You’d be surprised how much business is left on the table simply because the salesperson was too shy to ask. Or didn’t have the confidence to ask. You must ask for the business and close.
What is a Good Closing Rate in Sales?
The closing rate is a way of keeping score. I will talk more about this in a minute.
This percentage tracks the percentage of sales that a salesperson closes in relation to the number of prospects they have seen. This is measured over time.
The average closing rate (or closing ratio) for all industries is 19%. (Hubspot)
Top salespeople tend to be higher than that. The number varies depending on the sales industry.
Inside sales pros close 18% of their pitches. (IHireSalesPeople)
Outside sales professionals have an average 40% closing rate. (IHireSalesPeople)
Why Closing The Sales is Most Challenging?
Closing the sale is the most challenging part of the sales process because it is the point where a decision needs to be made. Either your prospect is going to buy or they aren’t.
If a salesperson does the right things throughout the call the close doesn’t need to be so difficult.
The biggest challenge is the fear of rejection that salespeople face. No one likes to be told no.
There are a couple of things that can be done to make the sales process end in your favor. Although, rejection is part of the sales game.
Far too often, the fear of not closing the sale causes many salespeople to avoid trying to close at all.
63% of all sales interactions end with the sales pro not asking for the sale. (Zig Ziglar)
Closing is usually the most challenging when you haven’t taken the time to find out what makes the buyer tick. When you do, you can earn the right to ask for their business.
You can also tailor the conversation to meet their needs and produce a better outcome. Selling isn’t for the faint at heart.
You have to believe in yourself. You also have to be able to handle rejection and being told no.
Be sure to control your emotions. Don’t get too high or too low. Try to stay somewhere in the middle.
If you allow your emotions to get away from you, selling can be more challenging than it needs to be.
How Do You Close a Sale Every Time?
The idea that you can close every sale is probably setting the wrong expectation.
Sales is a numbers game, and I don’t know of anyone who has closed every sale throughout their career.
But there is a way to increase your closing ratio. This is the measure of how good you are at making sales.
Your closing ratio is calculated by taking the number of sales you made, and dividing by the number of prospects you called on over a period of time. Then you multiply that number times 100.
For example, if you met with 50 prospects and closed 10 sales in the last month, your closing ratio is 20%.
The key is to try to increase your close ratio over time. By doing this you become a more efficient and skilled salesperson.
It’s great to aim for closing every sale, but a better measure of success is tracking your close ratio and improving it.
How Do You Close a Deal Faster?
There are several ways to close a deal faster. Some of the best ways usually start with the initial meetings.
Once you can determine what the prospect is looking for and some of their objections, the next step is overcoming them.
You should also make sure you set the agenda at the beginning of the call to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Another important thing to do is follow up! It takes several touches before a sale closes.
If you are incredibly detailed in your follow up and communications, you stand a better chance of closing the deal faster.
Some other ways to get a deal to close faster include discounts, guarantees, free trials, and anything that can overcome cost barriers. Cost objections can be tougher to overcome.
If a prospect simply can’t afford it, this is a real roadblock.
The idea is you want to eliminate the cost objection by stacking the value.
When something is valuable enough in the mind of the prospect, they will find a way to not let price hold them back.
Last but not least, people don’t want to buy from a fast-talking salesperson. And they like to buy from people they know, like, and trust.
People love to buy, but hate to be sold. If you master, selling in a way that makes your prospect feel like they’re buying from a friend, you’ll close deals faster.
You’ll also close more sales.
86% of people want to buy from someone they know and trust. (PewResearch)
How Many Calls Does It Take To Close A Sale?
Rarely are sales closed on the first contact. 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. (National Sales Executive Association)
I have closed the sale a handful of times on first meetings in my 21-year sales career. I’ve found that when I close a sale on the first contact, it’s usually a hot lead that already knows they want to buy.
I’ve also seen where a prospect has used the product I’m selling in the past. At that point the sale is already done and I don’t have to do much.
I think it’s wise to go into a sales call expecting to have a minimum of five contacts and trying to do all you can to make each interaction count.
40 Ways To Close More Sales
1) Be excited and have good energy.
If you are not pumped about what you sell, then you might want to sell something else.
If you can’t get excited, how do you expect your prospect to be excited about buying from you? You must have genuine enthusiasm.
You do not need to be phony. But you need to bring your A-game when it comes to selling. If you have a hard time getting excited and being enthusiastic, try exercise or tweak your diet.
2) Listen to something motivational before a sales call.
You want to bring your higher self with you when you step into a sales call. Because it is showtime.
I recommend listening to or reading something that will motivate you. I like to listen to motivational speakers while driving to sales calls or in the morning while I’m getting ready to start my day.
3) Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Know the customer’s objections and be prepared to overcome them. This allows you to acknowledge what they have objected to, empathize, and then respond.
It’s good to clarify what they are pushing back on to make sure you understand it. Then let them know that you understand them. Then you need to share information or data to overcome the concern.
Don’t move on until you get their objections handled.
Then you will want to close with: Does this answer your question or address your concern?
4) Look for more Nos.
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I remember early on in my career I set a goal for myself. That goal was to get 10 no’s per day.
My mentor at the time who was my sales manager explained this to me. It not only took the pressure off, but it taught me a valuable lesson.
That lesson was there is an inverse relationship between the number of no’s and yeses in selling.
So, you will need to increase your activity to get through all the no’s before you get to the yeses. Because most people will say no to what you’re selling.
5) Be disarming.
Tone down the pushiness. Lets face it, there are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to sales.
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People imagine the high pressure teeth-gritted salesperson who will not take no for an answer.
Instead, you want to build value and check to see if your prospects are a good fit for what you are selling.
6) Follow up.
Look for reasons in the future to follow up on subsequent sales call.
Try to leave something on the table that you can go back in and use. Do not show all your cards if it doesn’t add value to the call.
Remember that stat that I mentioned earlier. Most sales interactions take at least 5 contacts before they close.
7) Use the takeaway when appropriate.
A funny thing happens when you use scarcity and tell someone they cannot have something, or they probably are not a fit for it. They want to prove you wrong.
Sometimes it makes sense to tell them that the product isn’t right for them. Other times, its smart business practice to not waste time when there isn’t a fit.
8) Sell the benefits.
Think WIIFM. What-is-in-it-for-me.
This is what your prospects are thinking.
Features tell, benefits sell.
I have always made sure to say the words, “what that means to you is…” after every feature that I mentioned.
Then I would share the benefit. This helps to sell the benefits to prospects in a way that makes sense to them.
9) Be assumptive.
I can remember when I worked in B2B sales early in my career and getting a notification that I had a lead come in. A lead is someone raising their hand and saying they’re interested in what it is you are selling.
Whenever I got a lead I went in as if I were told by the business owner, they definitely want to do business with me.
Using this approach can really take you far. You’d be surprised at how many sales can be made when you just walk in and treat the process as a done deal.
10) Take meticulous notes.
If you are following up, you want to know what happened. You do not want to forget any important details. Taking notes will help to record everything that went on and make sure you don’t miss anything.
It’s not a bad idea to take notes on during the call. Simply ask the prospect, “I want to make sure I don’t miss anything. Do you mind if I take notes?” No one has ever said no to this question in my experience.
11) Find your voice.
Find what seems to go over well with customers and use it again and again.
Say things the way you speak to a friend. In a professional way of course. But you want to come across personable.
I remember when I first started selling, I didn’t really speak naturally like talking to a friend.
Later on, I found my voice and a tone that worked well with my prospects.
12) Track your close ratio.
What we track improves. Track everything so you can see your progress.
How many no’s does it take before you get a yes? How many total calls.
You will notice that you stand to make more sales by simply getting in front of more people. Then you want to increase your efficiency and make interactions count.
It’s so cool to go back after a year and look at your close rate and see how you’ve improved.
13) Listen to the customer.
Really listen. Talk less. Listen more.
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
You’re there to uncover the prospect’s needs and overcome any objections that might prevent you from making the sale. If you talk too much, you might miss something.
A good talk ratio for prospects and salespeople is at least 40:60. The prospect should talk 60% of the time. This can be tough. But it takes practice.
Try to pause more and get comfortable being silent.
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14) Speak to the decision maker.
Make sure you have the key decision maker in the room without making people feel small. Be careful how you go about this because sometimes a gatekeeper might have clout.
The last thing you want to do is upset someone who can hurt your chances of closing the sale. I can remember an experience like this happening with a colleague.
My colleague upset the owner’s wife. It was tough to get business after that.
Be respectful. But try to get the owner or the decision maker on board.
15) Be assertive.
Not aggressive. You must ask for the sale. Do not be shy about closing for the business.
I see so many sales professionals walking away without closing.
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16) Dress for success.
I once had a colleague who dressed like she was going out for a night on the town on sales calls. An offended customer mentioned this to me, and said she didn’t like the way she dressed.
You’ll want to be well-groomed. And above all else, dress professionally. Save the flashy attire for the appropriate occasion.
17) Master public speaking.
Work on your public speaking and presentation skills. Improving in this area will make you a better salesperson.
There are so many benefits of public speaking for sales professionals that it’s not even funny. Being a polished public speaker and being able to give a kick-butt sales presentation usually go hand-in-hand.
Take a course or join your local Toastmasters.
18) Have good grammar and speak well.
Read books and take courses to improve your use of the English language.
You can look the part, but the minute you open your mouth you tell the world who you are.
Make that reveal be of someone who is polished and has a strong command of the English language.
19) Know your product well.
It’s embarrassing to not know your stuff. You want customers to view you as an expert.
Have you ever had a bad experience with someone who didn’t know their stuff and tried to sell you something?
They couldn’t answer your questions and weren’t knowledgeable. On first thought, you wondered if they were new.
How did you feel about asking that person more questions? You probably wanted to speak to a supervisor, manager, or more knowledgeable salesperson.
It is ok to not know everything in the beginning. We all are new at some point. But make it your business to know all you can.
For starters, try to know as much as your supervisor or more. The higher your level of knowledge, the more successful you will be.
Having to get answers from others on things you should know can cost you business.
Your customers might go with the competition just because they came across as more confidence and seasoned.
20) Have fun.
Do not take yourself too seriously. Sales can be tough. You have quotas and metrics that are tracked.
It can stress you out. Especially if you are underperforming. But here is the thing. Sales is an up and down business.
If you are not having fun, selling can burn you out. Try to find a way to laugh, smile, and enjoy the process.
I made it a habit to listen to comedy and things that would kept things light during my days. Otherwise, sales can take a toll. Have fun and look for the positive in your experience.
21) Believe in yourself and do not let anything change who you are.
Be authentic. Let your customers get to know the real you. Do not try to be someone you are not.
Sure, a supervisor or colleague may be successful and there is a tendency to copy or imitate success.
But if you do not find your voice and be authentic, your sales calls will come across as fake. Sure, there is nothing wrong with growing in areas where you are weak.
But do not compromise who you are.
Nothing rocks you at your core more than trying to be someone you aren’t.
22) Do your due diligence.
Know your prospect and gather background info on them if possible before calls. Whether this means researching their website. Or asking qualifying questions with a gatekeeper when scheduling the appointment.
Time is money. Why waste time asking questions that you could have found out beforehand?
You will come from a better place if you ask questions based on already having a level of understanding.
In the minds of your prospects, you come across as more credible and professional.
23) Create a positive customer experience.
You will want to focus on making all of your interactions with prospects pleasant and of high value.
Some of the largest brands in the world spend millions of dollars on customer experience and serving the customer.
This goes a long way when trying to win the business.
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Are you sharing a presentation binder of the points covered? Or does your prospect need to remember on their own all the fine details that were discussed?
Is your email follow up communication impeccable? Or written like text speak to a friend. Are you warm and friendly to the office staff?
Think of yourself as a brand.
And try to create a positive experience with your customers. This will take you a long way.
Sales is a competitive industry. And most products have stiff competition. So, do all that you can to separate yourself.
It goes without saying. But, be professional and avoid using profanity. Show your prospects the highest level of respect.
Also, be well mannered. Thank prospects for their time.
24) Set goals and stick to them.
Do you want to be the top performer in your company? Is there a dollar amount you want to achieve? Do you want to buy a house?
Make goals and you’ll be surprised how this helps to get you going. It gives you a target to go after. Sure there are quotas in sales, but having your own goals adds a greater level of accountability.
25) Build rapport on calls first.
Build rapport by asking a question or two to show you are a human being.
Find common ground such as:
Don’t just jump right into the sales call. There is always something you can ask. It can be as simple as, “Are you guys busy today?”
You’d be surprised where a simple question can take you. Plus, it can help to break any tension in the room.
I have met with some of the stuffiest people you could imagine.
It’s always fun to watch them light up when you connect with them on a personal level about things that means a lot to them.
26) Put in the work.
Especially in the beginning. If you are doing 15 calls per day and others are doing 5-10 you stand a better chance of out hustling the field.
When you first start out in any sales organization you have the most work. Most sales roles are front loaded. Meaning, in the beginning you have to fill up your pipeline by increasing your activity.
Once you start to fill up your pipeline, you’ll eventually start closing sales. In the beginning you have to sow in order to reap the rewards months or even years down the road.
You want to gain momentum. Once you do, you’ll see your sales number start to snowball.
27) Be humble.
Make it all about your prospects. There is nothing more annoying than an arrogant salesperson trying to win business from a customer.
I can’t stand to be sold to by arrogant cocky people. Showing humility puts people at ease and allows customers to view you as down to earth and relatable.
We have all had our guard up when being sold by someone so self-absorbed they can’t even hear a word we’re saying.
This attitude can suck the air out of the room. Confidence is good. But you don’t want to cross the line.
I have seen colleagues of mine get kicked out of offices for cocky behavior. Plus, you never know who knows who. Treat people well and make it about them. Not you.
28) Ask for referrals.
Whether your prospects do business with you or not. Ask them if they know of anyone else who might benefit from your products or services.
I cannot think of any industry where this isn’t applicable.
You just might uncover a prospect who you didn’t know of who could go on to be your best customer.
29) Practice your sales message.
Roleplay with a spouse, significant other, or friend. Get comfortable with wording that you will use with prospects.
Write out a script of your message and rehearse it. Record it and play it back to yourself.
30) Know your USP
Your USP is your unique selling proposition.
A unique selling proposition (USP) is that unique benefit that a company, service, product or brand has that differentiates it from the competition.
What is unique about your product or service? Be able to share this with your prospects.
Otherwise, they will not know why they should be buying from you.
Is your product different or just another me-too product? Know what makes it different.
31) Probe with open-ended questions.
You want the prospect to talk more than you do. Good consultative selling is a conversation where you identify the customer’s needs.
If you ask a question and your prospect can answer with one word such as Yes, or No. That’s a closed-ended question.
Instead, ask question that will get your prospect talking.
An example of an open-ended question might be, Mr. (Ms.) Prospect, please walk me through your process for ____________.
32) Avoid one size fits all solutions.
Convey to customers that you are trying to tailor your offering to them as much as possible (if you can).
This will lay the groundwork for open communication where you uncover hot buttons as well as areas where you can help.
33) Gain buy-in.
This is a big one.
Imagine a blank sheet of paper where you have pros on one side. And cons on the other side. With a line down the middle.
When you get a prospect to agree on something, that is like a check in the pros column.
When the prospect to object, that is like a check in the cons column.
It would be nice if prospects gave us all of their pros and cons. But oftentimes, they don’t.
So, it is our job to do it.
We can do this by what is called trial closing and uncovering objections as I mentioned earlier.
Whenever your prospect agrees with something or likes something in your presentation, simply treat it like a pro and re-ask the question.
You: So Mr. or Ms. prospect, I just want to make sure I heard you correctly, you said that you need a solution that _________.
You: Ok great!
The more yeses, the better chance you have at selling something.
When it’s time to close, all you need to do is go down the list and say:
Ok, Mr. or Ms. prospect… To wrap up, we agreed that it would be awesome to have a cutting-edge solution to help streamline your ____.
We currently have ______, which will address this for you by _________.
You also said that if I could do _____…”
So on and so forth. I think you get the point.
The more yeses, the higher the perceived value in the prospects mind for what you are selling.
Note: You must point these out deliberately. This is how you build value. Then when it is time to ask for the prospect to take action, it is just a matter of making sure all your customer’s needs are taken care of and the value is stacked high enough.
34) Have the right mindset.
Sales is a numbers game. The more activity you have, the higher the likelihood of business coming out the other end.
It is like a funnel.
You want to stuff the top of the funnel with as many qualified prospects as possible. As I mentioned, over time you will start to see sales close.
But it is important to remember it is a numbers game and you must keep your pipeline full. Work on growing in areas where you can improve.
Have a positive attitude about your role as a salesperson, and your ability to be successful.
35) See better prospects.
One big mistake I made when I was just starting in sales was I would meet with anybody who would meet with me.
As I got better, I was more careful about booking appointments and placed more value on my time.
I’m only one person and need to maximize my time for the most impact. The same goes for you.
Make it a priority to maximize your opportunities by being in front of better prospects.
You can do this by asking qualifying questions before booking appointments. And getting clear on who is your ideal customer and focusing there.
I can remember running around all over the place just wasting time and energy in places that weren’t the best use of my time.
36) Use social proof.
Social proof can be powerful.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation. The term was coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book Influence, and the concept is also known as informational social influence. (Wikipedia)
Just coming across as a person who is doing business with other who your prospects are familiar with, can help you pick up business.
Always have a list of customers ready if possible. It might be a good idea to ask clients if it ok to use their name. Also, make sure it is ok with your company from a privacy and compliance standpoint.
37) Create a customer avatar.
Ok, now I don’t mean the movie Avatar and creating face painting. Avatar was an amazing movie by the way. I mean a customer avatar.
A customer avatar is simply a profile of your ideal customer.
Creating a customer avatar is common practice in the marketing world and highly effective in selling. It’s easy to do.
Just write out some of the common characteristics and demographics of your ideal customer. Do some research if you don’t already know it.
This could be certain things that they say or questions they usually have. Common pain points, and objections. You’ll want to keep this info in mind prospecting and going on calls.
Make it a habit to speak to this profile/avatar while with prospects.
I have had calls where customers said, “wow that’s exactly what I was going to ask you.”
When this happens, you know you’ve entered the conversation already going on in your prospect’s head. It’s powerful.
It’s also a great way to build rapport and be viewed as an expert.
38) Don’t act desperate.
You can’t have so much invested in each sale to where you come across as needy or desperate for a sale. Your prospects can sense this, and it’s a turnoff. Trust me.
Act like you are a seasoned vet even if it is your first day in sales. Carry yourself with an air of confidence and try to relax.
Being overly pushy, and high pressure just creeps people out.
Understand that the sales cycle takes several touches before sealing the deal. As I mentioned before, follow up is key.
39) Be organized.
If you’re disorganized before the sale, you are giving the prospect a sneak peek at how you might be after closing the sale.
I can remember in my early days I had missed a few scheduled appointments. I even double-booked appointments with two different prospects at the same time a few times.
I was a mess.
As I became more seasoned, I learned how important it is to be organized. The same applies to being punctual. And following up.
These are all reflections of your brand.
Being in this industry as long as I have, I have heard the horror stories.
Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it.
It all starts with having order in the way you conduct your business.
With modern technology, things are easier today than they were 15-20 years ago. Utilize apps and resources to make yourself as organized and productive as you can.
40) Cut bait.
Sometimes you have to be prepared to walk away from a deal. It makes no sense to chase prospects who have no intentions of buying.
It can be hard. Especially when you think you’ve gained some traction, or have so much time invested. But my rule of thumb is after 8 touches and no sale, I move on.
There are tons of other prospects out there searching for your solution. No need to waste time on people who are not going to buy.
Cutting bait is hard. But a necessary part of the business.
Sales isn’t for the faint of heart. But with the right mindset and techniques, anyone can become successful.
Just by applying some of these tips I shared, you will be able to make changes to your selling skills in no time. But just like anything else, selling takes practice and years of study.
To wrap up, it’s important to remember that people buy from those they know, like, and trust. So before using some fancy sales model, or closing technique, go for the human connection.
Sales is all about building rapport, adding value, and most of all helping your prospect solve a problem, or find a solution.
Master the skills it takes to succeed and before you know it, selling will come naturally to you.
Did any of these sales tips help you or do you have some killer closing tips to share? If so, please post a comment down below to help others. I’d love to hear from you.
Before you go, below I’m leaving you with a solid video that shares simple ways to close more sales. Enjoy!