Closing a sale is rarely a simple and straightforward process that you can make reliable predictions about right off the bat. You can be several emails or phone calls into the sale before even getting a decent understanding of how your prospect feels about your pitch.
That’s why effective sales closing lines are not only intended to ensure that you’ll make the sale but are also often employed to start drawing a protracted sales process to an end. Despite the fact that there is something to be learned from long talks with indecisive prospects and that you should by no means rush them into making a decision, you could waste staggering amounts of time if you allow them to completely dictate the tempo of your conversation.
The following approaches and associated closing lines are therefore meant to:
- Help you close the sale
- Expedite the process
- Allow you to learn more about the more reticent prospects
Here are some of the most effective and powerful oneliners for closing the sale, as well as the reasoning behind them.
1. Increase the Urgency
Unless the solution you are selling is extremely cheap and relatively unimportant, you can be sure that your prospects will have quite a few reservations before they sign up. After all, they are spending their company’s money; they have to go to other decision makers; and they need to be sure that there isn’t a better solution out there.
If your pitch up to that point did an adequate job of explaining why your solution is the exact one your prospects need and if they had plenty of time and information to weigh the costs and benefits, the only thing left for you to do is to help them get over that hesitation and actually commit and make a purchasing decision.
One of the best ways to do so is by either creating, or simply accentuating the already existing sense of urgency. Of course, this doesn’t mean deceiving the prospect, but simply helping them see the situation from your point of view. This is best illustrated with lines like:
“If you need our solution to be implemented and fully operational by [date] we’d need to start working on finalizing the contract by the end of next week.”
Statements of this kind help them realize that their decision is not the final step in the process, but just an intermediary one, and that they don’t have the luxury of making it in a timeless vacuum. In other words, it is not only your time they are wasting by indecisiveness, but their own and their company’s as well.
On the other hand, if they do seem to have all the time in the world on their hands, and you feel like they’ve got it by draining it from timid sales reps, you might want to make it worth their while to make the process faster. One of the easiest (if not always the cheapest) ways to do so is by offering an add-on or a discount for a limited time. For instance:
“If you sign up in the next 7 days, you get the first month for free.”
“Signing up now would afford you a 15% discount for as long as you are using our product.”
“If you make the purchase during the next 5 days, you will also get access to our advanced features, normally only available with higher-tier packages”
Of course, the opposite approach is also possible:
“While you are not required to sign today, the product will, unfortunately, only be available at this price until [date]”
2. Make Your Prospects Feel in Control While Learning About Them
We already mentioned some of the rational or irrational factors holding your prospects back from sealing the deal. When you also consider the fact that salespeople can sometimes seem manipulative or even disingenuous in their attempts to make the sale, no wonder prospects sometimes feel like they are being dragged along for the ride, without ever getting behind the wheel.
Even if you are partial to one of the more assertive and aggressive sales styles, you know you can’t and shouldn’t simply bully your prospects into a purchase. While you taking the lead usually is the most time-efficient approach, you need to know when to step back and relinquish some of the control.
If your prospect seems overwhelmed, they might give you an irrevocable ‘no’ just to get you off their back. At that point, expediency is not your main concern; keeping the conversation alive is. That’s when you need to resort to questions like:
“Where would you like us to go with this?”
“What would you like to do next?”
“How do you think we should proceed?”
“What’s the next logical step?”
“What do you want us to do?”
While ending a correspondence with something like this means that you still have some work ahead of you, it also:
- Means you didn’t lose the sale, which was practically imminent
- Means that you get to find out what the prospect is really having an issue with
3. Address Specific Issues and Summarize the Benefits
With the prospect back on your side, and armed with detailed information on what’s holding them back, you get to actually finalize the sale. You may have learned they were hesitant for a number of reasons, having to do with anything from pricing and deadlines to specific product features.
Your closing lines in these instances need to acknowledge that final pain point, offer a solution for it, and more or less subtly inform the prospect that the process should be nearing its end. Depending on the circumstances, you might need to end with something like:
“If you signed on today, we would be able to add the feature you have requested by [date].”
“We have created the custom payment package to suit your needs and budget, and have prepared a contract we would like you to go over.”
“With [issue] fixed, we hope there is nothing stopping us from moving forward.”
“From what you’ve outlined, it seems that our solution could save your company X money by [date] if you signed today.”
4. Give Your Prospects the Right Options
One of the first things you learn in sales is not to give your prospects too many opportunities to give you a hard ‘no’. Sometimes, this means avoiding clear-cut yes-no questions and replacing them with multiple choice ones, where each of the offered choices is far preferable than the prospect simply walking away from the sale.
If you adopt that kind of attitude when selling, you might notice an increase in your overall productivity, as you are no longer approaching sales from “Will this happen or not” perspective, but instead with a much more proactive view-point of “What needs to be done before this happens.”
Sometimes this is as simple as expanding your question, and reframing a definitive:
“Would you like to sign today?”
into a much more open-ended:
“Would you like to sign today, or would you like us to discuss anything else before you do?”
However, like I said, using this strategy just to avoid a ‘no’ means wasting some of its potential. You can also employ it to identify, and sometimes even to power through some of the issues the prospect is concerned about.
“What do we need to do to convince you to sign: lower the monthly costs, or allow you to add more users at the current price?”
“Would you sign if we added the feature we were talking about, or is there something else that you don’t like?”
“Do you think that one of our other solutions might serve your needs better, or would you just like us to make some tweaks to product we are already discussing?”
The Bottom Line
While I hope that the specific closing lines I have provided here will be of use to you, understanding why they work will do you more good in the long run.
You should try to make a habit out of:
- implying or emphasizing urgency
- relinquishing control when you need to
- succinctly making your case
- learning how to formulate questions based on the answers you want to get
By observing the effectiveness of closing lines based on these principles, you’ll easily find which strategies work best with certain prospects, and learn how to bag the sale as quickly as possible so you can move on to the next one.