How To Close More Sales: 7 Negotiation Tactics Backed By Psychology
Learn about these closing techniques used by top negotiators to understand buyer psychology and close deals.
It’s easy to understand how to close a sale but to actually close a deal after the initial meeting is more difficult than most of us think. You can be prepared as much as you want, give your perfectly crafted pitch and solve all of your prospects issues, but you still might not close the deal in the end. Sometimes, due to various reasons, your prospects will not be able or interested enough to purchase what you have to offer.
You have probably read a lot of variations of success formulas for closing the sales and when testing them, you didn’t see any results from them. However, there are a few closing techniques that work, but we have to warn you they won’t be successful for every business. You will have to first understand them to know when to utilize them.
Did you know that more than 90% of salespeople will give up on a prospect after being rejected four times, but prospects will most likely say “yes” to you after they refuse your offer four times? So, the first thing you should know about closing the sale is not to give up because your prospects expect you to try a bit harder if you wish to win them over. Embrace the game and be persistent!
To ensure your effort is impeccable and all of your prospects become your future customers, we bring you seven closing techniques and explain why they work. Start reading and make sure you implement them to enjoy great sales results and customer relationships.
Table of contents
- Assumptive Close: Closing with Confidence and Positivity
- ‘Now or Never’ Close: Creating A Sense of Urgency
- Hard Close: Your Last Move in This Game
- Takeaway Close: Taking Them Off The Table
- Option Close: Providing Options to Encourage Making a Decision
- Backwards Close: Starting At The End of Customer Journey
- Question Close: Find Out What They Are Thinking About
1. Assumptive Close: Closing with Confidence and Positivity
This tactic is based on the idea that you strongly believe you will close this deal and make a sale from the second you put effort into it. The way you communicate with your prospects is like you’re already assuming that this is a closed deal which only lacks a few details and that’s it. What makes this tactic successful is actively checking on your prospects, estimating their level of interest, talking about their doubts and realizing whether you’re both on the same page. If not, you will quickly find a way to solve it so your prospects can be sure that your product or service is the right choice for them.
After all, if you’re great at recognizing the needs of your prospects, they will believe that what you offer can truly be beneficial for them. With an assumptive close, your positive attitude and confidence are so contagious that your prospects will believe everything you say. However, this tactic shouldn’t be used with your new leads as it will not be as efficient as when you use it with familiar leads who already know a thing or two about your business.
2. ‘Now or Never’ Close: Creating A Sense of Urgency
With a ‘Now or Never’ close, you’re offering your prospects something they can only get to enjoy if they commit in a few days or any other limitation period. This closing tactic is usually used when a business promotes the last product they have remaining, a certain discount is provided if prospect commits today or offering a special price for a limited period of time. The ‘Now or Never’ approach is very efficient with your prospects because they will feel they are losing something and decide to commit right away not to lose this opportunity.
When communicated this way, your offer sounds so appealing that rejecting it wouldn’t be a good choice for a prospect. If your prospects are the type of people who want the best for themselves under best conditions, this is the tactic you should be utilizing. Of course, to offer them a discount, you need to have that level of freedom provided by your superiors, so always ensure that you’re not promising something you can’t deliver.
3. Hard Close: Your Last Move in This Game
Hard close is often referred to as 'Nothing to Lose' close and it implies that you will be very straightforward with your selling. Your prospects will be aware that your goal is to sell this product as you will ask them for firm commitments and make sure they're proceeding to the next stage. You will probably ask questions like when they will be able to sign the contract or when can you set up the implementation to get them to commit right away.
Remember that information about the number of times your prospect will say “no” to you until they decide to say “yes”? Here is where a hard close comes in. Your prospects are already familiar with your products or services and they just need a little bit of encouragement to make a purchase. However, don’t use this tactic if you think it’s not the right timing. The hard close is usually used by salespeople when they know they’ve run out of other options and there is really nothing to lose.
4. Takeaway Close: Taking Them Off The Table
The takeaway close is very different from all the above-mentioned tactics but could be implemented after the hard close. Salespeople will decide to use this approach when they’ve already explained all the benefits to their prospects, but they don’t seem as interested as you want them to be. That’s when it’s time to take them off the table. However, you should first offer them cost savings that could be achieved in certain ways. If you do so, maybe they will accept your offer in the end. You already know that the price is one of the determining factors for the majority of your customers, so if you’re able to redefine the price by removing elements or features they don’t need, both sides can win.
5. Option Close: Providing Options to Encourage Making a Decision
Option close is a tactic that is similar to the hard or assumptive close. Your prospects will be offered with a choice between two or even more options to encourage them to say ‘yes’ to one of these options instead of saying “no” due to uncertainty. That can be anything - two or more similar products, two or more pricing plans for your solution or anything else that would satisfy their needs.
This is a good approach to use if you see that your prospect is interested but uncertain about what to choose. When you tell them which options would be great for them, they will be more likely choose one of them. Keep in mind that option close is great for leads who are already familiar with your products but still haven't made up their mind for some reason.
6. Backwards Close: Starting At The End of Customer Journey
This sales tactic is something that’s completely reversing the sales cycle training, but it can be really successful with some of your leads. As the name suggests, the backwards close implies that you should start at the end by asking your leads for referrals instead of selling them your products. When your prospects realize you’re not trying to sell them anything, they will feel more relaxed to continue the interaction with you and be more open to listening to you.
Sometimes, the backwards close may not be the right tactic for your new prospects as it makes no sense to jump into the conversation with such an unusual idea. You may find better success with this strategy on warmer leads who would already have a better understanding of your business. When you know the prospect and believe he is not interested to purchase the product, you should definitely give this approach a try.
7. Question Close: Find Out What They Are Thinking About
With the question close, you will ask your prospect to provide you with more information from their side. By asking your prospect questions, they will explain to you what is holding them back from committing. It can be anything from inconvenient timing to features that are confusing your prospects. When they provide you with their explanation, you will be able to understand their perspective better. More importantly, you will be able to modify the interaction so you’re able to successfully solve the issues your prospect addresses and, hopefully, close the deal.
When asking questions, you will hear much more than just the reason for not committing right away. From the way they answer, you will notice if they are interested in your products and what is the weak point of your product for that particular prospect. When you notice your prospect is still around but hasn't explained what is holding them back, the question close tactic should definitely be utilized.
What is the best tactic for your prospects?
With these seven closing tactics, you will be able to engage different types of prospects with greater confidence. After all, every sales deal is different, so the interaction with each prospect should be as personalized as possible. These approaches allow you to focus on a particular prospect and provide with exactly what he needs at each stage. Once you understand your prospect's perspective better, you will be able to deliver better sales results. Remember that buyers ultimately buy from people they trust, and in sales, trust starts from understanding.
Joel Koh is the director of One X Tech's Technology Management & Digital Solutions practice. He leads the firm's Asia Pacific office efforts in continually evolving and growing new capabilities to serve clients in technology-led transformations.