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How to close a sales deal in 7 steps

How to Close A Sale
Topics
Closing sales in 7 steps (or less)
1Send through the costs
2Ask for the sale
3Address your prospect’s concerns
4Prepare to negotiate
5Use the right sales closing technique
6Follow up with your prospect
7Know when to move on
Sales closing techniques in different industries
Closing strategies in real estate sales
6 tips and techniques for closing sales
7 sales closing phrases to help you seal the deal
Final thoughts

The ultimate goal of every sales professional is to close more sales.

In most cases, achieving that is a matter of refining your sales technique by:

  • Asking the right questions

  • Emphasizing the benefits of your product

  • Noting the alignment between product value and buyer objectives

  • Promoting a slight sense of urgency

By understanding which steps you should follow to close a deal, you can often shorten the sales process and win more.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to close a sales deal in seven steps. We’ll also look at the different requirements to close sales in various industries and explore some well-established closing techniques.


Closing sales in 7 steps (or less)

You’ve selected qualified leads and worked hard to understand their pain points. You’ve used your best sales pitch, demo or sales presentation to highlight a solution that will help solve their problem and move them along your sales funnel. Now, it’s time to convert your prospect into a customer.

The sooner you can do this, the more successful you’ll be. Research from RAIN Sales Training shows that top sales reps don’t just achieve higher close rates (48% versus 37%), they do it with fewer touches.

Here’s how to close a standard sales deal in just seven steps or less.


1. Send through the costs

If you’ve yet to discuss price in detail, you should first send your prospect an official sales proposal or quote. This is also an excellent opportunity to re-pitch your product or service by recapping how it will positively impact your buyer – especially if the sales cycle has been long or complicated.

Try to provide your prospect with multiple pricing options. Often, offering a free test drive of your product helps with closing deals, particularly in software and B2B sales.

For example, you might offer two or three differently priced plans for your SaaS subscription.Consumer research shows that by letting potential customers make value comparisons, you can satisfy their desire to shop around and speed up the decision-making process.


2. Ask for the sale

If you’ve been thorough in your presentation and pricing, your prospect might be ready to purchase right now. However, that’s less likely to happen if you don’t directly ask for the sale during your sales call.

Cold Calling Script Templates


There are two main ways you can do this.

  • You can include a clear call-to-action in your proposal that makes it easy for your prospect to click on their preferred buying option and e-sign your contract

  • You can schedule a follow-up call or appointment to review the pricing information you’ve provided, answer any questions and ask for the sale

The way you word your request matters.

You’ll close more deals faster, for example, by asking a close-ended – (yes or no –) question (e.g., “Shall I send you the terms and conditions?”) than you will with a vague, open-ended question (e.g., “So, what do you think?”).


3. Address your prospect’s concerns

Sometimes your buyer will want additional clarification or reassurance around the information you’ve provided, especially if multiple decision-makers or stakeholders are involved.

LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report 2021 shows that even though 65% of sellers say they always put the buyer first, only 23% of buyers agree.

So, listen carefully, provide thoughtful answers promptly and ask probing questions when appropriate. These will:

  • Encourage your prospect to elaborate on anything that isn’t working for them

  • Help you quickly drill down to the root of their hesitation

  • Enable you to gather information to address their concerns effectively

You might, for example, say something like:

If I’m hearing you correctly, it sounds like you’re concerned about X. Have I got that right?


You can then move ahead with alleviating your prospect’s doubts by reiterating how and why your product is the right fit for their needs.


4. Prepare to negotiate

Even if you’ve qualified your prospect well, sales negotiation is a key part of closing the deal.

Your customer might have hesitations about:

  • Price or competitor offerings

  • Purchase timing or product fit

  • Committing to change

There are often ways to reframe a new customer’s perspective if you approach their concerns correctly. Learning about and practicing overcoming sales objections should be part of your ongoing sales training on closing deals.

Pipedrive sales training


You should also know what concessions you’re willing (or authorized) to make when closing a deal, such as multi-item price discounts or free shipping.


5. Use the right sales closing technique

Different prospects require different closing techniques, so you might need to change your sales strategy sometimes. Here are some examples of effective sales closing techniques.

  • If your prospect expresses price concerns, reduce their costs by removing certain product features or offer a value add-on, like free delivery

  • If your prospect is hesitant to commit to change, allow them to try your product free of charge for a specified time

  • If your buyer has doubts about product fit, cite a specific example of what they stand to gain (e.g., “By signing this contract today, you’ll have reduced your administrative costs by X% this time next quarter”)

Don’t forget to ask for the sale again at this point. Use a suitable, straightforward question like:

“I can offer a special, reduced subscription term of six months. Can you commit to this plan today?”


6. Follow up with your prospect

If, despite your best negotiation efforts, your prospect asks for more time to consider your offer, you need to choose the best time to follow up.

A good rule of thumb is to send a sales follow-up by email or phone after one or two days for single buyers or four to five days for buying groups (to give them time to discuss the purchase decision). You’ll be able to do this far quicker with our follow-up email templates.

Follow up email templates


When you do reach out, ensure you summarize the highlights of your sales offering once again and remind your prospect exactly how your product or service will benefit them.


7. Know when to move on

If your prospect is still not ready to sign on the dotted line, do your best to revive the deal by:

  • Contacting them to see if they have any further questions

  • Inquiring about the next step they’d like to take

  • Asking directly if they’re still interested in doing business

Once you conclude the sale isn’t going to close, remove it to your cold files and document the experience in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool so you can apply what you’ve learned (and possibly reestablish contact) in the future.

RAIN Group president Mike Schultz recommends consistent outreach:

“Stay focused, persevere in your outreach efforts and drive value for buyers in your sales conversations, and you’ll see an increase in sales wins soon enough.”


Sales closing techniques in different industries

Although the steps outlined above are adaptable to most businesses, salespeople in some industries, like SaaS, finance and real estate, may need additional sales tactics.

Closing SaaS sales

Because prospective customers sometimes view SaaS products as a nice-to-have rather than a must-have, you may have to do some extra work to connect the dots between their pain points and your solution.

SaaS


One way to do this is by asking a series of pointed questions during your sales presentation or negotiation.

Here are a few examples:

  • “What would you say is the biggest challenge about your business process?”

  • “What have you been doing to overcome it?”

  • “How many resources do you devote to this workaround?”

Be prepared to show – e.g., via live demo, verified data or client testimonials – how easy your SaaS product is to use and how much time and money your prospect will save by applying it.

Closing financial services sales

Closing a financial services sale can be especially challenging since there isn’t usually a tangible product for your potential client to see or touch.

Lead qualification financial services


According to business growth, sales and leadership expert Meridith Elliott Powell:

The key to selling financial services is to focus first on building trust with your consumers.


“The key to selling financial services is to focus first on building trust with your consumers.”

You may need to take additional closing steps to do that, such as

  • Positioning yourself as a specialist or trusted advisor in your field with the help of proven results or testimonials

  • Asking deep-dive questions to help develop a consultative selling relationship with your prospect

  • Only asking for the sale once a solid partnership is established

Finally, to close out finance-based deals faster, stay focused on your prospect’s most urgent need rather than selling them on all the ways you could be helping them financially.


Closing strategies in real estate sales

Property buyers and investors often hesitate about taking on big debts or parting with large sums of money.

Real estate cold calling


To close more deals with real estate clients, spend extra time talking through their concerns. Do this by:

  • Helping them recognize that having cold feet is normal

  • Reminding them about the property features they love

  • Stressing any extra value built into the sale (like a house that comes with appliances, for example)

By summarizing everything they stand to gain, be it a preferred property feature, location or price point, you can help reframe your prospect’s purchase concerns more positively. The results are a smoother sales process and increased revenue.


6 tips and techniques for closing sales

There is an assortment of well-established closing techniques in sales. Below, we’ve summarized six expert sales tips and techniques, along with some sales closing phrases you can experiment with.

If you remember that a closing technique is simply a way of helping a person to make a decision, you will actually find it enjoyable and fun to practice different methods.

Brian TracySales Expert


1. Summary close

With the summary close, summarize how your product or service will address your customer’s needs. By describing these value points all at once, you intensify their impact. This can prove particularly effective if you’ve shared lots of information over a lengthy sales cycle.

Example:

So with this house, you’re getting everything on your wish list: three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a large, updated kitchen and a low-maintenance lot. It’s also walking distance to school and comes with those stainless-steel appliances you love. The owner is motivated to sell quickly, so are you ready to snap this up and sign the contract today?


Pro tip: Baker Communications founder James A. Baker advises that, even if you gain a sales commitment using an alternate technique, you should follow it with a summary closing conversation. Review the needs expressed by your customer and then state the exact actions you’ll be taking to fulfill them.

2. Question close

We already know incisive questions are a powerful tool to help close sales. The question close lets you build on that practice by asking questions that cut through buyer confusion and reignite enthusiasm for a purchase.

Example:

Here’s what I suggest. Does that sound good to you, too?


Pro tip: Sean McPheat, Managing Director at MTD Sales Training, suggests not thinking of sales closing questions as closing at all, especially if you’re nervous about selling. You’ll feel more relaxed and worry less about rejection if you simply view these questions as the next step in a partnership with your buyer.

3. Assumptive close

The assumptive close is a psychological selling technique. By projecting complete confidence in your product (through your attitude, language and body language), you can influence the prospect’s buying decision and close the deal faster.

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.


Example:

How soon would you like these delivered? Does Thursday work, since you’ve indicated that’s your slow business day?


Pro tip: The key to the assumptive close is transitioning seamlessly from outlining the benefits to asking for the sale.

4. Now-or-never (urgency) close

The now-or-never close can be useful if your prospect is on the fence about buying and you’re confident your product is a good fit and value. The idea is to use a limited-time offer to create a sense of urgency.

Example:

You have every right to think about this great offer – take all the time you need. Please remember, however, that it ends tomorrow and if you wait and call at the end of the week, you will miss out.


Pro tip: Be truthful and authentic when using a sales closing technique like the now-or-never close. It’s the right thing to do but it’s also illegal to mislead consumers under section five of the FTC Act.

5. The puppy dog close

This sales closing technique is based on the notion that giving up a puppy is hard once you adopt it. It involves letting your prospect try your product or service for a short time (free of charge or at a reduced price) with the expectation that they’ll love it so much they’ll want to keep it.

Example:

This software comes with so many great features, it’s tough to do justice to them in words. Instead, I can arrange for you to try it free of charge for one month, starting tomorrow.


Pro tip: According to sales expert Brian Tracy, a simple approach works best. If you know your prospect likes your product, but they’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you might try a disarmingly simple closing phrase like, “Well then, why don’t you give it a try and I’ll take care of all the details?”

6. Soft close

Many of the above could be called “hard close” techniques. The soft close is your best choice if a prospect has lingering doubts. It involves asking direct but low-pressure questions that will allow you to prove your solution’s value and fit.

Example:

If I could show you how to reduce your manufacturing costs by X% this year. Does that sound like something you’d want to learn more about?


Pro tip: Using the soft close, you can adopt an advisor mindset and offer personalized advice to enhance your prospect’s knowledge.

  • How to close a deal
  • How to ask for the sale
  • How to close a sale


7 sales closing phrases to help you seal the deal

The end of the selling process goes far smoother when you know how to handle objections, address buyers’ business needs head-on and promote your product clearly.

Here are seven sales closing lines to help you achieve all three:

“Let me address any concerns you may have”

This phrase invites the prospect’s objections, allowing you to address them directly.

“Here’s how our product/service can address [specific business need].”

Tailoring the pitch to address specific pain points demonstrates understanding and positions your product as a solution.

“Would you like to see a demo or further explore how our product/service works?”

Offering a demo or deeper exploration enhances buyer understanding and trust – both significant sales motivators.

“Are there any other questions or information you need before making a decision?”

Encouraging clarification ensures you can address all concerns comprehensively.

“I’m confident that our product/service can deliver the results you’re looking for.”

Expressing confidence reassures buyers and instills trust in your recommendation.

“Shall we proceed with finalizing the details of the agreement?”

Proposing to finalize the agreement prompts the buyer to commit to the next steps.

“When would be a good time to start implementing our solution?”

By focusing on implementation timeframes, this question prompts action consideration.


Final thoughts

Putting your prospect’s needs first when closing the deal is a win-win that will get you ahead of the sales curve. You’ll get consistently better at it if you:

  • Research and apply different methods for dealing with common sales objections

  • Try out various closing techniques, practicing them over and over in your business and personal life

  • Take advantage of closing tools like Pipedrive’s Smart Docs, sales insights and sales reporting

With a CRM like Pipedrive, you can track all your leads and prospects through your sales pipeline, ensuring your sales team never misses an opportunity to convert them into customers.

For more on closing sales deals, read our article containing stories from sales experts about the best deals they closed.

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