Intermediate Closing Strategies

Sales Handshake
Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

When you've mastered the basic art of closing a sale, it's time to review some additional, intermediate-level strategies. These closes aren't necessarily more difficult than the basic closing strategies, but they tend to be more complex. It's a good idea to practice basic closes until you can do them without thinking about every word. Then you'll have an advantage in mastering more complex techniques.

Here are a few you might want to consider and add to your arsenal. 

The Pact Close

This close is a little different because you deploy it at the beginning of the appointment. Say something like this before you launch into your presentation:

“Just so we're clear, I'm not here to sell you anything today. My goal is to show you what this product can do for you and why so many of my customers love it. All I ask is that you keep an open mind as I go over the details, and be thinking about whether the product would be a good solution for you. Then, after we've talked, you can tell me what you've decided. Does that sound fair?”

I call it the pact close because you're making a pact with your prospect that you'll give information about your product and he or she will listen with an open mind. When you've finished your presentation, all you have to do is ask, “So is it a good fit for you?” You've just closed the prospect.

The Peer Pressure Close

This one works well on prospects who want to “think it over,”—i.e. get you out of the building so they can forget all about your product. When the prospect tries to stall you, say something like:

“I understand your concern—you want to make sure you get the best deal possible. The thing is, in the [x] years I've been selling this product, nearly all my customers have agreed that we truly are the best value. In fact, the ones who did the most shopping around really regretted wasting hours and hours when they could have been enjoying this product's benefits right from the start. It's up to you, of course, but I'd really like to save you some time by placing your order now instead of later.”

Ideally, bring along some written testimonials from existing customers. That way you can give specific examples like, “Mrs. Jones settled on the same model you're considering after pricing out three other vendors.”

The If-All-Else-Fails Close

When the customer flat out doesn't want to buy your product and your attempts at answering objections haven't made him budge, try saying something like this:

“I'm afraid I haven't done a very good job today in representing my product because I truly believe it would solve your problem of [give a customer the problem here, preferably something he's mentioned]. Can you tell me how I let you down today, or what issues I failed to address? I'd appreciate knowing so I don't make the same mistake again.”

This close accomplishes two things: First, it helps you identify the weaknesses in your presentation that are blocking the sale, and second, it gives you a last-ditch chance to uncover and resolve the prospect's hidden objections.