How do you create a successful sales result? While it’s important to use good opening techniques to kick-start your sale, the closing techniques are equally valuable as they contribute to a positive sales outcome for both you & your customer!
Closing techniques don’t have to be complicated; in fact, the most straightforward closes are often the best. If you have successfully opened the sale and built trust and rapport with your customer, closing the sale should come naturally & be a seamless experience; however, you still will need to ask.
It’s a myth that customers who want to buy, close the sale themselves. So, the question is, how do you know when to ask for the sale and what to say?
In this article, we’ll look at these four super effective closing techniques that you can use in your own sales approach:
- Buying signals
- The ‘take it close’
- The ‘either-or close’
- Reassuring your customer
We’ve also included some helpful tips and tricks that you can weave into your customer interactions to ensure you both have a fun & memorable experience!
You need to be confident that your customer is happy with what they’ve seen and are ready to purchase. The best time to close the sale with your customer is when they start to show positive buying signals. Look for smiles and happy, friendly facial expressions; these are good indicators that your customer is relating well to what you’re showing them. These signals can be very obvious or quite subtle. Some examples include:
- Asking about alternatives, for example, “Does it come in a different colour or size?”
- Enquiring about delivery options, for example, “Can this be delivered, or do I need to pick it up from the store?”
- Asking about finance terms, such as, “Do you offer a Buy Now and Pay Later deal?
- Showing positive body language like nodding and reaching for their wallet etc.
If you want a stronger signal, don’t hesitate to ask them how they feel about the product or what they think of the solution you’ve shown them.
Buying signals can be positive, neutral or negative. They can tell you if you have more work to do or if your customer is ready to purchase.
When you get verbal or body language signals that are positive, then it's time to close the sale!
The ‘Take it close’
The Take-it close is one of the most straightforward closes. This is because it consists of a simple question that customers react well too; there are no assumptions made, and no discounts or conditions are offered. It’s open and honest, which most customers will appreciate!
All you need to do is ask, “Would you like to take that today?” Use a steady, even tone when you ask for the sale. When you’re confident in your approach, your customer will also feel comfortable and assured with the solution you’ve shown them.
Once you’ve gained confidence, start using variations on the ‘Take it close’ by trying closing lines like, “Great, would you like to take it?” or “We have one in stock; would you like to take it today?”
You’re asking your customer to commit and say yes to the solution you’re offering them. All you have to do is ask for the sale. It’s as simple as that!
The ‘Either or Close’
Another common close is the ‘either-or close’, also known as the ‘alternative close’. When you’ve shown your customer a couple of options, ask them which one they’d like to take. This technique works really well because it assumes your customer is going to make a purchase, and it gives them a choice, which makes them feel in control of their decision.
A good example of this is: “Would you like to take it in red or grey?” or “Do you think you’d like to go with the small or medium today?”
For this closing technique to be successful, you need to have strong positive buying signals from your customer; otherwise, they may feel pressured or manipulated.
You might prefer this technique because it feels softer and not as direct, and your customer is less likely to resist or reject your close.
Reassuring your customer
The end of the sale is a great time to reassure your customer about their purchase and invite them back to your store. It’s essential that they feel confident about their purchase; otherwise, there’s a risk that they’ll return the product and feel negative about you and your store.
To reassure your customer, you need to tell them they’ve made a good choice. However, more importantly, you need to tell them why it’s a good choice by reminding them of their original reason for purchasing.
For example: “This is a fun colour. I think you’ll be really happy with this. It’s certainly going to brighten up that area you’re talking about!”
Summarising the features and benefits of the product before asking for the sale also reminds your customer about the product's advantages and why it’s worth the purchase. The goal at the end of the sale is to make sure your customer leaves feeling happy and positive about their buying experience.
In summary, it’s essential that you have some closing techniques as part of your retail sales process. From the minute your customer walks in the door, you should be working towards closing the sale. The relationship you develop by working through the sales process of building rapport, uncovering needs and finding a solution should make this step much easier. If you’re having trouble closing the sale, it could be a sign of problems earlier in your process. When you build trust and a genuine connection with your customer, you help them get just the right product. If it solves their problem and they fall in love with it, then asking for the sale is easy!
How to open a sale in retail?
Great opening techniques are the key to breaking the ice with your customer and kick-starting your sales interaction. Helping your customer feel welcome in-store helps to build trust quickly, breaks down barriers & sets you up for success!
Check out our article on the best techniques for opening a sale, including:
- First impressions: Dress to impress
- Welcome and acknowledge: The “fly-by”
- Opening lines: The current event, compliment and apology techniques
- Moving to business: The “What brings you in” transition question
What is the most effective retail sales approach?
The most effective retail sales approach focuses on your customer’s needs and preferences. It involves actively listening to them, understanding their desires and pain points, and then offering a solution that meets their needs.
This approach requires you to have a deep understanding of your products or services, be an excellent communicator and focus on building long-term relationships with your customers. You also need to demonstrate a high level of empathy by understanding and relating to your customer.
This helps to build trust and credibility, leading to your customer returning to your store and seeking you out in the future. It also allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors by providing a personalised, tailored solution to your customer's needs.
What is the ABC selling technique?
The popular sales technique, 'ABC' stands for “Always Be Closing”. This emphasises the importance of continually moving the sales process forward, looking for every opportunity to close deals. The technique encourages you to focus on the next step in the sales process, whether that’s arranging a follow-up meeting, getting a commitment to move forward, or closing the sale.
To do this, you must stay engaged with your customer throughout the sales process. You need to actively listen to your customer's needs, understand their pain points, and identify opportunities where your product or service could provide value.
The ultimate goal of the 'ABC' selling technique is to close the sale, but it’s important to note that this should be done in a way that’s natural rather than feeling pushy or aggressive.
What are the differences between assertive and aggressive sales techniques?
Assertive and aggressive sales techniques are two approaches to selling that can produce very different results. While both approaches involve making a solid pitch to your customer, there are some key differences.
Assertive sales techniques involve being confident and direct when presenting a product or service to a customer. You listen to your customer's needs and then present a solution that meets those needs. You’re firm but respectful and use persuasion and influence to encourage your customer to take action.
Aggressive sales techniques involve pressuring your customer to make a purchase, often using tactics such as intimidation or manipulation. If you’re an aggressive salesperson, you’ll focus on making the sale at any cost, often ignoring your customer's needs or preferences.
Assertive sales techniques are more likely to build trust and credibility with your customer, as they show you’re knowledgeable, confident, and respectful of their needs. On the other hand, aggressive sales techniques can lead to a negative impression, damaging your relationship with your customer and resulting in a loss of future business.
Is the ‘Urgency Close’ a good technique to use?
The ‘Urgency Close’ aims to create a sense of urgency in your customer, forcing them to make a purchase. This technique works by emphasising a limited time or availability of the product or service being sold, encouraging an unsure customer to take action and make a decision fast.
For example, “Our sale ends tomorrow” or “We’re selling out fast, and I don’t know if there’ll be any left by the weekend...”
This technique is old-fashioned, and most customers can see through it. It has a bad reputation, is a bit cheesy and can make you look pretty desperate! However, there may be a couple of legitimate times when you can use it successfully.
For example, “Last day for delivery before Christmas” or “They’ve just updated the model, so these are the last ones at this price…”.
You shouldn’t need to use this technique if you’ve built trust & rapport with your customer during the opening of the sale. However, if you are going to use it, then you need to be honest about the availability of a product or service to ensure you don’t damage the relationship with your customer. Remember, your customers can easily recognise when they’re being pressured or manipulated.