Effective Methods of Closing A Sale
For closing a sale a salesperson may go for various methods as he wants since there are numerous methods available. However, in order to use effective methods of closing a sale, the salesperson first should create a suitable climate for closing, by maintaining a positive attitude, keeping control over interviews, providing space to the customers, giving the customers chance to buy, keeping points on selling services, determining the right time to sell.
After completing the above task, then the salesperson may go for closing a sale following the methods mentioned below:
Assuming the Sale is Made
Closing a sale can be made effective by assuming the sale is made. To apply this method, the salesperson must be careful that he is not creating an adverse impression on the buyers of applying pressures. Instead, he should always remember that the buyers should be offered choices.
Determining that he has to close sales at any cost, maximum opportunities to choose should be provided to customers. When the customers choose items and have no objections about them, the sale is to be closed.
For example, Mohan Tailoring wants to apply this method to sell not only a suit but also a waistcoat. The salesperson makes his presentation by offering maximum choices of clothes and design. When the customers reach the point of closing the sale the salesperson uses his/her intelligence by saying “Sir, put on this waistcoat too”. If the customer has no objection, the waistcoat may also be sold.
Building a Series of Acceptances
While using these methods of closing a sale, the salesperson brings the prospect to the state of buying by questioning a lot and receiving a series of answers all the time. He presents the questions in such a way that the prospect may not be able to say “No”.
By interacting in question-answer format, the salesperson makes prospects realize that,
- The product fulfills his/her needs.
- The salesperson and company are reputable.
- The value received is fair compared to the price.
Now it is a good time to buy, Example:
- The salesperson: Have you seen this new model of Samsung TV?
- The customer: Yes, it is so attractive.
- The salesperson: It is not only attractive, but it is also multi-functional too. See, how it functions! Would you try it?
- The customer: Yes, please.
- The salesperson: Isn’t it exceptional?
- The customer: Oh, Yes it is!
- The salesperson: It’s the only piece in the market right now and the price is also not so high. Should I make home delivery?
- The customer: Yes, please! It will be the first set of its kind in my neighborhood.
Summarizing the Selling Points
This method can be applied in the course of selling any kind of product subject to the buyer wanting sound, logical reasons for making the purchase. In other words, the salesperson has to satisfy the customer through summarized selling points relating to the product features.
The product features may include quality, price, incentives, post-purchase services, functional utility, etc. By describing these features, if the prospect becomes ready to buy, the salesperson knows that the time has come to close the sale.
Getting Decision on Minor points
In some selling fields, closing the sale can be made on the basis of minor points on which the customer is convinced. In many cases, it has been found that some customers get convinced only by listening to some minor points about the product or service. They don’t want ‘to listen more.
Perhaps, this may happen due to their experience with the product or they are more concerned about these minor points in the course of the presentation. When the customer chooses the product on these points, the seller should close the sale.
For example, the minor points of TV can be its company name, color, delivery time, credit terms, model, etc.
In case the uncertainty of closing a sale appears, the contingent method can be used. The uncertainties may be due to changes in the company policy and strategies which may affect modifications in size, quantity, quality, color, styles, terms, and conditions, etc., and so once qualified prospect may hesitate to close the deal.
In such a situation, the customers should be approached and convinced that if the above issues appear in the immediate future, they will be informed in time so that they can decide whether to close the sale deal or not. But if the salesperson finds the customer’s eligibility suspect, the seller may pretend anything to escape from him/her.
For example, A real estate agent had shown a prospect a two-storied building at Koteshwor that cost Rs. Three crores. The prospect was impressed by it because of its location and the utilities available. But the agent feels that the prospect may not be eligible. Meanwhile, the agent finds the next eligible candidate. So, he/she will tell the former, “Sorry sale has been closed two days ago.”
Using “What If . .” Method
This method allows the salesperson to assess the human weakness of the buyer. He tries to put across the strong points of the product the company facilities for buyers compared to others. While presenting the strong points, the salesperson may emphasize on,
- Work performance
- Speed (if associated)
- Cost price
- After use saving
- Attractive offers, etc.
By elaborating on the comparative advantages of the product or service on grounds, the salesperson says, “When these benefits are there why not buy?” It doesn’t mean that he is pressurizing the customer to buy. In fact, he wants to cash on the weakness of the buyer and if he succeeds, he closes the sale.
Countering an Impending Event
In case a certain impending event like a price hike or fall causes fear in the mind of buyers, they may hesitate to close a sale at present. In such a situation, the salesperson should try to remove such fears from their minds by referring to losses that the buyers may have to sustain if the scenario changes in the future.
However, in some selling fields, a possible price hike in the future could bring greater opportunity to gain whereas in some fields there could be a loss.
Example-If the cost of a Honda motorcycle is Rs.2,50,000 for 100 cc and the company is going to increase the price by 2% in near future, the customer should be informed in time through the sales agent that it is the right time to close the sale. By buying it now, he/she will be saving Rs.5000 immediately. In contrast, if the company is going to decrease the price by 2% in the near future, the customer should be alerted that he/she should wait a while to close the sale. By doing so, the customer will be saving Rs.5000. The other alternative approach would be to say that the loss occurring due to impending events can be borne by the firm.
Using the SRO Method
In case the product is to be sold rapidly and its supply is limited, the salesperson can use the SRO method to effectively close the sale. This Standing Room Only method will be, therefore, is one of the most effective methods for closing a sale in retail selling. Besides, the SRO Method will be applicable in other selling fields also, provided that:
- The item is in heavy demand
- The item stock is limited
- The item is a bargain
- The item cannot be reordered
- The item is a sample
- The item is unusually attractive
- The item is the last one in the stock.
Because of these situations, the customer needs to make up his/her mind in a hurry whether to close the sale deal or not. In other words, he/she is put under pressure, because the customer will not be willing to lose the closing opportunity to the next customer who may be waiting in line. The salesperson may say, “Hurry, please. This is the last piece”.
Trying the Balance-Sheet
The “Balance-Sheet” method allows the seller to help prospects in closing a sale by asking them the comparative benefits of various brands. This method was, first, introduced by Franklin and so is referred to as the “Benjamine Franklin Balance-Sheet Sheet Closure”.
The comparisons depend upon the following parameters:
- Benefits if bought now or if bought later
- Benefits when the salesperson’s product is bought and those of other competitors
- Benefits if the product is bought or the loss if it is not bought
Making a Special Offer
Some prospects or customers may think that if they put on the purchase a little longer, they may get a better bargain. They may put off the firm’s offer by feeling that another customer may have obtained a better bargain than them in such a situation, by offering a special bargain to the extent possible, the customers brought to the point of closing the sale.
For this purpose, the seller can offer a special discount, a free accessory, a special price for a storage container, a free extra unit if a certain number of units are purchased, etc.
Trying Trial Order
This method of closing a sale is used by the salespeople of the office and industrial equipment. The salespeople engaged in selling industrial and business goods mostly use this method. It does not mean that those who sell consumer goods do not use them. The important point to be remembered by the salespeople is that they must analyze the following situations:
- When the offer involves no possible loss for buyer
- When selling is to be done to consumers, not to wholesalers and retailers whose huge investment could devalue the product.
- When the products are new and not well known to customers.
In order to apply this method, the salespeople should follow the following steps,
- Consult the prospect
- Encourage the prospect or buyer to order a small number of units on a trial basis.
- Convince the customer or prospect on two grounds, “If the product will be useful you buy the next unit and if unsatisfactory at least you will have a new experience and you don’t have to bear any risk”.
- Make the order sale closed if the customer agrees.
Using a Two-Person Team to Close a Sale
In the following situation, closing a sale is done by two salespeople with the help of the sales staff of the company whose products the salesperson is selling. For the purpose of closing the sale, both of them make effective sales presentations before a customer. Both of them try to persuade the buyer in their own way.
The question may be raised-why the help of company sales staff? The answer is very plain-the salesperson may lack some pertinent knowledge to overcome certain objections that the buyer may come up with. But both the salesperson and the sales staff must be very much careful while persuading the buyer. They should not make him/her feel pressured.
If the two-person team conveys an impression of high pressure, the buyer will be resentful and resist their efforts. As a result, the team will be losing an opportunity to close the sale. Therefore, the two-person team may be used only in the following situations:
- When the buyer is considering a large purchase
- When the sale is of high significance to the company
- When the salesperson faces technical problems about the product that can best be handled by a home-office expert.
Some salespeople use the “Turnover method” when they try to convince the buyers but fail to do so. When they feel that they are not able to close the sale, they turn the customers over to the next seller. But while doing so, they neither want to break the relationship with the customer nor to turn the customers away without buying. Here, the real capacity of tackling the customers by the salespeople can be judged. That is why, in the Nepali market, the salespersons have been found saying, “Please go to the next shop there, and you will get the product of your choice.” Some Nepali sellers say,” Wait, I will call the salesperson from there who can help you”.