Closeup of woman shouting though megaphone with stop sign drawn on blackboard.jpegTechnology has changed the landscape of sales. Now customers have all the information they need to make a purchase at their fingertips. The way we approach customers needs to change as well. We need to STOP using outdated sales closing techniques. Here are seven sales closing techniques you need to avoid using.  

1. The Assumptive Close

With this closing technique, salespeople assume that the prospect is going to buy without the prospect giving them any kind of confirmation. Instead of assuming the prospect is going to buy, salespeople must be transparent and ask them. Create a sense of urgency by asking questions like “How soon do you want to solve this problem?” or “What happens if you keep doing what you are doing?”

2. The Cradle to Grave Close

This technique is often used on prospects who say it’s too soon to purchase. Salespeople try to convince prospects that there is no good time to buy so they might as well buy now. However, there is a right and wrong way for a prospect to make a purchase. Salespeople using this technique are dismissing their prospects needs and damaging the relationship.

3. The Alternate Choice Close

Salespeople use the alternative close to trick prospects into buying by pitching a prospect two product options. For example: “Would you like to purchase the green shirt or the black shirt?” Prospects will easily see through this tactic and will not make a purchase.

4. The Something for Nothing Close

This close offers the prospect a discount or free product in exchange for a purchase. This strategy is not beneficial for you or your prospect. Using this technique makes the salesperson look extremely desperate for a sale. You should never give away a product that could be used to upsell the prospect. If you constantly give away products and discounts, prospects will expect that for every purchase. If you use this close you will end up devaluing your products and company.

5. The Sales Contest Close

The Sales Contest Close is very similar to the Something for Nothing Close. Salespeople offer the prospect a discount or a free product because they’re close to winning a sales contest. This close takes advantage of your relationship with the prospect in hope that they will be willing to help you. Using this technique puts the focus on solving your problem instead of solving the prospect’s problem.

6. The Sharp Angle Close

When a customer asks “Does your product do X?”, a salesperson using the Sharp Angle Close responds with “If my product did X would you be willing to buy it today?”. If your prospect is still asking questions, they’re still trying to discover if your product can solve their problems. So, instead of trying to trick your prospect into a purchase, answer their questions and demonstrate that your product is the solution they’ve been looking for.

7. The Takeaway Close

If a prospect is hesitant about a price, a salesperson who uses this technique removes something the prospect wants. For example, you’ve discovered that the prospect wants customer support but doesn’t want to pay the price for it. The conversation would look something like this:

Salesperson: If $500 is not affordable for you, I’ll have to remove customer support. I know customer support was a priority for you, but that’s the only way I can make it work for you.

This close may backfire if the prospect responds like this:

Prospect: I can’t afford $500, but I need customer support. I guess I will have to purchase from Competitor X.

If you then decide to change your mind and adjust your price it makes you look like a manipulative salesperson who is only looking out for yourself. Instead of trying to use your prospect’s needs against them, be open and honest with your prospect.  

It’s time to bring your sales closing techniques into the 21st century. These outdated techniques will hinder your sales and turn prospects away. Leave these outdated techniques in the past and focus on new techniques that won’t insult your prospects’ intelligence.


Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.