No matter what industry you're in, being in business means getting comfortable with selling. Some entrepreneurs are natural-born salespeople, while others dread selling and are much more comfortable with other aspects of their business. You can be successful in business even if you don't consider yourself particularly sales-oriented, but it requires stepping out of your comfort zone and mastering a few sales techniques. \r\n\r\nUnderstanding the technique you're using and going into your sales meetings with a plan makes it much easier to make a sale, even if you don't consider yourself a natural seller. Instead of having to come up with a strategy on your feet, you'll have a plan in mind that you can follow.\r\n\r\nYou know you have a good product or service, but without sales, your business won't last. Being a successful entrepreneur requires being laser focused on your bottom line to make sure you aren't bleeding money. These sales pitch techniques will help you close more deals, so you can grow your business confidently.\r\nWhy is a sales pitch still so important?\r\nEven in our very online world, making a personal connection with someone remains an extremely powerful tool. Your sales pitch gives you the chance to do this by putting a face to your business and creating a human connection with the buyer you’re dealing with. Even if you deliver your sales pitch over the phone or on zoom, there's far more opportunity to connect than, say, if someone were just reading your sales brochure.\r\n\r\nYour sales pitch might be the very first time your prospect connects with a person representing your business. This gives you a chance to give them more insight into why they should do business with you and answer questions they may have after reading or hearing about your business.\r\n\r\nThe sales pitch also gives you an opportunity to hear your prospect's concerns, needs, and expectations. They can share their unique pain points with you, which in turn gives you the opportunity to answer questions they might not otherwise be able to find. \r\n\r\nThink of the sales pitch as an exchange. It's not just about bombarding the buyer with information. It's about giving them a more tailored insight into your business, but it's also a chance for you to learn what they need so that you can offer them the most value possible. This personal touch can help you stand out in a crowded market.\r\nWhat are sales closing techniques?\r\nSales closing techniques are methods that have been proven over time to help you convert a potential customer into a buyer. You don't have to start from zero and come up with your own techniques; other entrepreneurs and business people have already done a lot of the heavy lifting for you, and there is a ton of literature on the subject of selling.\r\n\r\nInstead of going into a meeting and just seeing where it goes, you can think of sales closing techniques like roadmaps that can guide you towards closing a deal. Ideally, you'll master a range of closing techniques so you can tailor your approach to each specific buyer and situation. \r\n\r\nLike most skills in life, the best way to learn them is to actually do them. You may feel clumsy or awkward the first couple of times you practice a closing technique, but as you build your confidence, you'll start to see the results you're looking for. \r\nThe science behind closing a sale\r\nThere's both art and science to successfully closing a sale. On the one hand, there's an art to conversation, listening, and understanding the needs of the person sitting across from you. However, there’s also a scientific method to being successful in sales. \r\n\r\nConsider the fact that only about two per cent of sales occur at the first meeting. Those odds suggest that you absolutely shouldn't be discouraged by the first "no" from your prospect. They require more information and the chance to build up more trust in you before making the commitment to buy from you. In fact, the same report indicates that over 80 per cent of sales don't take place until the prospect has said "no" four times. \r\n\r\nThese numbers suggest that perseverance is a key component of the science of closing a sale. It also suggests that at each of your follow up meetings and interactions, you should work on addressing a concern that your prospect has, helping them see that doing business with you is a wise choice because you're serious, reliable, and can offer them value. \r\n\r\nYou can miss out on a lot of business opportunities just by giving up too early. Mastering a few sales closing techniques can help you get close to the sale each time you meet with or talk to a prospect.\r\nHow to close a sale\r\nLuckily, there are many ways you can go about closing a sale. This is good news if you find a particular sales technique just doesn't work for you. \r\n\r\nThere are many time-proved sales closing techniques you can try out, and we'll go over eight top approaches here. After studying them, choose one or two to try out the next time you make a sales pitch to a prospect. By knowing what you're going to say in advance, it's easier to stick to the plan and try out a strategy to see what works for you. \r\n\r\nWhichever strategy you choose, you'll have better chances of success if you respect the buyer by being honest and transparent when answering their questions and can confidently speak about your business. This comes with experience, and you don't necessarily need an audience to get some valuable practice. Delivering your pitch and closing technique in front of a mirror is a great way to flex your sales closing muscles before you're in a real selling situation. \r\nThe best closing sales techniques\r\nBefore you can start practicing, the first step is reading through various sales closing techniques and jotting down which ones resonate with your personal communication style and what your business offers. Each of these sales closing techniques can be very effective, so it's totally up to you what you want to try first. \r\n1. The Columbo Close\r\nThe Columbo Close gets its name from the famous 1970's TV detective who went by the same name. In the crime drama, Columbo's signature line was always delivered once his suspects thought the interrogation was over. As he was leaving, he would turn around and deliver his famous line, "just one more thing.”\r\n\r\nIn a sales context, to use this technique, save an enticing proposition or product offering for the end of your sales meeting. As the meeting is wrapping up, let your prospect know about the "one more thing" you can offer them. This is a tried and true old school technique that can be very effective if you are on the fence or need a little extra motivation to buy.\r\n2. The Assumptive Close\r\nThe assumptive close is a little bit different from other techniques because it is not so much a framework for what to say, but rather a trick for getting into a state of mind that will make you more likely to succeed. With the assumptive close, you assume you are going to close the sale provided you go through each step of your sales process. \r\n\r\nGetting yourself into this mindset can make you feel more confident, which in turn makes you come across as confident and trustworthy. When moving through the assumptive sale, it's a good idea to check in with your prospect as you go along to make sure they understand everything you're saying and don't have any unanswered questions. \r\n3. The Puppy Dog Close\r\nImagine taking home an adorable puppy for a few days to try it out and see if it'll make a good pet. Most of the time, the adorableness of the puppy will make it nearly impossible to send it back. The puppy dog close is based on this principle, and involves you letting your prospect try out your product or service without having to make any commitments. \r\n\r\nCar dealerships frequently use this technique by letting you test drive their vehicles. Software companies also frequently rely on this technique by giving you free access to their software for a couple of weeks or months. By the time the free trial is over, you may be too fond of the software to give it up and be more willing to pay for it. \r\n4. The Backwards Close\r\nA sales cycle usually follows a series of steps in order, beginning with prospecting for customers and qualifying your prospects. The final step, after the sale, is asking for referrals in order to further grow your business. \r\n\r\nWith the backwards close technique, you begin by asking for referrals right away. You can ask your prospect if they know anyone else who could benefit from your products or services, because you're confident you can help your customers. This will put your prospect at ease because it takes the pressure off having to make a buying decision. Then, once you're in conversation, you can explain your product or service’s benefits in a more conversational, organic way. \r\n5. The Hard Close\r\nWhile this probably shouldn't be your first go-to technique, it's a good one to have in your pocket for when you don't have a lot of time to be with the customer. For example, you may have other customers you'd be better off focusing on. \r\n\r\nThe hard close is very direct. Basically, you tell your prospect it's the last chance for a given deal, or you flat out ask them if there's a deal or not. It won't work with everyone, but can be very effective if someone is waffling and drawing out the sales process.\r\n6. The Take Away Close\r\nIn this closing technique, you give your prospect a simplified offer, taking away some products, features, or benefits for an improved price. This puts them in a psychological position of having to accept losing something they want, so they're more likely to go ahead and purchase the bigger offer so that they don't have to accept that loss. \r\n7. The Now or Never Close\r\nJust as the name implies, this close is all about cutting through any inertia in your prospect's decision making by creating a sense of urgency. Saying things like, "if you buy today, I can offer 15 per cent off” is an example of a now-or-never approach to closing.\r\n8. The Summary Close\r\nSometimes, both you and the buyer may be enjoying the conversation and end up getting off topic or into the weeds about different aspects of your business. To bring them back to a position where they can buy from you, the summary close can be effective. With this technique, you offer a concise summary of the different things you've discussed, such as features of your main products. This helps them remember the most important selling points, and gives them an opportunity to make a decision.\r\nBonus tip: take time to understand your buyer’s role\r\nNo matter which sales closing technique you decide to try out, you'll be in a better position if you take the time to understand your buyer. If you're selling to someone who is part of a larger organization, find out what their area of expertise is and how much of the final decision to buy is theirs. \r\n\r\nFor example, say you have a company that makes artisanal gin. You may meet with a buyer at a restaurant chain to try to get your product on their menu. If the buyer comes from the culinary or cocktail creation side of the business, you might be better off emphasizing your beverage’s unique notes and its high quality production method. If you're meeting with a buyer who comes from the finance side of the business, you may be more successful talking about how your high-end gin can help them create premium cocktails that will boost their bottom line. \r\n\r\nTaking the time to understand your buyer will help you address their specific pain points and tailor your sales pitch to their needs. \r\nActionable sales advice\r\nNo matter which sales closing technique you try out, there are a few pieces of advice that will always help you out. \r\n\r\n \t Don't sell on price alone. Buyers are motivated by more than price, even if the final price of your products is also important. You want to create desire for your product or service, and the way to do that is by understanding your buyer's pain points and explaining how you can solve them. \r\n \t Become an amazing listener. People love being heard, and buyers are no different. Give them a chance to express their needs. You never know what valuable information you might pick up. \r\n \t Be persistent. So much of success in sales is about mindset. If you allow yourself to get discouraged every time you hear "no,” you won't persist long enough to start hearing "yes" more often. \r\n \t Have a pipeline. The more sales targets you have, the more likely you are to close some of them. Creating a sales forecast with your various targets and where they are in the sales process is a good way to stay on track. \r\n\r\nFinal thoughts on closing sales\r\nClosing a sale is extremely satisfying, especially when it's for your own business. It may seem difficult at first, but the more successful closes you have under your belt, the more you'll gain confidence in your ability to close more often. \r\n\r\nSales is ultimately essential to any healthy business, so if you want all the hard work you've put into your business to pay off, mastering a few sales closing techniques is one of the best things you can do.