Having the best sales closing techniques will increase your closing ratio.
The problem is that learning good sales closing techniques is difficult. Most sales resources that you find online or in books, teach you nothing. In fact, the methods they teach are more likely to turn prospects and customers away, rather than successfully close deals.
If you use statements like “How may I help you” – STOP IMMEDIATELY. Statements like these chase customers away and make you lose sales. So why as a sales professional do we keep using those lines, knowing it will automatically make the customer feel that they don’t want anything to do with us?
You are getting rejected again and again, and you don’t even know why. All you are doing is asking them if they need help – you are just doing your job. But from a customer’s point of view, you are anything but. If you want to succeed at sales, here are 7 sales questions you should never ask your prospect.
1. How Can I Help You?
How many times have you walked into a retail shop and someone comes up to you and asks How can I help you?
You’ve been asked this question hundreds of times in your lifetime. And everytime you hear it, inside your mind you are thinking Oh my god not this question again. Ask yourself – if you don’t like being asked this question, what makes you think your prospect does?
When you ask someone if you can help them, the immediate reaction you are going to get is No no, I’m just looking. Even if they are there to buy something, the minute you ask them this question they will get defensive and say they don’t need your help. This is because people don’t like to be sold. Your customer wants to feel they are buying something because it’s their choice, not because someone convinced them into buying it. If you are going to ask if they need help, it is better to just say nothing at all.
2. Do You Have A Minute?
Why would anyone ask if you have a minute? Think about when you would ever say this in a real life scenario. Chances are – never.
In reality you are not going to make the sale in just a minute. It is a dumb thing to ask. When you ask your prospect if they have a minute, you are telling them that your time is not valuable. What you have to say to me is not that important – that’s why you only need a minute.
You and I both know you are going to need much more than just a minute. Not to mention you are directly lying to your prospect. Think about what kind of reputation you are building, by lying to people when you just met them. It destroys all your credibility.
Another variant that salespeople should never use, is Am I catching you at a bad time? The answer is obvious – yes you are. You are setting yourself up for failure by asking if it’s a bad time. By mentioning if it is a good time to talk, you are influencing your prospect to think about whether or not they’ve caught you at a bad time.
Instead of asking them if it’s a bad time or if they only have a minute, you can say
Is this a good time to talk? It’s not optimal, but it is a much better alternative than these two other questions. It allows the prospect to feel they have a choice to make, by letting them think of whether it is a good time. If it isn’t, you can always come back later.
3. How Could You Not Want This Deal?
This question is outright pushy. As a salesperson, it is difficult to judge your own behaviour. Research shows that only 17% of salespeople think they are pushy, whereas prospects feel 50% of them are. If you are interacting with a prospect and they aren’t responding the way you’d like, chances are you are being too forceful.
To the prospect, this question sounds like you are forcing your product onto them. How would you feel if you were in their shoes, and a salesperson was shoving their product down your throat? You would instantly be turned off from purchasing anything.
Remember: The customer is king. You cannot use force to try and make the customer buy your product. They need to come to that conclusion on their own. When you are able to make your prospect see the value in your product, they will do all the talking themselves. Show them how it could transform their life. How they could benefit from it. How it could take their business to the next level.
When you say something, it means nothing. But when your prospect says something, it means everything. Asking How could you not want this deal reflects back on you as a bad salesperson. It means you haven’t properly communicated the value to them. You haven’t properly qualified the prospect, and you haven’t discovered what his or her needs are.
As a salesperson, you want to focus on demonstrating how valuable your product is. If you do it correctly, you won’t have to do any selling – the customer will practically beg you to let them buy it.
4. Would You Like Some Time To Think About It?
Yes, yes they would. They want time to think about it so they can finally come to a decision and say NO.
This question is implying that you don’t want to push your prospect. Remember that delay kills sales. If you are even thinking about pushing your prospect, you are not doing your job. If you did your job properly, the prospect would be pushing YOU to close the sale. They would literally be waving their credit card in your face and telling you to swipe it.
When the salesperson pushes the prospect it is bad. When the prospect pushes the salesperson, it is the best outcome that could happen. In order to do that, you need to lead them in the right direction towards that decision. Sometimes, your prospect may not even realize they want the product – as a salesperson, you have to make them realize that fact.
It is like a CEO in a company. The CEO acts as the visionary, and communicates to his team what they want. If a CEO can’t communicate their vision clearly, the team won’t follow them. It is the same with your prospect. Show them that your product is exactly what they have been looking for all this time, and let them decide if they should make a decision.
When it comes to sales, you want to close the prospect right there and then. Don’t give them time to ‘think about it’ – delay kills sales.
5. Would You Like A Proposal Or A Quote?
How many times have you gotten a proposal or quote? What do you do with it after you receive it? Nothing.
The same is going to happen if you send one to your prospect. They aren’t going to even look at it. Now you’re stuck playing the chasing game, and showing your neediness.
“Hey have you read the proposal?”
“Hey did you get my proposal?”
“What did you think of it?”
I absolutely hate proposals. You can spend hours, days, even weeks crafting the perfect proposal. And when you send it to them, what happens? You never hear from them again.
Proposals are a waste of your time. If your prospect asks you for a proposal, what you should reply with is this:
“What exactly are you looking for from the proposal?”
Don’t waste time crafting a proposal, when you have no idea what they want. Get to the bottom line, and learn what your prospect is looking for. And if they say they’re looking for A, B and C, you can respond with this:
“Let’s pretend I send you the proposal, and you like what you see. What’s going to happen next? Are you and I going to do business? Is that within your budget? How soon are you ready to move forward?”
Boom. Right there, you have just completely reversed the sales conversation. Instead of the prospect qualifying you, you are now qualifying the prospect, seeing if they are serious about doing business. If they aren’t, there’s no point going further – they are just going to waste your time.
Why I Hate Proposals – And Why You Should Too
You can close deals without a proposal. I’ve closed 6 figure, 7 figure and even 8 figure deals without ever providing a proposal. What you want to do, is make one phone call. And close them on that phone call, after you’ve properly qualified them. What you don’t want, is the illusion that a proposal can help you close the sale, when you yourself can’t.
Before you ever do a proposal there should be some kind of financial commitment from them that shows they are serious about doing business. The proposal itself is not designed to sell or close the prospect, it simply spells out the terms of agreement AFTER you’ve closed them.
After you’ve closed them on a call, then you can send a proposal. Inside that proposal are the terms of agreement of how you two are going to do business. How you are going to get paid. What service you are going to provide them with. How soon you are expecting that first payment. Not a document that explains how you are going to provide them with value. That should be done during a sales conversation.
If you can’t close in person, or if you are a lousy closer, a few pieces of paper isn’t going to do anything for you. From experience closing deals with big businesses, they don’t care about a proposal. What they do care about, is how exactly you are going to get them results. How you are going to deliver value to them. Make them money. Solve their problems. Save them money. If you can show them how you’ll do exactly that, a proposal is not necessary.
6. Who Is The Best Salesperson That’s Ever Called You?
This question is extremely ego driven. Why would a salesperson even want to know the answer to this? The only purpose is to imply that you are the best salesperson the customer has talked to.
This question does not add value to the conversation in any way. It does not tell you of the prospect’s needs, their desires, what their problems are or why they are even talking to you. The customer does not care if you are the best salesperson on the planet. Remember that the customer only cares whether or not you can solve their problems. That’s the only thing that is on their mind.
To summarize, you should never ask this question. Ever.
7. Can I Send You An Email?
Remember how we talked about proposals and why sending one is a waste of time? This next question is just as bad. And that is – Can I send you an email?
This question is worse than asking if they would like a proposal. Much, much worse. When you ask this question to a prospect, you are implying that you are a poor salesperson.
Remember that the purpose of a proposal is to lay out the terms of agreement, and payment terms. Sending an email, is no better than sending a proposal. If you cannot close a sale when you are face to face with a prospect, what makes you think you can do it through an email?
The only time you would send an email to a prospect is to send them an invoice or a payment link. As a salesperson, do not count on an email to sell for you. If you are a lousy closer, the best thing to do is to practice and improve your closing skills.
You need to have confidence in your own skills. Rely on your charisma, your charm, your experience and ability to sell. Emails do not close deals – you do.
8. Are You Looking To Buy Today?
Finally, the 8th and dumbest question of all time. And that is: Are you looking to buy today?
“No! I’m not looking to buy today! Get off my back!”
There is no reason to ask this question. It pressures your prospect into feeling as though they must buy something TODAY. A customer that feels rushed is not going to enjoy their shopping experience. And the less they are enjoying their time in your presence, the less likely they are going to buy.
People hate to be sold, but they love to buy. If you are trying to force the customer into making a decision they aren’t yet ready for, there is no way you will succeed. People don’t like to feel as though you are the reason they are buying. If they feel as though you sold them on something, that you somehow influenced their decision to buy, they will feel uncomfortable. This is called buyers remorse.
Don’t Act Like The Salesperson That Prospect’s Have Nightmares About
Have you ever met a salesperson who somehow convinced you to buy something you’d never even use? How did you feel after that experience? You see, most people have a similar experience like that. They’ve had a smooth talking salesperson trick them into buying something they didn’t even need. The worst part, is that they fell for that trick. As a result, when you ask them if they are ready to buy, their past memories come flooding back. They see you as that salesperson, who scammed them many years ago. And they want nothing to do with you.
Don’t ask them if they are looking to buy. Make them want to buy. Ask them questions and pique their curiosity. The more you can get a prospect to think about what they are looking for and how the product can benefit them, the more interested they will be in actually buying.
What To Say After The Conversation To Close The Prospect Once And For All
Once you have properly communicated how your product or service is the solution, go for the kill and close the deal. One question I like to use to close the conversation is Where should we go from here? This let’s the prospect feel they are in control. They can decide to move forward, which means saying yes, or they could think it’s not right for them and that’s perfectly fine. If they say yes, I’ll respond with:
“Congratulations. I look forward to working with you.”
Now this is a big mistake most salespeople make once they close the deal. Do NOT say “Thank you”. You are providing a valuable service to the customer in exchange for money. It is a fair and equal trade. There is nothing you should thank them for – if anything, they should be thanking you for helping them solve their problems.
Remember that whether or not the prospect says yes, has nothing to do with you. Allowing yourself to let the prospect walk away, is the difference between an experienced and novice salesperson. At the end of the day, the decision is made by them, not you.
The Best Sales Closing Techniques That Close Over And Over
The worst kind of sales closing techniques are the ones everyone knows about. If you ask these kind of questions to your prospects and are wondering why you can’t close a sale, it’s time to forget what you’ve learned.
Instead of trying to force the prospect into making a decision through brute force, gently lead them. Customers don’t care about anything besides how you can help them. Ask them questions, show them the value of your product or service and they will close themselves.
If you want to learn more about sales closing techniques in depth, click here to discover The Perfect Closing Script that has generated over $34.5 billion in sales.