Top Online Closing Techniques To Make More Sales

We’ve prepared a report with “101 Closing Techniques to Help Buyers Say YES!” but frankly, not all of those will work in an online setting.

But if your business is like mine, most of it’s online… not all of it.

So, we need to be good at all the closing techniques.

And if you’re like me, you’re a lot more comfortable with some techniques than others.

But before we get to those, why do you need closing techniques when making sales?

One word: Objections.

Brian Tracy, arguably the finest sales trainer in the world, says,

“The fact is that objections are good. Objections indicate interest. Successful sales have twice as many objections as unsuccessful sales.”

Unfortunately, objections feel like rejection to a lot of folks who don’t like to sell. That was me. For a few years, sales was an area that scared me to death.

It felt a lot like being on a stage with immense pressure to perform.

Sales as Service!

Flipping the script though, like Tracy has done in his comment above, encourages even the non-salesperson to provide the best service to the prospect.

If the salesperson understands that service is ultimately their job, they not only have permission, but a duty to help people solve their problems – in exchange for money.

Closing techniques are not sneaky tactics to separate the buyer from his wallet, but persuasive tactics to get prospects to take action on something they already want and need, and to move toward that solution.

Sometimes, they’re not ready, but waiting only makes their situation worse. That’s where the right closing technique can help them take action – and hopefully implement that solution to make the necessary changes.

Closing in sales letters – especially online – presents a special problem.

We can’t be face-to-face to establish the physical rapport. Online business people struggle with that as evidenced by the rapid adoption of video on-camera sales letters.

So, we rely on closing techniques proven to work online.

Below, we review the top 10 sales closing techniques used by the most successful online marketers.

One or all of these may work for you. You may think none of them will work because your niche is “special”.

Nonsense. I used to say that too. The truth was simpler: I was afraid to ask for the sale.

My love of staying in business (which means making money) was greater than my fear of asking for a sale, so that’s finally gone. (If you’re in my community, you may have noticed that.)

Let’s review closing techniques those below.

Closing techniques proven to work online

Bracket Close

This is commonly known as a pricing panel. The prospect feels like he is making a choice among three products or three service levels when in reality, she will pick the one the owner wants 90% of the time.

Usually, the panels are set up like the one above:

· A low-cost, stripped-down version. (nobody wants to go slumming!)

· A high-value option in the middle that suits the needs of nearly everyone with a slight price increase over the low-cost version.

· And a premium, high-cost version for those buyers who always go deluxe.

Of course, the middle one is the one the seller wants nearly everyone to buy.

Cost of Inaction Close (COI)

Hat tip to Alex Mandossian for this tip. He advises coaching students and clients to focus on COI, not ROI when presenting options to prospects.

But ROI – return on investment – is inherently positive. It will give prospects the feeling of hope and possibilities, right?

That may be true, but COI – cost of inaction – triggers the more powerful emotion driver – fear of missing out (FOMO).

Cost of Inaction needs to be spelled out: Here’s what’s going to happen if you DON’T take advantage of this today.

A great analogy is wanting to play the piano for 10 years, but never taking lessons. To continue to do what you’ve done is get what you’ve got. Still won’t be able to play the piano in 10 more years.

It’s totally emotional and psychological, but works like gangbusters.

FOMO will show up quite a bit in these closing techniques as the primary driver, but let’s just say it taps into that dark place we all go when we feel like someone else is getting a better deal.

Deadline Close

Many, many online marketers love this closing technique because it’s very tangible, and works like nothing else if…

… you enforce your deadlines.

A good countdown timer like Simple Countdown Creator allows marketers to schedule promotions and automations to ensure that the deadlines and sales actions happen as advertised.

Prospects and customers get accustomed to purchasing your products before the deadline because the deal will be gone after the deadline.

There are a couple of types of deadlines:

1. Fast-action – like the one on the left, the timer shows the visitor that they can save an extra 20% with a special coupon code in the next 14 minutes and 40 seconds before the countdown timer expires.

2. Sale period – this can be hours, days or weeks, but there is a deadline looming. And of course, the further out the deadline, the less urgency the prospect feels to take action.

The issue with deadlines and timers (other than enforcement) is getting the timing right. As the graph below demonstrates, sales over a period of time has a predictable pattern with a spike in the beginning, a lull in the middle, and a massive spike at the end.

Often, the final spike as the deadline closes in can be 70-90 percent of sales.

So, the seller has two choices:

1. Collapse the time of the sale to remove as much of the lull as possible, or…

2. Figure out a way to spur sales during the lull period to improve conversions then.

Some techniques for that are:

1. Incremental price increases

2. Reducing bonuses

3. Sales contests during specific periods of the sale

And others, of course.

The big driver behind deadlines are intense scarcity and more FOMO.

Demonstration Close

My favorite was the Rainbow Vacuum salesman who came to the house when I was a kid and demonstrated to my fastidious mother how dirty her carpet was by demonstrating how great the water-filled vacuum was. She was mortified to see the mud in the container swirling as he vacuumed. We bought the Rainbow Vacuum.

We use the demonstration close often on a bridge page to pre-sell our viewers on software or training programs.

Getting a customer to do a quick demo showing the power of the solution with real results helps prospects see how a “real person” has used the solution and easily translates the possibilities for themselves. That’s the Holy Grail of the demonstration close, and it has been mastered by the QVC folks.

It makes the close a simple process of revealing the price, the value and the buy button.

Directive Close

This is a very popular closing technique, but often forgotten.

Tell prospects EXACTLY what to do.

By showing the prospects a step-by-step process, you’re walking them through the process of buying. And you’re also setting the expectations, reducing the fear of the unknown and removing the hesitation.

Often, this takes the form of:

Step 1 – Click on the button

Step 2 – Input your Name, eMail and Address

Step 3 – Enter your credit card information

Step 4 – Click Submit

Step 5 – Watch your email inbox for delivery of the product…

As you’re demonstrating this process, the prospect is often taking the action steps and following along – making the purchase.

Empathy Close

I was just like you.

I had the same problem as you.

I understand completely how you feel.

I almost went bankrupt when that happened to me.

All of those are examples of statements that prospects may identify with.

The empathy close is necessary in nearly every sales presentation. If you don’t identify with the prospect, they seldom become your customer because they don’t trust or relate to you.

With an empathy close, you identify, relate, and trust the prospect first because you understand their problem.

Exclusivity Close

Everyone wants to be special.

And your prospects are special, of course, but you can point out exactly how special they are.

“Only a few people will take action on this because most people are afraid to change their lives. But that’s not you.

You are a special kind of person who sees the possibilities, imagines the future, and makes it happen. That’s why you’re one of the very few that will take action on this. And it’s why we only want to work people like you in our private group… “

You get the drift.

Another way to do this is to tell people who this product is NOT for. For example, we have an exclusive live event coming up in October.

There are only 50 seats available.

And it’s limited to people in our 200 or 300 groups. In other words, you have to have a business up, making some sales, and serious about your niche.

If you don’t have a business established yet, this is not for you.

That’s an exclusivity close.

Money Talks Close

With this close, the marketer demonstrates the cost of the problem. It can be tallied up in a spreadsheet-like table.

The prospect can see the numbers and understand the cost of the problem.

If the numbers are correct, the prospect will agree with the cost of the problem.

Then, you propose a solution that will reduce the cost of that problem.

Take Away Close

This is exactly what it sounds like. And it’s incredibly effective.

As the process is revealed, the offer is amended to remove something you’d previously given. In other words, your bonus or extra feature will be removed if you don’t close now.

For example, if you’re selling software online, you may offer 6 extra months of upgrades if they purchase now. If they come back to the site tomorrow, the 6 extra months is gone.

You’ve taken it away.

This takes advantage of the fear of missing out effect so well, it’s almost painful to the prospect, which is exactly what you want…

Testimonial Close

Are prospects going to believe what you say about the effectiveness of your product solution?

Or are they more likely to believe someone who has used it, and gotten rave results.

Of course, they can more easily believe the testimonials because they appear more impartial.

That’s the beauty of testimonials.

And testimonials can be the element that moves the visitor from prospect to buyer.

These are the top online closing techniques.

And we’ve only scratched the surface.

Any businessperson will want to master these closing techniques and more if they want to make more money. The great thing about an online business is that you can test which work best with your people easily.

There are hundreds of closing techniques, but we narrowed it down to the 101 best sales closing techniques in the report “101 Closing Techniques to Get Buyers to Say YES!” before it goes away.

Sales Process Productivity: 5 Best Practices & 20 Key Questions

While many businesses make efforts to improve production, distribution, and various administrative work processes, it is less common to find organizations that focus on applying the fundamentals of Continuous Improvement to the sales process.

However, our research and experience indicate the selling process is more complex than many people realize. In addition, we have consistently found that the largest waste in most commercial and industrial organizations is lost gross margin that results from sales not made, sub-optimal pricing, and excessive costs in sales-related processes.

So, leaving aside the “selling skills” or “charisma” associated with those perceived as the most successful sellers, when you consider the day-to-day activities required of field-based or outside sales professionals, there are some proven best practices that can help boost field-day efficiency, which include the following five:

  1. Pre-call planning: by planning each sales call in advance, in writing, sales people can position themselves to accomplish more in less time, thus increasing personal productivity as well as accelerating overall cycle-time. Not only will running more comprehensive sales calls increase efficiency, but the habit will also make a stronger, more positive impact on customers. Many who have embraced this best-practice report that their customers recognize the difference and, over time, become more willing to schedule meetings or sales calls, thus enabling them to more easily make more calls each day, an important part of the job as noted in the next bullet.
  2. Set a daily call volume goal. This may sound like an unnecessary step, but a surprising number of sales people are unable to quantify the actual average number of sales calls they make each day. As author Jack Falvey has said, “Want more sales? Make more calls.” By setting a personal goal, which will vary depending on the nature of each territory, sellers are often able to self-motivate more effectively and make more calls per day.
  3. Geo-plan: by creating a strategic geographic or travel plan for each day, outside sales people can minimize drive time and optimize “face” time. The best plans will begin by creating territory quadrants and then mapping the locations of customers and key prospects. The rule-of-thumb is to avoid traveling beyond two quadrants in any given day, so when an appointment is set in one area, try to schedule meetings or plan to visit others in the same general region to enable a maximum number of interactions in a minimum amount of time.
  4. Bookend each day by scheduling an appointment early in the morning and another late in the afternoon. This will promote “staying the course” as opposed to deciding to drive back to the office early to do administrative work. This best-practice might also help to achieve item #2 above.
  5. Try to schedule next steps (i.e., follow-up meetings, conference calls, etc.) “on the spot” before the conclusion of each sales call. This simple best practice can significantly boost efficiency for two reasons. First, it helps sales people more easily populate their calendars for future selling days in the field; and second, it can help shorten selling cycles by securing time with buyers sooner than could be done otherwise.

But the sales process extends well-beyond a day in the field, as it encompasses everything from identifying a lead to delivering a solution.

Considering this broad spectrum, it is really not surprising that the largest waste within most businesses can be found in the sales area.

The first step toward improvement – that is, moving from “where we are now to where we’d like to be if everything were right” – is to identify specific areas of sales process waste, and a good way to start might be to answer the following 20 questions:

  1. What is our current market share?
  2. What are our customers’ requirements?
  3. How well are we meeting these requirements?
  4. What would it take to truly delight our customers?
  5. How long does the sales process take from lead to sale?
  6. What is our lead conversion ratio?
  7. What were the top 3 reasons for lost sales over the past quarter?
  8. How many calls do our sales people make, on average, each day?
  9. How much time do we spend talking with uninterested or unqualified leads?
  10. How do we continually improve our sales team’s skills and habits?
  11. What percentage of prospects contact us first?
  12. How does this percentage (#11) compare with industry data?
  13. Does the sales process take less time to complete for inbound leads? If so, how much less?
  14. What is our response time to customer or prospect inquiries?
  15. How many customer complaints do we receive?
  16. How much time do our sales people spend interceding or responding to complaints?
  17. What is done with the information associated with customer complaints?
  18. How do customer complaints or how does customer dissatisfaction impact our ability to make sales?
  19. How often are discounts extended, and what is the average discount?
  20. Are discounts offered due to competition or in response to dissatisfaction?

Clearly there are many ways to analyze and improve the productivity of an organization’s sales process, but these five best practices and twenty questions are good starting points.

There Should Be a Merit Badge for Sales

The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” They preach and teach that motto to embed it into the mental makeup of their members so they will be prepared for the unknowns their adult life will challenge them with. Scouts learn to be flexible, to face and overcome challenges because they have the mental and physical preparation to extricate themselves when they are over their head and to take advantage of situations they are prepared for.

Preparation is just as important in sales as it is in scouting. The Scout goes off into the wilderness prepared with skills and tools (knife, compass, knots, canteen, etc.) to survive the unknown. The salesperson goes off into the business world needing skills and tools also (knowledge of the market, the prospects, presentation tools, technology, personal strong and weak points) and, just like the Scout, practices dealing with the challenges of the unknown.

The Scout faces danger from snakebite, insects, injury, inclement weather, getting lost, etc. He practices survival skills such as first aid, map and compass reading, building shelters, and building fires with just two sticks.

The successful salesperson faces obstacles and works to overcome them by preparation, creating and developing answers for the many questions a prospect might ask, rehearsing them to overcome objections and prepares to better communicate in an understandable manner the charts, tables, and financial forecasts to parry number-crunchers and creates and practices alternative offers to counteract the tough negotiator.

Neither the Scout nor the Salesperson knows what they will encounter on the road to survival and success in the wilderness they will encounter, but if they are to be successful, they must, “Be Prepared!” It earns Scouts the Merit Badges they proudly wear.

Preparation earns the Salesperson more sales, and typically, higher compensation. In some industries high achieving salespeople actually do earn a form of merit badge when they are awarded designations such as becoming members of a “Million Dollar Roundtable” or earn a professional designation, but I’m advocating that they be recognized by their companies to further compensate them for their preparation, their ambition, drive, and persistence.

If preparation is a key to success in sales, just as it is a key to success in scouting and life, reward the high achievers who go out into their own wilderness and become better prepared. They role play the selling situation, have learned to counter tough questions and negotiate in difficult situations. They have earned their Merit Badges.