3 'Sales Closing Techniques' That Can Sabotage Your Deals

Here are three outdated sales closing techniques for sales professionals, and up-to-date advice to get back on track.

May 23, 2017

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Even the best-intentioned sales pros make mistakes. But if there’s one thing that’s even more frustrating than an honest mistake, it’s following bad advice. To ensure your hard work doesn’t go to waste, we want to help you avoid bad advice. Here are three sales approaches that no longer work, and ways to make them relevant in the modern world of sales.

1. Narrowing Your Sights to the Ultimate Decision Maker

While it’s essential to connect with the ultimate decision maker in a buying committee, you can’t make the mistake of thinking it’s the only opinion that matters. That’s not how it works anymore. You’re increasingly selling to a committee of buyers, not a lone decision maker. By pinpointing everyone involved in the purchase decision, you can establish relationships with each and build consensus among them to pave the way for a smooth close.

Along the way, you need to develop an understanding of each person’s main concerns and find ways to address them, while getting all the committee members to align around a single strategic goal. So yes, understand the power structure, but not at the expense of alienating other influential members of the buying committee.

2. Always Be Closing with Sales Closing Techniques

Buyers see right through pressure-oriented mind games, like leading them through choices that only relate to your offering (choice close), or acting as if they have decided to go with your solution (assumptive close). While these may work to get a short-term win (like securing a meeting), they typically send buyers running in the opposite direction (like not showing up for the meeting).

Get in tune with your buyers and focus on them, not you or your quota. Rather than “always be closing,” focus on always be helping. Though you might find it hard to believe, you are more likely to see someone sign on the dotted line when you helped them meet their goals, instead of selling them on your vision.

Show the value you can deliver every chance you get, even when it’s not directly tied to your offering. It might be as simple as sharing an industry report, introducing them to a peer at another company, or helping them navigate the buying process. When you serve buyers in a neutral, helpful fashion, the deals will come your way naturally, not to mention the referrals.

3. Trying to Control the Speed of the Deal

Buyers may have more power and control today, but they still prefer working with sales pros who present an organized strategy for navigating the buying decision. The close is an integral part of the entire deal so work it seamlessly into planned process. While your main focus should be on helping the buyer throughout their journey, keep the end in mind so you make sure you both arrive at an agreed-upon destination. That way neither you nor the buyer is surprised by something unexpected at the 11th hour. 

To boost the likelihood of a close, for each interaction, set goals and confirm that you and the buyer are on track. As needed, address objections and secure buy-in with other members of the buying committee. Once you’ve helped your prospect(s) check off everything on your agreed-upon list, the only thing left is to sign the agreement.

At the end of the day, your ability to close with confidence comes down to how well you’ve positioned yourself as a trusted advisor. When you take the time to cater to your buyer’s best interests, closing isn’t an action, it’s a byproduct of a sound process.

For more ways to drive better results from your sales efforts, download our eBook: LinkedIn’s Definitive Guide to Smarter Sales Engagement.