Closing a sale can be a challenging part of the sales process, but with the right approach, it can also be a rewarding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or just starting out, it’s important to understand the different techniques you can use to close a sale.

We’ll explore three types of closes: the assumptive close, the alternative close, and the trial close. We’ll explain what each type of close entails, provide examples of how they can be used in real-world scenarios, and discuss which types of buyers might respond best to each approach.

Assumptive Close

This type of close is based on the assumption that the customer has already made a decision to buy. The salesperson acts as if the sale has already been made and moves forward with post-sale activities such as discussing delivery or payment options. This approach can be effective because it can create a sense of commitment and momentum.

Example

  • Seller: “Great, so we have everything we need to get started. When would you like the delivery to be made?”
  • Buyer: “Delivery? I haven’t decided yet.”
  • Seller: “Oh, I apologize. I just assumed that since we’ve gone over all the details and you seem happy with everything, you were ready to make a decision.”

Buyers who are confident, decisive, and ready to make a purchase may respond well to the assumptive close. They appreciate the straightforward approach and feel comfortable making a decision without a lot of fuss.

Alternative Close

This type of close presents the customer with options, forcing them to make a decision. By offering choices, the salesperson is able to guide the customer towards making a decision and taking action.

Example

  • Seller: “Would you like to pay in full today or spread the payments out over the next six months?”
  • Buyer: “I wasn’t planning on paying in full today.”
  • Seller: “No problem, we have a number of flexible payment options available. Would you prefer to pay in full over the next six months or in monthly instalments?”

Buyers who are indecisive or need more information to make a decision may respond well to the alternative close. By presenting them with options, the seller is helping the buyer make a decision and guiding them towards a purchase.

Trial Close

A trial close is a way to gauge the customer’s level of interest or commitment without actually asking for the sale. This type of close involves asking questions that indirectly probe the customer’s thoughts and feelings about the product or service being sold.

  • Seller: “How does the product fit in with your current business plans?”
  • Buyer: “It looks like it could be a good fit.”
  • Seller: “Would you say that you’re leaning towards making a purchase, or do you need more time to consider your options?”

Buyers who are on the fence or still considering their options may respond well to the trial close. The trial close allows the seller to gauge the buyer’s level of interest or commitment without putting pressure on them to make a decision.

In general, sales professionals use a combination of these techniques to effectively close a sale. The key is to be adaptable and responsive to the needs of the customer, as well as to understand the situation and use the appropriate close at the right time.

In each of these scenarios, the seller is using a different technique to close the sale and move the conversation towards a decision. The goal is to find out what the customer needs or wants and to guide them towards making a purchase. The most important thing is to listen to the customer and be responsive to their needs and concerns.

It’s important to keep in mind that every buyer is unique, and the best approach will depend on the specific situation and the buyer’s individual personality and needs. The goal is to be adaptable and responsive to the needs of the buyer and to use the close that is most likely to lead to a successful sale.

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