How To Close A Sale – A Step By Step Guide
Learning how to close a sale the right way, is imperative to your business and sales success.
Sales is the lifeblood of any business; so, learning how to do it the right way is crucial in today’s competitive landscape.
In this article, you’ll learn the recipe and framework required for how to close a sale and streamline your sales conversations.
For context; this article we’ll detail how to close a sale from a consultative point of view.
This means what you’ll learn will be useful if you’re involved in face to face selling or selling over the phone.
How To Close A Sale – Why You Need A Process
The first thing you need to know prior to learning how to close a sale, is that closing comes long before you ask for the sale.
In fact – it happens throughout your sales process, which is why it’s important to follow a proven step by step system.
Many Sales Professionals and Business Owners generally do two things incorrectly.
Firstly, many ‘wing it’ with their sales conversations.
This means that one day, they’ll approach their sales conversation in one way – and another day they’ll use a completely different approach.
By using different formats or approaches, their position is inconsistent.
Due to their approach being inconsistent, their sales are also inconsistent.
Using a proven framework helps streamline this approach and allows them to close more sales because they now have conversations in a consistent fashion.
The second mistake a lot of Sales Professionals and Business Owners use is following an outdated sales methodology.
Below is an outline of what this flawed model looks like.
The Old Way Of How To Close A Sale
The old way of selling, usually fits within this framework:
- You meet with your potential client
- After building some rapport – they start prematurely presenting
- You ask the potential clients for feedback
- Ask for the sale, and then handle objections
This model is outdated and won’t help you close sales for a number of reasons.
First – by presenting up front prior to knowing what it is they’re looking to solve; we’re making assumptions as to what it is they want to actually buy.
As per our article in Entrepreneur, many Sales Professionals and Business Owners make the mistake of thinking that people buy their features and benefits.
What people are actually buying instead – is what will it mean when they own your product or service.
An important concept if you want to learn how to close a sale, is that people don’t buy your product or service.
Instead – they are buying what it will mean when they own an outcome.
Another issue with this outdated model, is that the Sales Professional or Business Owner is prescribing a solution before knowing their ailments.
People buy things to solve specific problems.
If we don’t ask questions to find pain, we’re assuming what their pain points are. It also means we’re doing all the selling, rather than helping them sell themselves.
Related article: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
How To Close A Sale – A Step By Step Guide
In the rest of this article, we’ll detail exactly how to close a sale by using an 8 step sales process.
This works perfectly for Sales Professionals and Business Owners in service based and consultative industries.
Learning, implementing and following a sales process is one of the most important things you can learn in sales.
As previously mentioned, a sales process will give you consistency and a simple to use framework to not only learn exactly how to close a sale but guide your potential clients to sell themselves.
Read on to learn our 8 step sales process, and how you can implement it into your sales strategy.
The Benefits Of Using An 8 Step Sales Process
The sales process (also known as a sales formula or sales framework) is key to consistently succeeding in sales.
Some of the benefits of using the 8 step sales process outlined in this guide include:
- It creates a system; allowing you to close sales like a road map
- Certainty – for both you and your potential clients
- It allows you to control the process and conversation
By using the 8 step sales process outlined in this guide, you’ll feel a lot more confident while talking to potential clients, and you’ll successfully know how to close a sale because you’ll have a clear system in which to operate your sales conversations with.
Follow This Process When Learning How To Close A Sale
Below is a detailed breakdown of the 8 step sales process if you want to know how to close a sale:
#1 – Prospecting
The first part of learning how to close a sale and the 8 step sales process, is finding out who your ideal prospects are, and then target them using prospecting strategies.
There are generally two kinds of prospecting types – inbound and outbound.
Inbound prospecting is putting together systems that drive traffic into your business.
Generally, it includes pay per click advertising, print media, SEO, and social media.
Outbound prospecting is proactively reaching out to your potential clients with social media, email, cold calling and networking events.
Related article: The Two Types Of Sales Prospecting
#2 – Building Rapport
The next part of learning how to close a sale, is building rapport with your potential clients.
Rapport us crucial if you wish to hold a consultative sales conversation with your potential clients.
It’s also important because people buy from people they like and trust.
By building rapport, you’ll be able to ask deep diving questions that can ultimately lead to a buying decision.
Related article: A Guide To Building Sales Rapport
#3 – Qualifying Your Potential Clients Early
The third part of learning how to close a sale, is qualifying your potential clients early in the consultation or discovery call.
A lot of Sales Professionals and Business Owners make the error of speaking with people they think are potential clients – but end up not being qualified to either afford their product or service or aren’t the decision maker.
Qualifying early saves you time, energy, and money.
The qualifying framework we recommend, is borrowed from an acronym called BANT.
Originally designed by IBM, it’s an easy to remember framework to remember what you need to ask to qualify your potential clients correctly.
BANT stands for:
- Time frame
Further reading: Qualifying Sales Leads – A Step By Step Guide
#4 – Pre-Framing The Conversation
The fourth part of learning how to close a sale, is what makes our sales process very different from many others out there.
We teach something called a pre-frame. When used correctly, this truly will help you hack sales by positioning yourself as the go to source for their enquiry.
The pre-frame happens prior to your deep dive sales conversation.
The deep diving sales conversation you will have with your potential client, is called the frame.
You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, and ‘frame the conversation’ in a way which will ultimately lead to a decision being made – either proceeding with a sale or deciding you may not be the right fit for one another.
The pre-frame is the conversation you have prior to the frame; in this case, it is what’s discussed prior to going into your deep dive sales conversation.
During the pre-frame, you want to cover three important things:
- Ensure all decision makers are present
- Let them know that you’ll be asking a lot of questions, to work out whether you can in fact help and serve them and their needs
- Give them comfort that at the end of the conversation, it is more than OK to say no if they’re not interested. Also let them know that many people use the “I need to think about it” as a way of covering for no. By giving them comfort, they’ll be more transparent.
The reason the pre-frame is key, is for two reasons.
Firstly, you’re removing two core sales objections up front – the I need to think about it objection, and I need to speak to objection.
Secondly – you’re getting permission to ask deep diving questions, which is the next segment when learning how to close a sale.
Using a pre-frame will be a game changer for your business and overall sales process, because you’ll get to the underlying truth faster than using a traditional sales methodology.
Read the liked article below to learn how to do this in more detail.
Further reading: Positioning In Sales – How To Sell Effectively
#5 – Questions: The Key To Learning How To Close A Sale Consistently
The most important part of the 8 step sales process and learning how to how to close a sale – is the art of asking the right questions – and then diving deeper when you actively listen to their responses.
At The 5% Institute, we emphasise the importance of asking questions because we believe in using a consultative sales approach.
By asking the right questions – you’ll be able to help guide your potential client toward the sale and help them sell themselves on the need for a solution.
In your sales conversations, we recommend asking the following question examples:
- Finding pain
- Learning about their ideal outcome
- How they make buying decisions
- Why they’re speaking with you
- How long they’ve had their issue
We’ve written numerous articles on questioning and question categories, and recommend you read them to learn more. Check out the linked articles below to find out how.
- Sales Probing Questions
- Open Ended Sales Questions
- 10 x Questions To Ask A Potential Client
- 5 x Closing Questions To Win More Sales
Furthermore; if you’d like to learn about helping people sell themselves using questions and exactly how to close a sale, we recommend learning about tie-down sales techniques.
Tie-down sales techniques are questions you ask that get an ‘agreed’ response.
Also known as trial closes – tie-down sales techniques help your potential clients sell themselves prior to having to ask for the sale.
Further reading: Tie-Down Sales Techniques – Your Ultimate Guide
An important note: finding pain is one of the most important ingredients for your questions and 8 step sales process.
This is because if you can’t find friction or any issues with their current situation – they won’t need to make a change.
The article below details how to do so effectively, without being pushy or breaking rapport.
Further reading: Pain Points & Sales – Your Ultimate Guide
#6 – Discussing Money
Discussing money is another important module when learning how to close a sale, because you can use the discussion to build monetary value around what a solution for their problem and pain points will mean.
When you’re discussing money, you ultimately want to understand two important things:
- What is it costing them by having these issues? Learn the financial and personal impact of what the pain points mean.
- How much would they pay to fix it, and have a solution?
Discussing this here makes asking for the sale, and your closing questions a breeze.
#7 – How To Close A Sale By Presenting Correctly
Once money has been clearly discussed, the next part of your sales conversation is presenting your solution.
As mentioned in this article, many Sales Professionals handle presenting incorrectly and do something we call ‘premature presentation’.
As per our article in Entrepreneur, premature presentation is when you present your product or service prior to understanding what they need solved and hope that something you say sticks and resonates.
This spray and pray method are outdated and won’t help your closing rate.
Instead – when you’re presenting your product or service, we recommend you do so by prescribing it to their pain points and demonstrate how each of their problems will be solved with specific features and benefits you have.
Using a prescription approach as a specialist would, will align you as a trusted adviser, rather than just another salesperson trying to make a quick sale.
#8 – Handling Objections & Asking For The Sale
Finally, the last stage of learning how to close a sale is handling their areas of concern, and asking for the sale.
Instead – we recommend using a simple and easy to remember objections framework.
The framework is:
- Listen carefully
- Repeat back the objection, and ask them to expand
- Validate the area of concern
- Re-frame the concern
- Confirm you’re on the same page
To learn how to do this in detail, read the article here to find out how.
Once you’ve handled all their areas of concern, simply ask if they’d like you to help them achieve what they intend to have solved and have them sign any agreements you may have in place.
How To Close A Sale With A Process – Final Thoughts
This simple 8 step system will help you learn exactly how to close a sale, because it not only gives you consistency – but it guides your potential client on a journey in a non-invasive or pushy manner.
By following this sales process, you’ll lead your potential clients on a journey and positive sales experience, rather than position yourself as just another salesperson or commodity.
The sales process is the most fundamental, and important thing to master in sales if you wish to close consistently.
If you’d like to learn about our sales process in more detail, you can join the 7 Day Sales Challenge for free here.
Want To Close Easier?
If you want to learn the exact framework to close more sales – no fluff, just the exact ingredients, then you may be interested in The 5% Sales Blueprint.
Our online and self-paced flagship program will teach you the exact steps on how to close a sale in a consultative way.
To learn how, click the link directly below.
Our Online Sales Training Program – The 5% Sales Blueprint