by Matt Cook |
Although aggressive closing strategies have developed a poor reputation, there are occasions when aggressive closing strategies are the best option that sales people can use. The key for successful sales people is knowing how and when the most aggressive closing strategies are appropriate; aggressive techniques for closing a sale tend to take options away from prospects, which can be a risky strategy. The three most aggressive closing strategies outlined below fall into this pattern, and should be used carefully.
The Time Pressures/Thermometer Close
Aggressive closing strategies that use time to close a sale are following a time proven method of encouraging someone to buy out of fear of losing money or opportunity. This closing technique uses the same principles as a limited time discount in a retail setting, with one key difference: In order for aggressive closing strategies like this to work, the sales person must turn up the pressure. This is why such a close is also referred to as a thermometer close. Methods that sales people can use to introduce this close include:
- Telling the prospect that if he or she does not close within a certain timeframe, features or pricing may be radically different
- Reminding the prospect that if a deal is not closed by a certain date his or her business goals could be negatively impacted
- Raising the specter of competitors obtaining a certain product or service before the prospect
The Persistent Close
All closes take persistence, but sales people using the persistent close will refuse to take ‘no’ for and answer and continue pressing the prospect until ‘no’ becomes ‘yes,’ – sometimes if for no other reason than to end the meeting. Sales people who are pursuing a persistent close will simply continue raising closing questions in order to press the prospect to change his or her mind – a hard sell. This technique is dangerous because prospects can be easily put off by the pressure. Sales people should only use the persistent close as part of an overarching closing strategy, or if it must be used on its own, on prospects who are extremely interested and ready to buy but are showing reluctance that could likely be overcome.
The Take Away Close
The take away close is a literal name for one of the most aggressive closing strategies that sales people can use. This is used well into the sales process, when the prospect already understands his or her options and usually after the prospect has already showed interest in narrowing down the selection. When a prospect is wavering about signing the contract, sales people can introduce the take away close in order to push the close out of the prospect’s fear of losing more than he or she gains. This take away may involve:
- Offering to reduce the cost of a deal by removing one or more features or products in which the prospect showed the most interest
- Offering to delay the close of a deal at some point far in the future, reiterating the loss of the benefit of the product due to the delay but pointing out the deferral of the costs involved
- Offering a cheaper alternative while pointing out that the prospect’s needs will not be fully met by the alternative
The take away close stands out among aggressive closing strategies for the difficulty in successfully introducing the close as well as for the risks involved in using such a strategy. Sales people who want to use this close should never use it as a first-line closing technique, and should be cautious to only use it on prospects when they are sure that the take away alternatives will be declined.
Aggressive closing strategies take a great deal of practice and technique to be deployed successfully. Sales people who are working on their closing skills should rely on customer-centric and collaboration based sales techniques before turning to aggressive closing strategies to make a deal.[via Sales Force Search]