16 Best Closing Techniques to Win (Almost) Every Sale

Being in sales is a lot like doing stand-up comedy. You need to have your routine clear in mind, but also be ready to react to the audience. Great comedians aren’t just funny—they know how to read a room and deliver their jokes in the right way, at the right time. And the same goes for sales.

When you’re well-versed in effective sales closing techniques, you’ll be able to deliver the right close to the right person, at the right time.

What are Sales Closing Techniques?

Sales closing techniques are the different strategies you use during the sales process to encourage a prospect to convert to a customer. This involves knowing the right things to say to follow up effectively, generate a sense of urgency, present the value of your product, and ultimately close more deals.

Let’s dive into 16 sales closing techniques to help you read the room and deliver a closing pitch that’s persuasive enough to land the deal. 

1. The Assumptive Close

With the Assumptive Close, you firmly believe you will make this sale from the moment you put effort into it. The language you use throughout indicates that the sale is a "done deal." The key is checking frequently on your prospect, gauging their level of interest, handling objections, and determining if they're on the same page as you.

Assumptive closing phrases:
  • “If we sign the contract today, I can get your team onboarded by next Tuesday. How does that sound?”
  • “When do you want this delivered?”
  • “Our team can help migrate your data by Friday. Does that work for you?”

Why this works: Your confidence and positive thinking are contagious and make the prospect think the answer should be as obvious to them as it is to you.

When it works best: When you're working with someone you’re familiar with, and know the product is a perfect fit for your prospect’s needs.

When not to use it: When you have no relationship with your prospect, and hear repeated feedback that the solution doesn't make sense for them. Take the hint! Pivot your approach.

2. The Now or Never Close

Offer your prospect something that they can only get if they commit within a certain period (including today).

Now or never closing templates:
  • “Anyone who commits today gets a 15 percent discount.”
  • “If you sign up today, you can take priority in the implementation queue.”
  • “This price is only for a limited time until [date].”

Why this works: The prospect now feels they are losing out on something, so if they will say yes eventually, it just makes sense to do it now.

When it works best: When you have the freedom to offer discounts (which isn't always a good idea!), and you're dealing with people whose main objection is that they don't have time to decide now.

When not to use it: When the prospect has made it clear your product would never work for them, or you can't offer a significant incentive.

3. The Takeaway Close

This sales closing strategy is simple: if you've already laid the benefits on them, and they’re still making weak excuses to avoid pulling the trigger, then take the deal off the table. Be decisive, not desperately meeting any demands that are made, and you’ll earn the respect of potential clients.

Takeaway phrases:

Buyer: “We don’t want to pay $50 per user. What about $150 for five users?”

Seller: “That’s not going to work for us. The best deal we can offer you is the one already on the table.”

Buyer: “I still have issues with moving forward with the deal.”

Seller: “I understand you have these concerns. If you’re not ready, I completely understand.  I have another call in ten minutes with a customer who’s ready to move forward, so when that time comes, I need to focus my time and energy on them. Let’s use these next ten minutes to see if we can resolve your concerns and make a decision about whether or not to move forward.”

Why this works: Sometimes objections are just a way to delay the deal. Use this method to dig deeper into whether or not they’re really interested, and what’s actually blocking the deal from moving forward.

When it works best: When the prospect is giving multiple excuses, asking for a discount, or otherwise stalling the deal (even though they seem genuinely interested).

When not to use it: When the prospect’s objections are real and valid (such as a lack of budget for your product).

4. The Hard Close

Also known as the "Nothing to Lose Close," this tactic is that last card up your sleeve when you know this sales call will either end in closed-won or closed-lost. Take a deep breath to build your confidence, and ask for a firm commitment—anything that gets them to sign the deal right now.

Hard closing phrases:
  • “Are you ready to sign the contract?”
  • “I’ve sent the contract to you via email, do you think you can sign it before we get off this call?”
  • “When can we set up implementation?”

Why this works: Make it clear what you expect from potential customers—this will put them at ease, and even though they may not say yes, they’ll at least give you a firm answer.

When it works best: When you know you won't be getting the yes, and have no other options.

When not to use it: When you are still in the early stages of following up with your leads.

5. The Columbo Close

Remember the TV detective Columbo? His famous one-liner "Just one more thing..." has become a mantra for many talented sales professionals. After a suspect thought Columbo was done with them, he would put them on the spot while walking away by turning around and asking for "one more thing."

Once you think the customer is ready to leave, this last-ditch sales strategy can make them stick around.

Columbo closing phrases:
  • “Before we finish this call, I just want to share one case study with you from a business that’s very similar to yours.”
  • “I know our time is just about up, so with these last couple of minutes, I’d love to discuss…”

Why this works: Whether you're demoing a predictive dialer for sales teams or selling consulting services, hit them with the most enticing part of your sales pitch once they've indicated they don't want to listen much longer.

When it works best: When you haven't shown the main highlight yet, and you're pretty sure the prospect is on their way out.

When not to use it: When you've already bombarded and overwhelmed them with a long list of the benefits of your product.

6. The Summary Close

Take some time to summarize all the benefits of your product, and the main ways it would solve your prospect’s pain points. You can also use this to make distinctions between two or three possible options you're offering, to help remind your lead of what all their options are as they come closer to a purchase decision.

Summary closing example:

“Just to review what we’ve seen, our CRM offers real-time calling insights, a visual sales pipeline, and workflow automations that you can set for your team. While you think about it, let’s set up a free trial account so you can see how it works over the next few days.”

Why this works: Hearing all the benefits at once can seem more impactful than the 30 minutes you spent reviewing them.

When it works best: When you know your product is a good fit, and your lead needs a quick reminder of everything they agreed would work for them.

When not to use it: When your conversation has not been particularly long, or your main value points didn't seem to impact your prospect.

7. The Puppy Dog Close

Based on the concept that people who walk into pet stores and hold puppies are more likely to buy them (due to their unbearable cuteness), you make your sale by letting your prospect try it out. Test drive a car, use a free trial, keep a product for a month, and so on.

Puppy dog closing phrases:
  • “I know you’re still in the decision-making process, so while you’re considering whether to buy, I’ve extended your free trial for another two weeks.”
  • “I see you’ve started using the free trial account. Let’s get more of your team onboarded with the trial so you can see how it works in a collaborative format.”

Why this works: If they start using the product, theoretical benefits become reality, building trust in your product and making them realize they can’t live without it.

When it works best: When you have a product that allows for a trial period, and has features that aren't always easy to quantify over the phone or by email.

When not to use it: When your product can't be “test driven.”

8. The Option Close

With this closing strategy, you offer your prospect a choice between two or more options, hoping they will choose one rather than saying no. Offering two pricing plans that suit their needs, tiered service levels with different features, or implementation earlier vs later, for example.

Option closing examples:
  • “Based on what we’ve talked about, I think the Business plan will work best for your team. That said, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, we also offer a Basic plan that will still suit your needs. Which one would you like to move forward with?”
  • “I have a slot open to help you with implementation this Friday morning, and another next Tuesday afternoon. Which is better for you?”
  • “Our base package includes help from our customer support team, but you can also add on a training package for your team. Which works best for you?”

Why this works: With two viable options in front of them, a person is more likely to choose one, or even choose the cheaper option of two choices because it feels like they are saving money.

When it works best: When you have tiered service levels, and know your prospect would benefit from both.

When not to use it: When your offering is static, and you don't already have confirmed interest in your product's unique features.

Ready to reshape your sales approach? Explore the Challenger Sales Model with us.

9. The Sharp Angle Close

Some people hear sales pitches all the time, so they understand they have the upper hand in the discussion; they may ask for add-ons or discounts, knowing you expect them to. To deal with these seasoned negotiators, a sales expert can take them by surprise with the Sharp Angle Close.

If you have approval, give them what they want—but make sure that it’s also worth your while. This kind of closing technique can lead to win-win situations where everyone is happy with the results.

Sharp angle closing examples:
  • "Yes, I can offer you three months of service for 10 percent off—but only if you sign the contract today."
  • “We’d be happy to give you an upgrade to our Business plan for three months at no extra charge, but we’d expect you to pay for the full year up front.”

Why this works: You give them something you were already willing to, and in exchange, receive a firm commitment and make the sale instantly.

When it works best: When you're dealing with people who get sold to a lot, or who ask for incentives to sign.

When not to use it: When your prospect is not familiar with sales nuances and isn't asking for anything special or unique from you.

10. The Question Close

Asking your lead probing questions can force them to actually explain why something does or doesn't work for them. Ask them why you can't proceed with a shipment, why [x feature] wouldn't solve the customer’s needs, and so on. You may even have existing customer testimonials that back your solution up to this prospect.

Question close examples:
  • “What do the decision-makers on your team think about the timeline we discussed?”
  • “Why does this time frame seem rushed to you?”
  • “Have you considered the opportunity cost of delaying this purchase?”
  • "Is there any reason that you wouldn't do business with us at this point?”

Why this works: These kinds of closing questions give you a far better opportunity to explain why your product meets their needs.

When it works best: When your lead seems perpetually on the fence but isn't really explaining why they aren't interested.

When not to use it: When the prospect has clearly stated reasons for why aspects of your product don't work for them.

11. The Suggestion Close

This is another "hard close" tactic: In this conversation, you offer your opinion about what would work best. Offer firm statements that explain how closing now will lead to bigger benefits for their business. 

Suggestion close phrases:
  • “If you order today, you’ll get the shipment on Friday, and that will solve this problem.”
  • “If you sign the contract by next week, your onboarding would be done well before the end of the quarter.”
  • “We’ve already agreed that the key functionality of our tool is what your team needs. If you sign up for an annual plan, you’ll be making money in increased productivity, and the tool will pay for itself in six months.”

Why this works: When you offer firm solutions for their problems, you become a trusted consultant as well as a salesperson.

When it works best: When you have a great (personal) relationship with your prospect, or you see they trust your expert opinion.

When not to use it: When you don't know your lead well at all, or they are more of an expert in the field than you are.

12. The Backwards Close

Alright, folks… buckle up for a controversial approach. This technique goes against almost all sales training, but it has been known to work with certain types of leads. With the Backwards Close, you’ll start at the end—ask your lead for referrals rather than trying to sell something to them at the onset of the relationship. In this case, you know this person isn’t likely to purchase your product, but could be a gateway to other eager leads.

Backward closing examples:
  • “I know you’re not the best fit for our product/service, but do you know anyone who might be interested?”
  • “I don’t want to waste your time since we know this isn’t a good fit. Let me just ask you—is there anyone in your network who might benefit from our product?”

Why this works: By recognizing that you aren't trying to sell to them, the potential customer will feel more at ease, and will be more open to listening to what you have to say.

When it works best: When the person already indicated they have no interest in what you're selling.

When not to use it: When you're early in the sales cycle and have no reason to doubt your ability to make the sale.

13. The Soft Close

A soft close is just what it sounds like—the opposite of a hard close. Let the prospect feel like they're guiding the sales process. Rather than outlining the sales process and pushing next steps, you might ask questions that allow the prospect to lead the way.

Soft close questions and phrases:
  • “What would you like to do next?”
  • “You know more about [their industry] than I do—so which features of our product would you prefer to see first in this demo?”
  • “Would you prefer to see a product demo, or do you want to jump right into using our free trial?”

Why this works: By putting the prospect in the driver's seat, they feel more in control. This allows them to guide the process and feel more comfortable.

When it works best: When you have well-qualified leads who are familiar with your offering and likely to close or prospects who are wary of being sold to.  

When not to use it: When dealing with unqualified prospects or leads who have no idea what you have to offer.

14. The Scarcity Close

The Scarcity Close is similar to the “Now or Never” close—it leverages our human instinct of FOMO (fear of missing out).  By letting them know there are only so many products left or you can only onboard so many new clients, you push prospects to make a decision. Just be genuine; don't use false scarcity or risk breaking the prospect's trust.  

Scarcity closing phrases:
  • “This is the last [product] we have remaining.”
  • “I have five slots left for new clients in this quarter—once those are filled, you’ll need to wait until next quarter to work together.”
  • “I usually take on four home sales at a time, and I’m currently handling three. If I take on another home to sell, you’ll have to wait until one of those sales finalizes for me to work with you as your real estate agent.”

Why this works: Increasing urgency encourages them to make a decision and close faster.

When it works best: When you have a truly limited product or service offering.  

When not to use it: Early in the sales cycle or when you don't truly have a scarcity.

15. The Limited-Time Offer Close

Similar to the Scarcity Close, the Limited-Time offer uses the fear of missing out to encourage prospects to close. With the Limited-Time offer, however, it's all about not missing out on a deal or discount.

Limited-time offer closing phrase examples:
  • “Our pricing increases go live at the end of this month, but you can lock in the lower price if you sign up for an annual plan now.”
  • “I’ve been authorized to give a 20 percent discount to anyone who signs up before the end of the quarter, so if you make a decision in the next few days, I can get you that discount.”

Why this works: Increasing urgency with a limited-time offer or special promotion encourages on-the-fence prospects to take the leap.

When it works best: Towards the end of the sales cycle when the prospect won't commit, even when you've addressed all their objections.

When not to use it: Early in the sales cycle or when a prospect has expressed legitimate objections you haven't addressed.

16. The Visual Close

Storytelling can be a powerful tool in sales, and you can also use it to create a visual close. Use this sales closing technique to help your prospects visualize what life will be like when they finish their purchase, and the benefits they can expect to reap when they finally sign on the dotted line.

Visual closing phrases:
  • “What’s the first thing your team will do once they’re onboarded?”
  • “Of the features we’ve seen, which are you most excited to try in your business?”

Why this works: Visualizing life after the purchase gets customers excited about making a purchase, and can help push hesitant buyers to a closed deal.

When it works best: When the buyer is directly impacted by the product or service they’re purchasing, and it’s something they can get excited about.

When not to use it: When the decision-maker isn’t an end-user of the product, and won’t see a significant impact in their daily work.

So, What’s the Best Closing Technique?

Here’s an answer you’re gonna hate: it depends.

But seriously, it does depend—on the industry, on how qualified your lead is, on where they are in the purchase process, and even on their personality!

Remember—sales is like being a stand-up comedian. You need to know how to read the room and give the routine that will make the most impact and keep your audience engaged.

So, practice these closing techniques. Get used to them, and take note of how they impact different types of people.

In time, you’ll have a strong repertoire of sales closing techniques that you can use to close more deals.

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