10 Alternative Closes When Selling

By Tom Hopkins

After you master some basic closing strategies and are ready to move ahead, try these 10 closes that have proven successful for many in sales.

The Wish‐Ida close

When you know what you’re offering is truly good for your prospective client, and your prospect has agreed but just doesn’t seem to want to make a decision, the Wish‐Ida close is perfect. It’s lighthearted, yet it makes a valid point:

Everyone’s a member of the Wish‐Ida Club. Wish Ida stayed in my first house and paid it off. Wish Ida invested in gold 20 years ago so I’d be rich today. Wish Ida grabbed a chance to gain an exclusive advantage. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of at least one Wish Ida by saying yes to something you really want?

The business‐productivity close

When you’re marketing products or services to businesses, the business’s main concern is always going to be the bottom line and whether your product or service makes or saves them money. If your product does not clearly fall into one of those categories, the business‐productivity close helps the prospect view the decision from a different perspective — that of having happier employees:

What I am offering is not just a product/service. It’s a boost in employee morale. Haven’t you noticed that anything new increases job interest and excitement in your employees? Excitement increases morale. Morale increases productivity, and what is productivity worth?

The best‐things‐in‐life close

Everyone wants to have the best things in life. Everyone wants to believe that she made some of her best decisions when considering major purchases or investments. The best‐things‐in‐life close gets the prospect’s mind off the money objection and onto the enjoyment of benefits, which is what ownership is really all about:

Isn’t it true that the only time you have ever really benefited from anything in your life has been when you said yes instead of no? You said yes to your marriage. (Optional: And I can see how happy you are.) You said yes to your job, your home, your car — all the things that I’m sure you enjoy. You see, when you say yes to me, it’s not really me you’re saying yes to, but all the benefits that we offer, and those are the things you really want for your family, don’t you agree?

The no close

When you’ve given your best presentation and your buyer still says “No,” you have little to lose by saying the following words and putting your shoes on your prospect’s feet. The following example is for life insurance, but it works for any type of product.

Johanna, there are many salespeople in the world, and they all have opportunities that they’re confident are good for you. And they have persuasive reasons for you to invest with them, haven’t they? You, of course, can say no to any or all of them, can’t you? You see, as a professional with ABC Company, my experience has taught me an over-whelming truth. No one can say no to me. All she can say no to is herself and her own peace of mind knowing that her family will be taken care of financially should something unforeseen happen to her. Tell me, how can I accept this kind of no? In fact, if you were me, would you let Johanna say no to anything so critical to her family’s future?

You must speak the preceding words with sincerity and empathy for your prospect’s situation.

The my‐dear‐old‐mother close

Never tell your prospects anything that’s untrue, so the next time you talk to your mother or grandmother or someone else’s mother, ask her if she’s ever been in a situation in which silence means consent. If she has, ask her to say those words to you. Now you can honestly use that line as a close. If she hasn’t heard of such a situation, simply ask if she believes it can happen.

This technique can be your salvation when you find yourself involved in a series of silences as you roll from close to close with the same prospect. How, you ask? If you have a clever way to break tension, pressure turns into humor — explosive laughter sometimes. Lots of people can handle pressure, but laughter will pop them wide open.

So when the pressure has been on for several seconds after your last close, and it’s getting heavy in the room, suddenly grin from ear to ear and say, “My dear old mother once said, ‘Silence means consent.’ Was she right?”

The law‐of‐ten close

The law‐of‐ten close works especially well for intangibles such as financial services, insurance, or education. It’s also useful for large‐ticket items such as real estate or stocks — items where the expectation is that the offering will appreciate in value. If the person is not totally a Wish‐Ida person, something in her life has appreciated in value. Here’s how to use it:

Ms. Garcia, I’ve found over the years that a good test of the value of something is to determine whether it will stand the test of ten‐times. For example, you may have invested in a home, car, clothes, jewelry, or something that gave you great pleasure. But, after you owned it for a while, could you answer this question positively: “Would I now be willing to pay ten times more for it than I did?” In other words, has it given you that much pleasure, increased your satisfaction, or income?

If you paid for some advice that greatly improved your health, it was probably worth more than you paid for it. If you received some information that allowed you to have a life‐changing experience or increase in income or self‐image, it was worth more than you paid for it. There are a lot of things in our lives that I think you would have paid ten times more for, considering what they’ve done for you.

Ms. Garcia, step with me into the future. Ten years from now, will today’s investment be worth more or less to you than you’ll be investing in it today?

The buyer’s‐remorse close

When people are making major decisions, you can expect them to have second thoughts about things after those decisions are made. That’s why so many contractual agreements for large‐ticket items have a 72‐hour clause that allows buyers to change their minds. Champions understand this and figure out how to address the issue before they leave a new client with these words (fill in the blank with the name of your product or service):

Juan, Maria, I feel good about the decision you made tonight to get involved with __________. I can tell you’re both excited and somewhat relieved. From time to time, I have had people just like you who were positive about the decision they made until they shared it with a friend or relative. The well‐meaning friend or relative, not understanding all the facts and maybe even being a little envious, would discourage them from their decision for one reason or another. Juan, Maria, please don’t let this happen to you. In fact, if you think you may change your mind, please tell me now.

The it’s‐not‐in‐the‐budget close

Business people say, “it’s not in the budget” as a standard line to get rid of average salespeople. Why? Because that line works with average salespeople. Professionals are businesspeople themselves, and they understand the value of having and managing a budget. They also know that the budget is little more than a tool and that it’s not carved in stone.

But if the product or service you’re offering has enough value, most companies can find a way to loosen up that budget or take steps to own it. The following words often cause the business owner to give you the real reason she isn’t going ahead with your product or service — and then you can continue your selling cycle in the appropriate manner.

I can understand that, Ms. Jones. That’s why I contacted you in the first place. I’m fully aware of the fact that every well‐managed business controls the flow of its money with a carefully planned budget. The budget is a necessary tool for every company to give direction to its goals; however, the tool itself doesn’t dictate how the company is run. It must be flexible. You, as the controller of that budget, retain for yourself the right to flex that budget in the best interest of the company’s financial present and competitive future, don’t you? What we have been examining here today is a system that will allow your company an immediate and continuing competitive edge. Tell me, under these conditions, will your budget flex or will it dictate your actions?

The take‐it‐away close

Some people won’t want to make a decision about ownership of your product or service simply because they feel they can make the decision at any time. And that may be the case, unless you’re working on a special offer or limited quantity of product.

No one wants to be thought of as not good enough for something. As a child, if you knew you could play ball, but someone said you may not be good enough for the team, you probably wanted to be on the team more than ever. By subtly inferring that you have to see if your prospect qualifies before she can own the product, she may try awfully hard to get it. This close works especially well on products that involve financing or insurance (which may require the client to meet a certain health standard).

Well, Ms. Franklin, I understand your concerns about going ahead with this new equipment. Before we can place an order with our supplier abroad, however, we need to go through the financial process to be certain your company can qualify for such a large investment. Let’s proceed with that aspect of the purchase first, shall we?

The lost‐sale close

If you’ve done everything and your prospect still doesn’t go ahead, admit defeat. Pack up your visual aids and prepare to head for the door. Then, use the lost‐sale close. More often than not, it reopens conversation enough that your prospect gives you something to grasp onto to tell you if she may say yes.

Pardon me, Ms. Johnson. Before I leave, may I apologize for not doing my job today? You see, if I had been a bit more eloquent, I might have said the things necessary to convince you of the value of my product. Because I didn’t, you and your company will not be enjoying the benefits of our product and service and, believe me, I am truly sorry. Ms. Johnson, I believe in my product and earn a living helping people own it. So that I don’t make the same mistake again, will you please tell me what I did wrong?