Closing techniques are the most critical part of a sale. My Massachusetts, real estate license, makes it clear that I am a “Licensed Real Estate Salesperson.” I may be a consultant, an advisor, a listing agent, a buyer’s agent, a hand holder, or any number of things. But make no mistake agents and brokers in real estate are salespeople first and foremost. When we are giving a listing presentation we are trying to sell our marketing services to a homeowner; when we show a property we are trying to sell or rent that property, when we are representing a buyer or renter, we are selling their offer to the owner or landlord. It makes sense that the better equipped we are, the higher our probability of closing a deal and making our commission. Knowing what to say, why you say it, how to say it and when to say it is critical to our success. Listed below are 7 closing techniques that have stood the test of time. Not everyone is right for every salesperson or prospect. By listening to and qualifying a prospect, you will often learn what will work best for closing the customer, and by experimenting, you will learn what techniques work best for you.
- Assumptive Closes
- Now or Never Closes
- Summary Closes
- Sharp Angle Closes
- Question Closes
- Takeaway Closes
- Soft Closes
1. Assumptive Closes
This closing technique was the one most commonly taught at the last agency I worked for. It uses the power of positive thinking and infuses that into your marketing and sales. A key thing that you, as a salesperson, need to do is evaluate your prospect’s or customer’s interest throughout the sales process. You need to find out if you are meeting or exceeding the expectations your client or prospect has. From the start, from the very first contact, you need to ‘assume” that you are going to close the sale. Look at the difference in the wording of these two sets of statements.
- If you sign the listing agreement, then I can start the marketing plan.
- As my customer, I can begin your marketing plan as soon as the listing agreement is signed.
- If you submit the offer to purchase today, I can call the seller’s agent and tell them the details of the offer.
- When you sign the offer to purchase, as your agent, I will call the listing agent to explain the offer, and then as a service to my customers, I will email a copy tonight and deliver a hard copy to the listing agent in the morning.
The first sentence in each set is weak, and the second is strong. In the second sentence in each set, the sale is assumed. It is not a matter of “if” it is a matter of “when.” The phycological effect, on the consumer and the salesperson, is that it is something that is going to happen, not something that may happen. The assumptive sales technique adds a direction and authority to your sales process.
2. Now or Never Closes
This is one of the most common closing techniques. I am sure you have had this one used on you. I would say that almost everyone has. Ever hear these phrases:
- The price is going up tomorrow
- This is that last one at this price
- If you purchase this today, I can have it delivered by ____.
This technique is used when a sense of urgency needs to be created. It can help close a deal where the buyer wants to buy, but for some reason, just will not commit. Unless you want to sound like a pushy salesperson use this technique sparingly an only after the value has been established.
- “You told me that this condominium is just what you have been looking for. The listing agent has informed me that this is the last one available at this price. When it is sold all the other condominiums here will be priced higher. If you put in an offer today, it will lock in the best price.”
- “Your mortgage rare is only locked in until _____. If you wait any longer, the rate may go up, and you will be paying more money than if you act today.”
3. Summary Closes
This is a technique where the salesperson goes over the list of needs and wants the customer has stated stressing the value and benefits. For example:
- “This home has the three bedrooms you said you needed to start growing your family; it has one bathroom on the 2nd floor for your children and an en-suite bath for you. The home has a fenced in yard, to help keep your children from wandering off, it is within walking distance to the town’s elementary school so it will be convenient for your children, it is within one-quarter of a mile of a supermarket for ease of shopping and one-quarter of a mile from public transportation so that you can commute to work easily, and it has natural gas heat and cooking for lower cost and convenience. It has more than 90% of the things you said you wanted and all the things you said you needed. Is there anything that you need that I am missing or are we ready to make an offer on your new home?”
- “Let me recap our conversation. You said that you wanted to sell your home for $450,000, that you wanted to sell it within 60 days so that you could use the equity you will have to put down as a down payment for a bigger home.
The marketing plan that I have shown you should get you offers of at least $450,000, when you sign the listing agreement, I will be able to start marketing this property immediately so that we can get it shown to prospective buyers as soon as possible. As I explained to you, it normally takes 45 to 60 days to close on a home. This allows for time to show the home, receive offers, conduct home inspections, get mortgage approval for the buyers, and other steps that I will follow up on over the course of the negotiations. I have covered all your concerns, I believe, so unless there is something else, I need to address let’s get started today. All it takes is your signature, to get you started on the path to your new home.” When you summarize all the points you and the consumer have agreed upon into one bundle, the prospects can visualize the process and the end goal. This makes it more real to them, and they can understand what they are getting from the deal.
4. Sharp Angle Closes
Prospects may ask for ad-ons or price reductions because they know they have the power to do so, they want to negotiate. If you have the approval of a sales manager or broker, you can use this to your advantage by employing the “Sharp Angle Close.” These requests can come at almost anytime during the home buying or selling process. The most common one would probably be asking to lower your commission, but they do take other forms. For example:
- Seller Prospect: “We do not want a yard sign in front of the house. Would you agree not to put one up and still list the house?”
- You: “About 9% of home buyers find the homes they buy from yard signs. If you don’t want one and I agree to that will you sign the listing agreement today?”
- Buyer Prospect: “We want to have you call us every day to update us on a new home that meets our search criteria. Will you do that?”
- You: “If I put that in the buyer’s agreement, will you sign it today.”
5. Question Closes
It makes sense that if you want to know the consumers’ needs and wants you to need to ask probing questions. Ask questions and follow up questions that will help you to close the deal as the sales process progresses. This can be one of the most powerful closing techniques.
- Instead of asking a buyer: “How many bedrooms do you need in your new home?”
- Ask: “How many bedrooms do you visualize your new home having?”
- Follow up with: “Why is that?”, or, “Could you tell me more about that.”
- Instead of asking a seller: “Why are you selling your home.”
- Ask: “What plans do you have after you sell your home?”
- Follow up with: “Could you tell me more about that?”
The goal is not to interrogate people but to learn their wants, needs, motivations, to develop a desire in the consumer and eliminate objections. Did you know that top producing salespeople “speak 43% of the time (on average), allowing the prospect to speak 57% of the time (on average).” When appropriate, a trail closing should go something like this. “Based on what I have told and shown you so far, will the services I am offering work for you?” By offering this trial close, you can determine if the consumer is sold on your services and keep the door open for continued selling. If the answer is yes well, then the next logical step is to have them sign the agreement or contract. If the answer is no, then you simply continue with your presentation. An alternative question could be: “Based on what I have told and shown you so far, is there any reason we should not enter into the agreement.” This is a win-win. If they have no hesitation, then the next step is to close the deal. If they have a reservation, you will learn what they are, and you can address them.
6. Take Away Closes
It is human nature that if you deny someone something, then they desire it more. You can use this psychological practice with prospects as one of your closing techniques. Suppose a seller wants you to lower your commission. Try removing one of the services you are offering, let’s say Facebook advertising. Then offer the discount they will be more concerned with the loss of benefits of Facebook advertising then they are about the discounted commission.
7. Soft Closes
The soft close is really a way of showing benefits to your prospect. You show them the benefit and ask if they are interested in learning more. For example, "If I could show you how I will attract millennial buyers to view your home online, and why that is important to you, would you be interested in learning more?” You state the benefit (attract millennial buyers) and simply ask if they are interested in learning more. No sudden requests or demands. You may even get a surprise and hear them say, “No, Thank you. I have heard enough. Where do I sign?” Find a mentor or a colleague that is a good closer and learn from them. This is a great way to become a better closer. There are many excellent sources of information on closing techniques from tips on closing difficult prospects to how to avoid sales closing mistakes. If you're For some articles that go even more in-depth, try habits of highly effective closers and bring stalled deals back from the dead.