Sales closing techniques are different than they were 10–20 years ago. They should not be like ones we see in the movies, either. Techniques that push the boundaries are still used by some salespeople, but I don't believe that's how a true sales professional should be closing sales.
- Years ago, there was a movie based on the David Mamet play, Glengarry Glen Ross. In it, there's a scene when the manager, played by Alec Baldwin, ridicules real estate salespeople with lines like, "Coffee is for closers," and "the leads aren't weak, you're weak." Movies like that and others, such as Boiler Room and the Wolf of Wall Street glamorize bad behavior of salespeople whose ethics and integrity are in short supply. I cringe when I see photos from those movies used as motivational tools for those of us in sales.
Unfortunately, selling techniques that push the boundaries can actually work. And it results in some salespeople using them as an accepted approach. However, when you use manipulation as a closing method, your reputation will become tarnished, and your character judged in a negative way. Here are some examples of high pressure and devious closing techniques that have been used in the past, and unfortunately, are still embraced by some. The now or never close is one where a salesperson says, "how about I give you a special offer, "for today only, if you agree to our proposal." This can get a buyer to make a decision, but immediately cheapens the value of your product or service.
Were you overpricing them to begin with? Here's an example of a negative close. A number of your competitors are using our service, and because you aren't, it could be putting your company at a real disadvantage. This attempts to try and alarm your buyer, that they're falling behind. It's also a way to insult them with a scare tactic. I've seen salespeople use the reversal close, to warn a client that they may not be a good fit. "Our software program is really meant for larger companies, "who could take advantage of all of our features." It's a technique to sway the buyer, to want something they may not need.
It's also a way to annoy and lose a client fast. An assumptive close does work when there's mutual trust and experience working together. However, when you say, "you're ready to buy, aren't you?" you just assume the buyer is automatically going to agree. It's taking a risky leap of faith that often insults the other person. Do an online search of closing techniques and you'll see many. And some with unusual names, like calendar, Goldilocks, or porcupine.
There are dozens of them, with many highlighting special techniques that cross the line into being gimmicks. There are others that are very outdated and were commonly a part of sales training programs taught years ago. They may make for fun entertainment in the movies, but using high pressure, manipulative or psychological tricks to attempt to close a sale are not methods you should follow. They may work one time, but I can guarantee you'll never work with that buyer again. Always remember to never use tactics that push the boundaries of professionalism.