5.4. Closing the Sale: High Pressure Tactics that customers resent

Closing the Sale: High pressure sales tactics that customers resent

Closing a sale with a prospect is always nerve-wracking. No matter how impressed or enthusiastic your prospects seemed during your demo, there’s always a chance you won’t succeed at bagging the deal. They probably decide to postpone their decision until next quarter, or ask for a price you can’t deliver.

It is the part of the sales process that most salespeople struggle to execute effectively.  It is also the part of the sale that customers hate most. This is owing to the fact that most sales people resort to a ‘Push’ style of selling when trying to bring the sale to a closure. They tend to use various pressure tactics to get the customers sign on the dotted line. Customers, needless to say, resent this. They tend to view salespeople who adopt this approach, negatively. It is also a kind of behaviour that gives sales a bad name.

The challenge that many sales people face with ‘asking for the business’ or ‘closing’ as it is traditionally known, comes down to their very ‘Approach to Sales’. They aren’t there as the trusted adviser looking to create value for their customer. It isn’t the customer’s well-being that always drives them. If it were the customer’s well-being that drove them they wouldn’t hesitate to tell the customer that perhaps they shouldn’t buy right now, or buy from their firm, or buy at all, as the case might be. If your sales approach and focus is on genuinely providing your customers with concrete benefits then when you ‘ask for the business’, your act would merely be the next logical step which will get the customer to enjoy the benefit that they are seeking.  Most other (pushy) closing techniques are borderline trickery!

How to seal the deal

Like any game there are rules to selling, especially when it comes to closing a sale. .Assuming that you have:

  1. Established a clear value proposition; including displaying a compelling value price equation.
  2. Implemented an effective sales advancement strategy

(If you haven’t done these, then barring a stroke of luck, fat chance you will be able to close)

Here are five steps for sealing the deal and thereby ensuring sales success in your business,

  1. The best way to ‘ask for the business’ is to first check with the customer if all their queries, doubts or reservations have been resolved effectively. Then check if they truly feel that your proposal will help them meet their need.
  2. If they answer in the affirmative, then ask them if they wish to proceed to the next step in the sales process, which is the signing of the contract.
  3. If for some reason they say ‘no’ at this stage or are dithering, it is an indication that there still exist doubts or issues that have not been addressed. Inform them that there is no compulsion/pressure for them to buy (not until they are completely sure that they want to do so). Inform the customer that if they want to back out of the deal, they are free to do so
  4. Request them to be upfront with you about the reason for their refusal, since you have both invested so much time in the relationship up until this point. This will allow you to identify and overcome any residual doubts or resistance points.
  5. Once again while maintaining that the customer is under no pressure to buy ask them if all doubts or concerns have been addressed. If they say yes, ask them if they are ready to discuss the signing of the contract. Their response now will usually be in the affirmative since you have you have successfully helped overcome all resistance points and concerns.


At no point should the customer feel pressured to sign on the dotted line. Instead, they will see you as a, trusted adviser who has their best interest at heart, at all times (that will make them want to deal with you, rather than those other pushy salespeople)You will never feel bad about asking the customer for the business. Importantly, you will end up successfully closing a greater number of sales.