The 19 Best Sales Closing Techniques — How To Close A Sale

The 19 Best Sales Closing Techniques — How To Close A Sale

In 2019, only 60% of sales reps in the tech industry satisfied their quota. And 42.5% of salespersons take over 10 months to become productive enough to enhance company goals.

sales representative productivity statistics

The primary duty of a sales reps is to close sales and if they’re not satisfying their quota or helping their organization achieve its revenue goals then it’s because they aren’t closing sales.

This can be resolved if you know how to use sales closing techniques properly.

Closing strategies are many, but choosing the best ones for the moment will help you achieve your sales targets.

Not every sales close is perfect for the moment. Some do better in particular selling scenarios than others would. This makes it vital for sales reps to be properly equipped with the various closing techniques so they can seamlessly adapt to any selling situation.

We know the pressure. As a sales rep or even a manager over salespersons, you’re under crazy pressure to close the deal or get sales.

So we’ve compiled a list of 19 proven and tried sales closing techniques for you. From Now or Never Close to Needs Close, sales reps will be able to sign off deals in any selling situation.

Before that, though, let’s have a quick run-through on why it’s important to know how to close a sale.

Why is Knowing How to Close A Sale Important?

Let’s begin with some enlightening sales facts. 92% of salespeople state they give up on candidates after those prospects tell them “no” 4 times. Alternatively, the same study showed that 80% of potential customers stated they say “no” 4 times before saying “yes”.

sales representative and potential customer statistics

Did you see that?

A huge bulk of people (80%) tell a sales rep “no” 4 times before changing their minds to try out the new offer. And nearly all sales representatives (92%) don’t go beyond the fourth “no”.

This doesn’t consider the number of founders and sales reps that dance in the stagnant sales zone waters forever, without the possibility of getting an answer from potential candidates.

It’s imperative to say that this statistic doesn’t imply that all prospects are 4 “no’s” away from changing their minds to a “yes”, but it reveals that most candidates won’t close immediately on the first interaction.

By committing to build a relationship, staying in touch with potential customers that have the most to offer (prospects that will benefit the most from your product), and lead follow-up, you’ll outshine your competitors.

Therefore, it’s important to know and understand the various sales closing techniques for every scenario.

19 Proven and Tried Sales Close Techniques To Seamlessly Close More Sales

Closing a deal isn’t as easy as it may seem. In fact, research shows that 80% of sales require 5 follow-ups.

infographic on salespeople different stage of follow-ups

Besides the tenacity, it involves sales reps having to configure their strategy through a tailored pitch that fits in with a particular prospect.

This is responsible for the numerous sales closing strategies available.

Let’s see 19 battle-tried sales closing techniques to consider as a sales rep:

The Assumptive Close – 1st Sales Close Technique

The Assumptive Close works excellently when what you’re selling, checks every box in terms of what the prospect is looking for in an offer.

To close the deal with this strategy, after you’ve certified that your solution checks their needs list, you must then assume that the deal is as good as sealed and then make the ask for a close.

For example:

How about Tuesday to get the Onboarding process going?”

This is a solid strategy because it politely nudges the person to go forward with the deal by eliminating the time they may have to change their minds about buying your offer or service.

The Something for Nothing Close – 2nd Sales Close Technique

Everyone likes free things, which is why the Something for Nothing Close works so great. This close strategy works by offering a discount or waiving a fee for the potential customer. And through this, you can move the prospect to a state of appreciation and good deeds cannot be ignored.

For example: 

We are 100% certain that our product is what you’re searching for, and to prove it, we would love to offer you a 13% discount. Is this okay with you?”

The Inoffensive Close – 3rd Sales Close Technique

When using this technique to close a sale, you use questions to navigate the prospect to a yes.

However, these aren’t ordinary questions, they’re designed to assert your expertise, showcase value to the prospect, and nudge them towards the next step.

The Inoffensive Close does great with people hesitant to give up control or that naturally opt for a process instead of making abrupt decisions.

So this sales closing strategy plays right into the prospect’s game by using a question-and-answer method to give the person the illusion of control, as the buyer seems to direct the conversation.

This sales closing strategy may look something like this:

“From what I’ve gathered from our discussion earlier today you have certain segments in your organization where our product could help bridge the gap, like the need for more production support, the option of including 4 more extensions to your offerings, a boost in access to organizational resources, and assisting your 5 major operational challenges. 

Is there anything else that you may want to include that I missed in our conversation yesterday?” 

(If the buyer says no. Then ask one of the next set of questions below)

“Did I get a good grasp of everything you need based on our meeting yesterday?”

“Will our offerings handle those needs?”

“Do you have an alternative method you prefer for addressing those “Do you have an alternative method you prefer for addressing those needs?”

“If our offerings can satisfy your needs and every other expectation you may have, would you be ready to take us in as a partner in working towards your organization’s goals?”

The Now or Never Close – 4th Sales Close Technique

This sales closing strategy is a traditional method that promises additional benefits to the prospect if they act right away. It is excellent for use when the person isn’t so certain about moving to a yes. That is, they’re interested but not yet sold.

By including the additional benefits, you seamlessly craft a feeling of urgency with the prospect.

That said, with this method you’ll want to be careful to avoid being too pushy. And the way to achieve the “non-pushy” approach is to present the prospect with value before making the Now or Never Close move.

The prospect should move from interested to convinced with the nudge you give them via the “limited time or once in a lifetime offer.

Here’s a great example of how the Now or Never Close may look like: 

“I understand that you’ve been wanting to make a switch from your current website theme to ours for quite some time now. 

We have a limited time offer that will make that seamless for you. If you change to our website theme today, we can add an exclusive support package for an entire year as a show of gratitude. 

However, it’s a limited-time offer and will only stay available until the end of today.” 

The Backwards Close – 5th Sales Close Technique

road with arrow sign

This sales closing strategy flips the sales process upside down, beginning at the end by asking the prospect for referrals.

Normally, the referral request should come after closing the sale to capitalize on the happy feeling that surrounds the creation of a new relationship.

The amazing thing about this valuable sales closing technique is that it puts prospects at ease as they don’t feel you’re trying to sell something. That said, once the conversation is on, you can work your way back to the first stage by describing your product’s or service’s benefits and features to close the sale.

A perfectly worded Backwards Close may sound something like the below: 

Do you know anyone who would benefit from our offer? I would be delighted to discuss how our service can help them boost their business. Our unique product automates and manages loyalty programs with no additional staff and boosts loyalty sales by 15%.”

The Hard close – 6th Sales Close Technique

Usually termed the accounting technique. The Hard Close sales strategy is called so because it involves an organization “closing the books” after a particular time frame.

A hard close can happen at the end of every quarter or month, or even annually. Hard closes assist sales representatives in making last-minute deals with buyers that have been lingering near the close of the sales cycle.

However, as the hard close is beyond the sales rep’s control, it necessitates a deadline for the prospect’s decision. Most times, sales managers include an incentive to make the deal more attractive and facilitate a close.

A Hard Close would sound something like this: 

“I have just been informed that our accounting department will close the books in 4 days. After that, we will transition to new package/product/pricing plans. Do you want to take advantage of the current website theme plan we put together for your business before the books are closed on us?”

The Puppy Dog Close – 7th Sales Close Technique

This is an effective technique to close a sale that uses the love a prospect has for a service or product to get them to make a purchase. It works with the ideology that few persons who take a puppy home for some days would be willing to give it back.

The Puppy Dog Close allows the prospect to “test drive” or have a “trial run” of the product or service, with the goal that the candidate will fall in love with the offer.

You won’t push them to buy but you take their order. That said, the sales rep must ensure that the business is capable of running free trials before they suggest it. Otherwise, the situation gets messy when the candidate gets an invoice they weren’t expecting.

This sales close strategy can look something like this: 

“If you would love to try out our WordPress website theme for 2 weeks for free with zero obligation to make a purchase, I can email you your login details to our download portal right away. If it doesn’t work out for you, hit revoke subscription on our portal. Would you love to give our theme a shot?”

The Option Close – 8th Sales Close Technique

The Option Close is one of the oldest sales closing strategies that gives the prospect the option to choose between the products or services you offer. This sales closing technique is great for scenarios where you feel that easing the buyer into the closing process can build the relationship positively. After all 51% of sales pros direct their efforts towards relationship-building.

sales professionals statistical data

The option close gives 2 options to a prospect for them to choose, with a “yes” answer for both.

For example:

We could send you your login details at the beginning of next week or in two weeks. Which works best for you?”

However, there are moves you shouldn’t make when using The Option Close technique.

Here’s an example of such:

So do you feel like purchasing any of these products?”

The aim is not to nudge them for business, which would most likely be a move too soon, it’s to simply ask what package or products they prefer.

The buyer will then proceed in the purchase process with little to no pressure or reluctance, as they’re just choosing which product they want to buy.

This closing method is a bit similar to the Assumptive Close. That said, The Option Close may sound something like this:

“Now that you’re aware of what we offer, which package do you prefer, the silver package, the gold package, of the Platinum package?”

The Summary Close – 9th Sales Close Technique

The summary close is a battle-tested sales closing strategy that works by reiterating your offer’s benefits and features before asking for the prospect’s order.

This technique guides prospects to a decision, when they have to pick between multiple products, or are handling many purchases simultaneously for a business, or just distracted.

It’s also valuable if your sales cycle is quite long and the product presentation was a long time ago.

This strategy assists the prospect to visualize what they’re about to purchase and how it’ll satisfy their needs.

The Summary Close may look like this:

“With our product, the double blades make it glide easily over your face for a closer shave, and with our advanced battery life technology, it can work for 6 days per recommended shave time without charging. Plus, if you choose our premium package you’ll get a 3 years warranty and daily tips from professionals on how to get an expert shave.”

The Impending Event – 10th Sales Close Technique

This sales closing technique uses a time-limited opportunity or a deadline to close the deal if the prospect can make prompt decisions.

The Impending Event Close works in situations like when a customer cancels on an install schedule and this allows you to put a new prospect ahead in the queue. So you tell them your installation crew will be around their locality for a short period of time and this makes the prospect want to take advantage of the deadline given.

However, this close strategy must be done carefully because if the prospect finds out that the impending event serves your organization better than it does them, it may not be effective and could ruin the close.

This close technique may sound similar to this:

“I just realized that one of our clients had to defer their installation by a week. So we have time for the team to come this week and complete the installation instead of in 2 weeks as we earlier discussed. Should I place you on the schedule?”

The Scale Close – 11th Sales Closing Technique

5 star rating with a hand holding star

This sales closing technique assists the move to the closing stage from the qualifying stage. The Scale Close lets you know the interest of prospects regarding moving forward with the deal or if objections that need to be handled exist.

Besides letting you know where you stand in terms of the sales process, it also shows you the next step that satisfies your prospect’s wants.

The Scale Close can look something like this: 

If 10 means you’re interested in our offer and 2 means that you have certain objections that need to be answered, what’s your level of interest in our offer?” 

(Say the person rates you a 9)

“Got it. That’s cool. Could you let us know why a 9?”

(The person tells you of a particular feature of your offer they like)

“Awesome, most of our customers like those features as well, so why didn’t we get a 10?”

(Say the candidate states pricing as the objection)

Oh wow! That’s understandable. We’ve had two other people that were hesitant to switch to our product because of the price as well, but they discovered that the value our product offered was way more than what they paid for in just the first month of use.”

The Ben Franklin Close – 12th Sales Closing Technique

The Ben Franklin Close is similar to the concept that guides a pros and cons list. The idea comes from what Ben Franklin did where he made 2 lists and then made a choice based on the longer one.

The best way to use this closing technique is with prospects who aren’t certain or struggle with making decisions.

However, to effectively use this method to close a sale you need to be sure that you have more pros than cons.

Here’s an example of what the Ben Franklin Close may look like: 

As you’ve probably already noticed, the pros of our app is that it’s versatile, compact and can fix the operational issues that your organization has been trying to solve. However, the con is that it presents a new learning challenge for your team and that it’s a new app. 

Though a new app that does a lot better than the current one in use is a better investment than sticking to an operational app that creates more problems than it solves. So we’re just dealing with the fresh learning curve here.”

The Needs Close – 13th Sales Close Technique

The moment you know how your offer can satisfy the needs of prospects, you can be almost certain of a close. This is what Needs Close seeks to achieve.

The prospects send you a list of what they require from a product as per your request. After you receive the list, go through the list and tick all the needs your product satisfies.

Send the list back to them with the ticked needs. If the prospect still doesn’t move to the close, then pose a question to them:

By satisfying your needs, how will your ROI be achieved and how much money will you save?”

This is a fast and seamless way to help the prospect visualize how your product will be of benefit to them, by proving its value.

Of all the sales closing strategies, this is the most versatile and can work in almost all sales situations. And it can also work with all the listed sales closing techniques in this piece.

The Objection Solicitation Close – 14th Sales Close Technique

The Objection Solicitation Close uses a questioning system to transition the sales process to the close stage. The idea behind the questions posed in this sales closing strategy is to get the prospect to state openly the reservations they have about the offer.

This way the sales rep knows exactly why the prospect is hesitant to move forward with the deal and can easily address the issue directly.

The Objection Solicitation Close works best for a sales cycle process that is stagnant or for people who seem reluctant to make a move.

This sales close strategy will look something like this: 

“Is there a reason we can’t send your first bulk order over to you next week?” 

The 70/30 Rule Close – 15th Sales Close Technique

This sales close strategy works by using the 70/30 rule, which refers to how much participation the sales rep and prospect should have in the sales conversation. The sales rep should do 30% of the conversation and the prospect 70%.

potential prospect interaction statistical data

This ratio is usually termed as a healthy balance. It’s a successful rule because as the potential customer speaks you get to learn what you must need to nudge them to the close stage.

To succeed with this strategy, you need to embrace active listening, both for the relationship between you and the prospect as well as for the sale.

The idea is to simply keep the candidate talking till they uncover every pain point and then you address every one of them with your offer to close the sale.

The Take Away Close – 16th Sales Close Technique

This closing strategy involves you reviewing your product’s features and then suggesting to the prospect that they let go of some of those elements to cut down on costs, hassle, or time, etc.

The idea behind The Take Away Close is that humans don’t like losing anything, even if we do not own it yet.

Removing something from an offer can make prospects want to go through with the original offer, so they don’t lose out on certain elements of the product.

A great example of the Takeaway Close is something like this: 

“I understand we talked about the cordless version of the device, but based on how you want to use the device, you may not require a cordless version. Also, the portable version won’t be necessary as well, since you intend to use it at home. That said, what you’d lose on portability will save you a couple of dollars monthly. What’s your take on this?”

The Question Close – 17th Sales Closing Technique

The question close utilizes questions to come up with solutions for the candidate while unmasking the potential customer’s objections.

This sales closing strategy builds on the qualifying stage sales reps use in closing sales. It’s an effective strategy for candidates that are very conscious of where to spend or prefer to hide their intentions. This tactic aims to pull them out with the opportunities your offer presents while you learn about their challenges and business.

You can even use a question to close the deal; doing so lets you address any hesitations the potential customer may have or get down to business.

Here’s how the Question Close would go: 

“Now that you get the features of our offer, do you affirm it solves your problem?”

(If the answer is yes, then you can transition to the closing details. Otherwise, ask why it doesn’t handle the problem.)

The Probe for Opinion Close – 18th Sales Close Technique

The Probe for Opinion Close involves the sales rep asking a prospect for their opinion of the service or product. Numerous sales closing strategies use questions to get over obstacles that resist the close of a sale, and this technique is just like such.

By asking a potential customer about their opinion, you’ll be able to know the issues they have about the offer early enough, so you can fix them right away, which speeds up the close cycle.

The Probing for Opinion Close is super effective when the sales rep aims to connect and build a relationship with the candidate. Requesting the prospect’s opinion makes them feel you want to understand them.

Here’s how a Probe for Opinion Close could be like:

“I see you’ve been checking out the forest package on our website theme plan. They are designed to boost your website’s speed. What’s your take on them?”

The If I – Will You Close – 19th Closing Technique

The If I -Will You Close is also known as the Sharp Angle Close and it’s an old sales closing strategy that gives the potential candidate what they’re looking for but gets you what you want in exchange.

This strategy works great when the candidate desires a discount or an add-on service without charges that aren’t included in your offer. The technique works because you give the prospect what they requested, but on the condition that they close the deal right away.

The If I – Will You Close provides a great mixture of assertion and accommodation that ensures the potential customer feels like they get the bigger slice of the pie as well as seals the deal for you.

That said, sales reps need to get their manager’s approval before using this method.

Using this technique to close a sale may sound like this: 

“Of course, I can give you the forest theme at a discount. But for this to work, could we seal the deal today?”

6 Tips to Close a Sale Seamlessly

As a founder pushing sales or a sales rep, your goal should be to ensure clear outcomes: “no” or a “yes”, never a “maybe”. That said, follow these tips to move your candidates to a defined outcome quickly.

1. Find the Decision-Maker and Start a Conversation

Qualifying is all about knowing and asking the right questions as well as getting valuable information from the potential customer that provides insight which shows that they’d be successful after buying your product.

This means that the quality of insight you get from the candidate is crucial in assisting them to choose to buy or not to.

However, to effectively get the right information, you have to be talking with the right individual – the decision-maker. Let’s see an example.

If you’re offering a SaaS tool for graphic designers and through an experience, you know that the individual with the final say on buying new tools like what your brand is offering would be the Director of Content, it’ll be a fruitless attempt wasting time speaking to entry-level copywriters or a random content creator in the organization.

The idea is to know who the decision-maker is and start the conversation with them.

Beginning your conversation with the team member who would most probably be the decision-maker with regards to your product or service increases your chances of closing the sale significantly.

Once you’ve done this, the next step is starting the conversation with the decision-maker. But what communication medium is the most effective when getting across to decision-makers about your solution?

And is it ok to start by sending them cold emails, or do you call the company directly requesting to speak with the decision-maker, or perhaps book an exploratory call?

To do this right, you may have to fall back on the facts. 75% of adults in nations like the UK or US have a smartphone however, over a quarter of these adults rarely use it for receiving or making calls.

This is creating a trend of preference for digital communication, which isn’t as interruptive as phone calls when speaking to people who aren’t close to them.

Reaching the decision-maker the way they’d most likely prefer to be reached is only half of a win as most salespersons today lean on email as the first communication medium, with the end goal of getting a video or phone call with the prospect for a deeper discussion about the solution if there’s a show of interest.

That said, to verify the decision-maker’s email (you have to be certain you’re not sending a message to a robot) you can use tools like Rocket Reach, or LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Lite.

linkedin sales navigation interface

After you’ve confirmed that correct email address for the decision-maker, you can then write a concise cold email with a clear Call-to-Action, which is usually scheduling a call for a more elaborate discussion about your solution.

You can use this cold email template:

Hello [Decision-Maker’s First Name],

I hope you’re doing great! I am reaching out to you because [tell them how you got their email address and how you relate with them: Saw your brand on the web, talked to one of their employees, etc.] 

[Name of your business] launched a new solution that will (help your team do so and so). As our solution [one line of the product or service benefits].

I am certain that our solution can help [name their company] [state what the solution will help them achieve again]

Would be available for a brief call on [date and time]?

Your Name

See how the goal of this email is to get the potential customer to either say “yes” or “no” or schedule a call to the question of “would you be available for a brief call on so and so date and time?

The worst move you could make is to ask a prospect multiple questions in the first email as this opens them up to decision paralysis. That is, they feel that they’re unable to answer all questions at once or overwhelmed and choose not to answer you right away.

Keep your focus on the goal of the next stage in the first email, which is getting them to schedule a call. Every other thing can be done when this happens.

2. Properly Qualify Potential Candidates

Most of the extensive work with regards to closing a sale or whether sales close techniques work, is done in the early conversations and preliminary research when you’re qualifying potential customers by determining if they stand to benefit from your offer or not.

If the candidate doesn’t satisfy your ideal buyer persona, then you shouldn’t waste time trying to close a sale with them or even send cold emails to them.

Before you follow-up with a candidate, ensure that you or a team member begins by ensuring they satisfying the critical qualifying questions such as:

  • To what degree do they match your ideal buyer persona?
  • What’s the size of their company?
  • What’s the brand’s industry?
  • Where is the company based?
  • What would be the ideal use case for the company?
  • What type of tools has the company previously used?
  • What’s the ecosystem type they play in?

If the answers to the questions above align with your ideal buyer persona, then they’re a qualified lead that would most likely benefit from your offer. You can easily spot candidates that’ll waste your time right away using these questions.

Once you’ve qualified the prospect and connected with the right person in the company, you can then prepare your pitch for delivery.

3. Pitch Your Offer

The best sales reps understand their offer in-depth. And they transcend the knowledge of the product or service by accurately understanding every way that the solution will positively affect their prospect’s business and personal life.

When you try to sell your product’s features to the prospect you’re telling and not selling, because no product can sell itself and you’re not speaking their language. All the candidate cares about is quantifiable results, and how your solution can create an answer to the challenges of their business.

That’s selling and must be the core of a solid pitch.

4. Use the Power of Urgency

By offering the potential customer something time-sensitive, that they’re interested in, you could incentivize them to decide quicker.

This could be a free add-on to the solution, a discount, or anything else that makes them feel like they have the upper hand and that they’ll lose out if they decline.

That said, this isn’t about rushing your potential customer into a decision. The worst thing to do is pressure them.

5. Defeat the Prospect’s Objections

In the journey to closing a sale, you’re going to encounter objections to particular features, pricing, and much more.

Some common objections you’ll encounter are:

  • Your pricing is way too high
  • My schedule is too tight
  • Please email me other information
  • We don’t need this currently
  • Industry-specific challenges or objections

You need specific and detailed answers for such objections and shouldn’t “wing it”. Coming up with answers on the call or on-the-spot may make you seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about and that places you in a bad light as a sales rep.

You need adequate preparation beforehand with pre-defined and researched answers to keep the sale as a possibility and ultimately close the sale.

For example, say you’re on a call with a potential client and they’re interested in your solution but display hesitation when it comes to pricing, you could answer with any of these 3 phrases:

“I understand. We had 3 other clients just like you who weren’t certain about the product’s pricing as well. But they quickly discovered that..” 

“Is the price issue a budget concern or a cash flow one?”

Could we explore some creative approaches to aligning this with your budget?”

These answers will force the underlying issues behind the objections to come out. That said, write all the objections your prospect mentioned that you weren’t ready for and have answers ready for such questions in the future.

6. Close the Sale with an Ask

Knowing when and how to ask “Do you want to buy now?” is the cornerstone of closing a sale. And as a sales rep, you need to be comfortable asking that question. As strange as it may seem most salespersons do not ask for the sale.

They assume that presenting the prospect with multiple benefits and why the product is a great fit for their business would move the potential customer to buy, but that isn’t the case most times. You need to ask.

The reluctance in asking for a sale is probably due to not wanting to face rejection but without the ask, you may never close the sale.

Here’s a great way to ask to close a sale.

“I believe your company is a great fit for our solution. I’ve shown how our Solution can solve your challenges seamlessly. Are you set to buy now?”

If you receive a no, handle it with confidence and ask for the reason for the objection, then proffer a solution to the objection that works for the both of you but seems to work more for the prospect.

Conclusion

Every effective sales representative understands the right closing technique to use per prospect. They also know that the most important aspect l of every sales process is the close phase as it’s the make or break stage of the sales process.

These 19 sales closing strategies and 6 tips that we’ve given to you are the most valuable tools to assist you to achieve the sales goals you need to reach to be successful.

Here is a recap of the 19 sales closing techniques we covered:

  • The Assumptive Close – 1st Sales Close Technique
  • The Something for Nothing Close – 2nd Sales Close Technique
  • The Inoffensive Close – 3rd Sales Close Technique
  • The Now or Never Close – 4th Sales Close Technique
  • The Backwards Close – 5th Sales Close Technique
  • The Hard close – 6th Sales Close Technique
  • The Puppy Dog Close – 7th Sales Close Technique
  • The Option Close – 8th Sales Close Technique
  • The Summary Close – 9th Sales Close Technique
  • The Impending Event – 10th Sales Close Technique
  • The Scale Close – 11th Sales Closing Technique
  • The Ben Franklin Close – 12th Sales Closing Technique
  • The Needs Close – 13th Sales Close Technique
  • The Objection Solicitation Close – 14th Sales Close Technique
  • The 70/30 Rule Close – 15th Sales Close Technique
  • The Take Away Close – 16th Sales Close Technique
  • The Question Close – 17th Sales Closing Technique
  • The Probe for Opinion Close – 18th Sales Close Technique
  • The If I – Will You Close – 19th Closing Technique

With the strategies you’ve gone through in this piece, you’re ready to close sales seamlessly and effectively. You now possess the right close for any potential candidate in any situation you could face.

Why You Should Build Interactive Tools to Increase Sales

Why You Should Build Interactive Tools to Increase Sales

The average American sees up to 10,000 ads and brand messages every single day. Sounds a little overwhelming, right? That’s because it is.

After seeing this many ads every day, viewers simply stop noticing them—meaning they aren’t engaging with them. As a result, you miss out on sales opportunities.

You need to go further to engage your target audience and convert them by personalizing the whole marketing experience through interactive marketing tools. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Interactive Tools in Marketing?

Pretend for a moment that you’re looking for new hair color. It’s tricky because you’re unsure which colors suit you, and you could use some personalized help.

Finally, a website catches your eye because there’s an interactive tool designed to help you pick a hair color. All you need to do is input some simple details, such as your skin tone and eye color, and you’ll see a list of compatible hair dyes.

The outcome? You purchase a hair dye. In other words, you just went from a potential lead to a paying customer, and it’s all thanks to that interactive website tool.

Essentially, this is precisely how interactive tools for marketing are meant to work. And this particular example isn’t imaginary—you can check out Boots to see what I mean:

If you go through the sequence, you’ll find a list of compatible colors. Then, when you click on a color, a link pops up to take you straight to the right product:

How’s that for convenience?

With just a few minutes of interaction, users get helpful, meaningful results—and you may make a sale.

Examples of Interactive Tools

That’s just one example of interactive tools in a sales context. However, you can build many interactive tools and discover at least as many ways you can use them in your marketing strategy.

Here are five common types of interactive marketing tools we can use in different ways.

Virtual Try Ons for Interactive Marketing

This one’s similar to what we just worked through, but it’s not quite identical—we’re taking it one step further.

Embedded “quizzes” like the one we just looked at rely on customers clicking on certain answers. The algorithm then presents people with solutions matching their answers.

Conversely, virtual try-ons use augmented reality or simple image captures to let people use selfies to “try on” everything from makeup to glasses.

The benefit? Customers know whether the product suits them or not, so they’re more likely to buy. Briefly, here’s how they work:

  • Someone visits your product page.
  • They tap the “try on” link, which activates the user’s phone camera.
  • With augmented reality, the user places the product on their face to see how it looks.
  • If they’re happy with the appearance, the prospective customer moves the product to their basket and goes through checkout.

It’s not just limited to beauty products or accessories, either. For instance, platforms like Amazon allow their users to “place” furniture around the room to see if they look good in their home. The same technology applies.

Interactive Measurement Tools

Customers sometimes find buying products like shoes online challenging because it’s hard to determine what size to get.

That’s where measurement tools come in. Let’s break down Nike’s Digital Foot Measurement Tool as an example.

  • Customers shop through the Nike app.
  • They decide on the shoes they want and opt to “try them on.”
  • The camera scan’s the person’s foot to get measurements rather than using augmented reality.
  • Once the scan is complete, the app tells the person which size they should choose.

It’s easy to see how this may lead to more sales and, happily, fewer returns.

Interactive Calculators

Calculators are useful interactive tools for your website and can be used in more ways than one might think, including as:

  • Nutritional calculators
  • Pricing calculators to help potential customers build customized product “bundles”
  • Financial calculators to help people select the right financial product for their circumstances

Whichever sector you’re in, there’s a good chance you can use an interactive calculator to personalize the user experience.

For example, say you run a kitchen supplies website, and you want people to buy your recipe books. They’ve asked questions about how healthy the recipes are.

A nutritional calculator can help them out and, in turn, encourage people to spend more time on your website and potentially have more trust in your brand.

7 Reasons You Should Use Interactive Tools to Increase Sales

We’ve explored what interactive marketing tools are and how they work. There’s still a fundamental question remaining: Can these tools increase your sales?

The answer is: Yes! Here are my top seven reasons why interactive tools in your marketing strategy can increase sales:

1. Interactive Tools Boost Engagement Levels

Customer engagement is vital, but it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Here are two reasons why:

  • The average person spends almost two and a half hours a day scrolling through social media. In this time, they’re exposed to countless marketing messages, from banner ads to PPC.
  • We’ve become “conditioned” to ignore banners (a phenomenon dubbed “banner blindness.”)

Don’t worry, though. This time is where interactive tools have their chance to shine. 66% of marketers report an increase in engagement levels after introducing interactive content to their marketing plans.

Ultimately, increased customer engagement is a pretty effective way to generate more sales in the long-term, so it’s worth using interactive tools in your content.

2. Improved UX Using Interactive Tools May Convert Customers

Conversion is what marketing is all about, and interactive tools could help you do just that. Let me show you how it’s working for JINS, a prescription eyewear provider.

As a forward-thinking company, JINS wanted a new, innovative way to increase conversion rates and improve customer experience. Their solution came via virtual try-ons for glasses.

All someone needs to do is turn on their camera and upload a selfie to the platform. Once that’s done, the user chooses which frames they’re interested in and puts them onto the selfie.

Here’s what it looks like in action. On the left, we have the selfie, and on the right, the actual frames after the customer made their purchase:

Potential customers now have a quick and accurate way to gauge which glasses to buy! According to JINS, conversion rates have drastically improved since they added this interactive tool.

3. Interactive Tools Allow Customers to Feel Confident in Large Purchases

Like I said earlier, this is not just about trying on hair colors or checking out fashion accessories. This technology is about making big purchases, too.

Take Target, for example. Users upload a picture of their room and place a true-to-life copy of a furniture piece in the space. They can also download the Target app and try out the augmented reality version instead, which is a little more engaging because you can move the product around the room. Amazon does this with many of their products in their app as well.

This feature allows users to check if the furniture or other large item fits their space before purchasing it, which means they’re more likely to click “buy” and less likely to make returns.

4. Personalized User Experience via Interactive Tools Can Increase Conversions

Do you see a pattern of personalization forming? Interactive tools allow us to personalize marketing like never before. Here’s why it matters from a sales perspective:

These stats tell us two things:

First, customers crave personalization. They want to feel valued by companies.

Second, they’re more likely to become loyal customers if there’s a personal touch to your marketing efforts.

This is a no-brainer way to build brand loyalty and increase your chance of future sales.

5. Interactive Tools Increase Lead Generation

I’ve touched on this already, but it’s worth emphasizing just how effective a lead generation strategy using interactive tools can be from a sales perspective.

Firstly, there’s an SEO angle. If you can attract more social media shares and inbound links, you should generate more traffic. Additionally, if people spend more time on your website and there’s a lower bounce rate, your search engine ranking can improve. Social shares may boost your SEO ranking by over 20%, too. (You can check who’s linking back to you with my free backlink checker.)

The upshot of interactive tools catching people’s eyes is that there could be more organic traffic and better quality leads because the people you’re attracting are already looking for your product or service.

Let’s think about this from another angle, too. The data you’re capturing from prospects as they use your tools may help you figure out what your customers want so you can improve your products and services.

Consequently, you can generate more quality leads in the long-term, all without much extra effort from a marketing perspective.

Sounds great, right?

6. Automate Your Marketing With Interactive Tools

Yes, interactive tools can help you automate your marketing efforts, and the tools do much of the work for you. The algorithms detect what the customer wants and make recommendations or offer solutions based on this information.

This can help you increase sales and make alterations as needed because you can:

  • Check your metrics to ensure the tools are working how you want them to
  • Make changes to the UX based on what you’re seeing
  • Compare performance across different interactive tools and invest time, energy, and resources in the ones performing most effectively

7. Interactive Tools May Draw Traffic to Your Website  

Without traffic coming to your website, there’s little chance you’ll make sales. Again, interactive tools can help you out here. Here’s why.

Firstly, 47% of people use ad blockers now, so there’s a chance some potential customers won’t even see your marketing if you’ve focused efforts on those. Interactive tools help you sidestep this problem.

Secondly, 79% of successful marketers say interactive tools and content encourage people to return to their websites. It’s not just about creating new content, either—you can use the same content time and time again when you have interactive tools.

Think about it. If a customer loves the eyeglasses they purchased from you the first time around, they’re more likely to return to your online shop. There, they’ll use the same virtual try on tool they used before to check out different pairs. You didn’t have to try to impress them with new interactive tools, promotional emails, or any other marketing strategy—they liked what they used the first time and engaged with it again.

How’s that for a cost-efficient way to solidify a lasting relationship with your customer base?

Conclusion

Why should you build interactive tools to increase your sales? Well, as we can see, they’re not just a reliable way to generate leads and improve conversion rates, but they’re cost-effective, too.

They’re not especially challenging to deploy, either. It’s easy enough to find interactive tools you can tweak to suit your needs and embed them on your website. If you want more help with introducing interactive tools into your marketing strategy, check out my consulting services.

Have you tried interactive marketing tools yet?

Creating An Automated Sales Funnel: A Step By Step Guide

Creating An Automated Sales Funnel: A Step By Step Guide

Sales are the lifeblood of any business. Many factors can influence your business’s growth, and there are a ton of competing interests for your attention and energy. The one finite resource that all companies have that may limit your business’s growth is time.

The ability to automate tasks to free up your time, energy, and other resources that allow you to grow your business is crucial.

What Is An Automated Sales Funnel?

To understand an automated sales funnel, it’s essential first to understand the term “sales funnel.” A sales funnel describes the steps and flows a potential customer takes with your brand and product. It is the stage in the buying process your client may be at a given time and how you move them toward a decision-making moment.

Before making any purchase, a consumer, knowingly or not, will base their decision on familiarity with the product and then look at possible other comparative options, including price points. But how do you get a potential customer to the decision stage of their purchase?

typical sales funnel diagram illustration

Stages Of The Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is the process by which a buyer may, or may not, act and is broken into three stages:

Top of the Funnel: Think of a sales funnel as the phase in the buying process your potential customer may be at any given time. One way to think about the sales funnel is that it is as wide of a target audience as possible in the funnel’s beginning or top.

Middle of the Funnel: This is the stage the audience and potential client has toward possibly buying your offer.

Bottom of the Funnel: The bottom of the funnel is where the potential for a sale has become an active sale. This phase includes any new customers and any existing customers that can lead to repeat sales.

Another way to think about each step is that the purchasing journey begins as complete as possible and narrows each step during the process.

The beginning stage is the widest swath. This stage is where you’re trying to get your brand recognized by as many potential customers as possible. All too often, this stage is the most costly as it tends to be the least focused of your efforts and can lead to cost overruns in your marketing.

The middle stage is where your potential buyer has become aware of your offerings and is considering buying. Here it is crucial to focus on the persuasive element of your marketing efforts. Providing an incentive for the customer to act is an integral part of your planning at this phase.

By giving attention to highly targeting your potential customer, you can still attract as wide of an audience as possible and eliminate those who may not have anything but passing interest.

Finally, the customer has moved from indecisive to action. This phase is the last stage and one where the sale occurs.

But how do you move a potential customer through the various stages of the sales funnel?

To move your customer along your sales funnel, you need to address the why, how, and when of their buying process. There are four essential stages of the buying process in the sales funnel.

Those four stages are defined as the AIDA model for marketing.

The AIDA Model

Defined in 1898 by St. Elmo Lewis, the AIDA model identifies how and why personalized selling is effective. Its simple definition of the buying process has allowed it to be widely used and understood since Lewis introduced it.

The process is broken into four phases of the buying process, and understanding each of these phases is essential toward moving the buyer into a purchasing decision.

aida model of buying process
  • Awareness: The first phase of the AIDA model is to create awareness of your services, products, and offers. Depending on the type of offer you have, brand awareness can take some time. Think about Apple releasing the first iPhone to the market. Most users were unaware of its value, or that of some of Apple’s competitors that were able to adopt the concept quickly and flexibly adapt to the marketplace.
  • Interest: Once your audience is aware of your brand, the next step is the interest phase. Generating interest can be accomplished in many ways, from an exciting marketing approach such as the iconic Apple iPhone ads built off the awareness and brand loyalists created by the iPod marketing strategy.
  • If you recall, the iPod advertising was of silhouettes and famous people going about their daily activity while dancing and listening to their iPods. This strategy created a demand for consumers to strive for the happiness and joy that the iPod promised.
  • Desire: The desire phase follows after brand awareness and interest. If the first two phases are implemented correctly, your produce or service will be more valuable and interest increased. This process is because you’ve virtually eliminated those customers that may be indecisive and unsure of your brand at this point of the process.
  • Effectively improving your potential customer’s sense of desire is achieved by creating a personal, emotional attachment to your brand. Much like the loyalty shown by adherents to the Apple brand, what you choose to offer, how you show the customer that it’s beneficial for them, goes a long way in increasing their desire for your products.
  • Action: The most coveted phase of the personal buying process is the action stage. Here is where the sale is made, and the services are bought. Getting your target customer to this stage rarely happens, but it is one you need to spur with a definite call to action, but one that doesn’t come across as pushy. If all the leading steps before this stage are done correctly, you give the buyer permission to act on what they desire.

One last stage that is occasionally discussed is the retention phase. By offering upsells or product enhancements and improvements, you can create a brand loyal customer that will continue to purchase your products.

Again, think about the loyalty of major brands such as Apple. Most of their customers may have bought an initial, lower-priced product such as an iPod or earlier version iPhone and then moved on to the next iteration of the iPhone or personal computer as Apple iterated their devices with upgrades performance improvements.

Why Create Automated Sales Funnels?

automated sales funnel infographics

As sales are what makes or breaks any business, the ability to grow and increase sales is your business’s security. Whether it is to increase new business or build on existing sales, you know the need to continue to grow.

To focus your energy on your business’s growth, you need to free up time and other resources. The best plan to free up your time is to create a plan to automate your business areas to allow you to focus on other areas.

Optimally, free up your time is to create an automated sales funnel for new and recurring sales.

Automation is the process of setting a process that requires little or no interaction for it to operate.

  • Increased Efficiency: By creating a process that can operate independently, with minimal involvement by the operator, you free up time to devote to other tasks. The benefit of an automated sales funnel is that you create efficiency in your operation and one that you can iterate as needed.
  • Free Up Time and Other Resources: Automacy will allow you to “set it and forget it” so that you can, in turn, redouble attention toward new sales, products, and offerings. Think of it as an opportunity to craft, create, or distribute a new product offering that has been hampered by your focus on the current sales process.

There is a pitfall to keep in mind with anything that operates on automatic. The problem is that with a hand’s off approach, the operation will only move along a path as it was set in the beginning. It must be maintained and reprogramed based on data of what is and isn’t effective.

Simply put, you need to keep in mind that automation only sets a trajectory; it doesn’t fool-proof the action. It is up to you to follow up with the process from time to time to ensure it operates on the most effective path.

To quote Bill Gates, “Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

While you need to be aware of problems with automating your sales approach, the benefits far outweigh the risk. By investing in automating your sales funnel, you will:

  • Decrease Expense and Labor Costs: One of the hidden benefits that automated sales funnels can offer your business is that by automating your process, you lower overhead on labor and time to a sale, which improves your ROI or Return on Investment. In the long-run, an increased ROI is a higher profit margin for your business.
  • Improve Your Data Points: Additionally, automating your sales funnel frees up more time to analyze the most critical data and what is not working. This analysis allows your marketing efforts to sharpen focus and better target your potential customers.
  • Find Better Leads and Create Better Conversions: The effect of better targeting customers helps eliminate cost overruns in your marketing, giving your efforts better-qualified leads and, in turn, increased conversions through your sales funnel.

By creating a system that allows you to automate your targeted customer’s buying process, you can devote time, energy, and resources that otherwise have been tied up. These insights offer a higher level of returns and a better understanding of who is buying when they make their purchasing decisions and how to best connect with them in the future.

Setting Up An Automated Sales Funnel

Now that we understand the need and the benefits of setting an automated sales funnel, the next step is understanding how to set one up.

There are four steps in setting up your automated sales funnel following the AIDA model of Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. Those four sections are Content Marketing, Lead Magnet, Follow-Up Offer, and Backend Sale(s).

The first step in the AIDA model is to create better brand awareness. There are a few strategies to consider that will improve your brand awareness, and they all begin with the type of content you publish and share online.

What is Content Marketing?

content marketing illustration

Content marketing is a process of sharing content, whether written content, videos, or social media posts that help expose your brand, but more importantly, your products and services to as broad an audience as you choose.

In short, content marketing is anything you decide to share that helps your targeted customer learn about all that you are offering. The most effective forms of content marketing are blogging, videos, and social media, usually tied in to each other to craft a compelling narrative around your products.

Think about your content marketing plan as a way to target your audience and lead them into whichever part of the funnel you would like them to be in. Beware, you could waste a lot of time and energy if you take a less than laser-focused approach to lead generation.

Blogging: One of the most prominent and most comfortable forms of content marketing to create brand and product awareness is written content. Every website has or should have a blog that ties content up with product offerings.

Your blog’s objective isn’t to create an immediate sale; instead, to improve the image of your brand and product offerings. The content should work to lead your potential customer toward the part of the funnel that you think the customer is at in their journey.

To be the most effective, you need to craft your blog posts in a way that does a few things for your audience.

Write your blog in conversational tones, and make your content tell a story. Lending personality to your blog makes your post easier to read and will create trust in your authority. Unless, of course, your services are specific and require a very academic or professional tone.

Identify something your audience sees as an issue, problem, or pain point. This could be an issue in the marketplace, a problem or pain-point that your reader may be experiencing, and offer a solution or better way to do something. This problem-solving technique will establish you as an authority and create trust in your reader that you can solve these issues.

Video: Video is highly engaging, easy to consume, and widely shareable. You can create a high-resolution video and quickly post it on your company website and blog.

In fact, the American Marketing Association states that “video will make up 82% of all web traffic by 2021.” Don’t skimp on the video. If you aren’t comfortable on camera, you can script out your video and hire freelance talent to produce it for you.

Again, like a blog post, identify a few issues and problems your audience may be experiencing and offer a solution. You can embed the video directly or include it in a written blog post to add a personal element.

Social Media Posts: It’s been stated that over 72% of all adults consuming one form of social media or another. This is a crucial platform in your content marketing strategy. You can create standalone posts or promote other content you’ve made, such as your blog posts and videos.

The best strategy to reach as broad an audience as possible is to cross-promote your content within as many channels as possible for the highest level of reach and engagement.

Set a publication calendar and use a third-party app to publish along all your various content marketing channels. You can outsource your content production as well to maximize your automation process.

Now that your content marketing strategy is in place, it’s time to focus on the next step you’d like your audience to take in your funnel.

The goal is to create something that attracts your reader’s attention and builds on the trust and authority you established in your initial content marketing.

This step is where you move the reader from awareness to interest and eventually desire and action. The key here is to create a lead magnet that attracts their attention and makes them want more that you have to offer.

The Second Step, Create A Valuable Lead Magnet

lead magnet illustration

A typical lead magnet should target your specific audience and offer something in return for their information. For example, a B2B lead magnet might be a free white paper that identifies one problem in the industry and offers a free solution and a promise of more solutions if they sign-up for your email newsletter.

Another lead magnet may be a webinar that is directed toward a particular segment of the industry. You promote your webinar with a landing page that requests sign-ups, and you give the solutions to the participants’ specific needs.

The lead magnet should identify a problem with getting qualified leads in a particular industry and show a strategy to help your reader improve the types of leads they are generating.

By receiving the lead magnet, you capture the prospect’s information and add them to a squeeze page to direct them to the funnel’s third step, the follow-up offer.

The Follow- Up Offer

The third step of the funnel should be to make a second offer to your prospect. It should be in addition to the lead magnet offer and be more specific and offer much more detailed value than the initial product.

Again, the key here is added value to what your audience received already. You can approach this in one of two ways, an upsell or down-sell of products. An upsell is a pricier product than what you offered previously, while a down-sell is priced lower and is typically an add-on that increases the value of your previous product.

By creating value in your content and sharing across various channels, you increase your brand awareness.

Next, by making a low-to-zero cost lead magnet, you hope to capture the prospect’s information that allows you to direct them to the third step in your funnel.

From here, you make an additional offer, one that is priced higher or lower than your original offer but adds value to what the prospect already received.

The final step is where the money is – the backend sale.

The Backend Sale

The final step in the sales funnel is the backend sale. If you’ve set up your funnel correctly, from content creation to lead magnet and follow-up, you’re ready to pitch your sale.

After creating awareness of your brand, establishing some authority, and building trust in what you provide, this is where you highlight the benefits of your product or service.

Your focus here should be on giving the customer “permission” to make the sale that they’ve been moving toward making and should be enticing. If you provide lead generation as a product, enhance the attractiveness of your service by offering something in addition, such as around the clock customer service, or a weekly consultation, whatever will help separate your service from others.

Your automated sales funnel’s goal is to allow you to have your sales work independently and will enable you to focus your attention on other areas of growing your business. By automating your sales process, you can capture leads, analyze what is and isn’t working, iterate those actions, and reset the process more efficiently.