Closing a Sale: 5 Things You’re Doing Wrong

Closing is the most nerve-racking part of a sales conversation, but the most important nonetheless. After all, you have to “ask for the business” at some point, or you won’t be selling anything #cashmoney.

I love this topic so much that the entire basis for my book surrounds the art and nature of closing.

Now, I don’t know anybody who became a sales superstar overnight. Most of us learn the tricks to closing a sale through a good number of mistakes and failures. But wouldn’t it be wiser to learn from other people’s mistakes so you can save yourself the time and frustration of losing deals? Take a look at these five commonly made closing mistakes:

You stick with the ABC rule

As we have quotas to fulfil, we as salespeople are inclined to follow the ABC rule (Always Be Closing). Personally, I only think this is good advice if you have been trained in how to do it – a course I often offer called “The One-Call Close.”

In most cases, asking for the sale too early in the discussion makes you seem too aggressive, this method of coercion often makes a prospect less likely to buy.

Instead you want to focus all of your energy on allowing the person to express their need to buy – as the sooner they do this, the sooner they will ASK you how they can obtain your product.

You’re waiting too long to close

Waiting too long to close a sale is just as bad as being too pushy. As any experienced salesperson would know, there’s a point in a sales conversation when asking for the business comes off naturally. Beyond that point, there’s a possibility that the client will find issues you and your offering can’t solve. It’s a lost case from there, so it’s important for you to recognise when your prospect is ready to close.

You’re courting the wrong person

Sometimes we make the mistake of closing with the wrong person. We often go after the purchasing department, assuming they have the authority to decide on all kinds of purchases. However, when the purchase involves making money, reducing expenses or solving problems, the decision-maker is usually the operational manager.

It pays to do a bit of research before you set up a meeting with the company, so you don’t waste time and energy. Once you’ve identified the decision-maker, invest time in creating a real relationship with them. By nature, people do business with people they like and have a personal connection to.

I often find another mistake is when sales people disrespect or move away too quickly when they realise that the person they are talking too isn’t the decision maker. If you get someone offside by making them feel inferior they may go out of their way to roadblock the deal or reduce your credibility. Instead make sure you build enough respect so that they go out of their way to HELP not hinder you, make them like you enough to argue with their superiors to get the deal done!

You’re bashing your competitors

Speaking negatively of your competitors in order to make you look better is a quick way to discourage a prospective client.

Firstly, nobody wants to deal with negative people. Secondly, resorting to this tactic makes you seem insecure and desperate. Your client will likely wonder how low you will go just to snag the deal. The problem is that you are not actually selling them a solution; you are simply discouraging them from buying from other companies. Not to mention, business slander has some serious consequences. So if your competitors get wind of what you have saying about their business, you could find yourself in trouble.

That said, always take the moral high ground and focus on showing why your solution could benefit their business more and share with them the stories of your success.

A trick I also developed is that you can also build value by highlighting where your competitors have made mistakes in a constructive way and show that your business has gone about building fixes to these issues within your solution.

One of my favourite lines is to say “Company Y, have done ___ but what they are trying to do is probably address the underlying problem of ____ , which I agree is a large issue affecting the market. I admire their courage here but if you don’t get it right, the consequences result in feelings like the ones you have experienced, so I am sorry this occurred.”

This line or a similar statement, makes you seem empathetic and also politely offers a criticism by suggesting an improvement. This is always received better than blatant “bashing” of a competitor and also relating to their situation will always earn you fans!

You keep selling even after the close

You already got a ‘yes’. It hurts more than it helps to continue blabbing about your product or service. You might think it helps to reinforce the client’s decision to buy, but trotting out additional features will only raise new objections or cause the client think twice about their decision. If they have placed the order, shut up and take it!

Also make sure you focus more on happiness and satisfaction post-sale to increase your retention rate and increase your chances of a cross-sell or up-sell in the future at a later date. Also if you focus more on relationship building and product satisfaction post-sale, your chances of receiving a referral will rise!


About The Author

Dailius Wilson

Dailius Wilson is the 24 year old founder of – helping the world's top SaaS companies to optimise their sales and marketing efforts. Dailius is currently a Director at TrustRadius and a digital blogger at Dailius was named as one of the Top 30 Entrepreneurs in Australia for 2015 by Anthill Online and was ranked in the Top 100 SEO Experts in the World. Dailius has also been a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show and has over 10,000,000 views on Youtube

  • Blake

    Some great examples of things that are being done wrong when closing.
    Here is a video that will help you close: