What are closing questions in sales? (Plus examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Salespeople often have strong interpersonal and persuasive skills to be able to close a sales deal. Closing questions allow you to gauge whether a consumer has an interest in your offering and determine whether you can successfully close a deal. There are several types of closing question and it's important to be aware of them so you can add them to your sales toolkit. In this article, we answer the question, 'What are closing questions?', list the various types and outline some examples for you to use.

What are closing questions?

If you're entering a role in sales, you may wonder, 'What are closing questions?' Closing questions refer to the questions that salespeople ask when they're about to close a deal with a prospective customer. These questions bridge the gap between sales discussions and an agreement on a deal. They can also help sales representatives determine whether a consumer wants to buy from them and whether it's necessary to close the conversation and move on to a more promising lead.

Related: What are the characteristics of good questions?

Types of closing questions

There are several types of closing questions that salespeople may use to secure a deal with a new or returning customer. The questions they use depend on many factors, including the tone of the conversation and whether the prospect expresses interest. For example, aggravated customers oftentimes find direct closing questions abrupt and offensive. Here are some of the different types of closing questions along with examples:

Assumptive

Assumptive closing questions are those that imply the customer has agreed on a deal and wants to move forward. Salespeople use assumptive close questions when the prospect has already agreed to buy at some point in the conversation. These questions are quite abrupt and are only used when you're convinced you've captured the prospects' interest. Using these questions on consumers who are unsure can be damaging to the sales process. Additionally, be sure to gauge the prospect's comfort level throughout the conversation to determine whether an assumptive close is appropriate. Examples of assumptive question include:

  • Can you send me your contact details so I can send you over the paperwork?

  • Do you want an upgrade with this too?

  • When would you like to get started on implementation?

  • Whose name can I make the invoice out to?

  • Would you like to go with the first or second option?

  • What time is best to have this item delivered?

Related: What makes a good salesperson? (With key skills and traits)

Transitional questions

These closing questions demonstrate urgency without pushing the prospect into making a decision. They're designed to make the prospect feel comfortable transitioning from initial discussions to closing conversations without feeling pressured. Transitional questions are non-aggressive and therefore make the prospect feel like they're deciding on their own. Examples of transitional question include:

  • Will you commit to doing business with us today?

  • If we gave you the product at this price, is there any reason you wouldn't do business with us today?

  • It seems like this product is a good fit for you. What do you think?

  • If we throw in a freebie or upgrade, would that convince you to accept this offer?

  • You're interested in this product, right? If we get started today, you'll have it up and running by [date].

  • Would this be a better fit for your budget next fiscal quarter? If so, I'm happy to follow up then.

  • If we could find a way to deal with this objection now, would you be willing to sign the contract today?

Sales point questions

These questions allow the salesperson to determine whether they've done enough to close a deal. They reassure the salesperson their tactics are working. and they can even indicate that it's time to close the deal. If the prospect isn't quite ready to close the conversation, these questions can reveal whether it's still possible to close the sale. Examples of sales point questions include :

  • We've been negotiating for a while now. Am I right in assuming this isn't a priority for your business at the moment?

  • Would you feel confident signing the contract if I were to send it over today?

  • Have I done enough to earn your business today?

  • Unless you have any more questions or concerns, would you say we're ready to get started?

Tailored package questions

It's essential that you offer the consumer options when attempting to close a deal. Providing options with varying price points shows the customer you're flexible in your offers and allows them to assess the trade-offs in cost. This may mean that you offer them different package details, with each one offering more products or service coverage. It's important to ensure you don't offer them too much, as this can lead to indecision. Tailored questions can also help sales representatives determine what option best suits the prospect's needs. Examples of tailored package questions include:

  • Which of these three options best suits your needs?

  • If we were to upgrade this package, would you sign with us?

  • What else can I offer you today that could change your mind?

  • Here are the price points for our package deals. Which one best suits your budget?

  • Shall we get to work on a tailored package solution?

Related: Seven sales titles (With salary, duties and career information)

Soft-close questions

Soft-close questions are a good way to judge the prospect's readiness to purchase. They do more than give you a simple ‘yes' or ‘no' answer. This means you can gain useful information without risking a sales opportunity. Soft-close questions require the customer to state they're ready to buy or tell you what it's necessary to do next to grab their attention. Examples of soft-close questions include:

  • Would you like me to send the contract over to your legal to for review?

  • If I could guarantee this offer at a lower price, would that be within your budget?

  • It seems like this could be the perfect solution for you. What do you think?

  • Is there anything stopping you from signing the contract today?

  • Is there any reason why this wouldn't meet your requirements?

  • If I throw in an additional feature, would that get you to sign?

Five tips on how to close a sales deal

Before you can ask your closing questions, it's important to be in a position to do so. This means you've successfully negotiated options with the prospect and feel there's a good chance of a sale at some point. Here are some tips on how to close a sales deal.

1. Do your research

Make sure you understand the various deals your company has to offer prospects. Conduct research into the prospect's business also so you can enter negotiations with a clear indication of what products or services are best for them. You can gather information on your company's products and services by speaking with colleagues in different departments, speaking to senior management about company objectives and consulting the product design team where appropriate.

2. Set expectations

Ask important questions at the beginning of the conversation to gauge what offerings are more suited to the company's needs and requirements. Focus your initial attention on the prospect's timeline and budget so you can level your expectations with theirs. Once you know this information, you can use it to offer the most appropriate demo or deal. These questions also allow you to build a rapport with the customer and earn their validation.

3. Tell a story

Salespeople can use stories to tap into a prospective customer's emotions. You can tell a customer a success story about a company of a similar size in the same industry that benefited from the current offer you're making. You can also use stories rooted in personal testimony to earn the trust of a prospect whose primary concern is the reputation or competence of your company. You can reassure them by recalling a time that you or another team member managed to offer support or assistance to a customer who experienced problems.

Related: 13 of the highest-paying sales jobs (with salary details)

4. Pitch the benefit

Customers are often more interested in the benefits of doing business with you rather than the actual product itself. In essence, they're more concerned with the promised results than the processes that will help them achieve them. Focus on how a product or service can help the customer overcome a particular problem or pain point rather than the features of the product itself.

5. Address concerns

Make sure that you handle any objections from the buyer with care. Their concerns may relate to the price or usefulness of the product, so be sure to have information available to address all types of concerns. Listen to customers and validate their queries. Respond in a thoughtful manner that isn't condescending or too pitchy. When addressing concerns, it's helpful to appear as genuine as possible.

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