“Did you know that seven out of 10 salespeople never ask for the order?” That was the statistic my boss, Tom Kushak, shared with me the first day I started work as a salesperson many moons ago. Tom shared that with me on my very first day because he wanted me to clearly understand the importance of closing.

Over time I learned that Tom had the statistic wrong.

When I started teaching and coaching in the security industry, I found that eight out of 10 salespeople never ask for the sale. They finish explaining features, company history, price and terms, and end with something like, “So, what do you think?” The customer replies, “I’ll think about it and get back to you” — sending the sales rep back to the office without an order, without a customer and without a commission check.

My first boss clearly understood what you must understand: even the best sales presentations are useless if they don’t result in a sale.

Do you ask for the sale?

Moving into a closing conversation with a prospect can be a little stressful. No matter how well things have gone to that point, you’re now at the moment of truth. You could win a deal or lose a deal. And lots of salespeople tend to dwell on the bad things that could happen: the deal could be lost to a competitor, the prospect could postpone their buying decision, or they could want price terms you simply can’t meet.

Getting a “yes” or a “no” from a prospect depends on much more than just using a specific closing question or statement. But as you probably know, using the right words at the right time can make a huge difference. These are 28 of my favorite closing phrases that can give you the right words for those situations.

  1. Would you like to move forward?
  2. Are you ready to get started?
  3. Can we go ahead?
  4. We can start the process today with a credit card if you’d like.
  5. We can be protecting you by the close of business tomorrow if you’d like.
  6. We can have you protected by the end of the month if we can get your authorized working agreement into the implementation department by Thursday.
  7. Should I forward our working agreement so you can get started?
  8. Would you like to try it for a quarter?
  9. It’ll take a few weeks to process and ship the order so if you’re interested in moving forward, we should start the paperwork now.
  10. Let’s get this off your plate and start the paperwork. What do you think?
  11. Let’s start the process so you can get onto your other priorities. Sound good?
  12. Would you like installation on the 15th or the first of the month?
  13. What haven’t I covered that is important to you? Great, then let’s move forward.
  14. If you’ll simply authorize this, we will get started.
  15. Would you like to move forward with this today with me?
  16. Is it time to put this task behind you?
  17. Is it time to start feeling safe again?
  18. Do you want to do this?
  19. Have we earned your business now?
  20. Have we earned the right to call you our client?
  21. We seem to agree that this is what you are looking for. What do you suggest we do from here?
  22. What can we do together to speed up the process and make things happen?
  23. What’s the next step?
  24. I can have this protecting you/working for you by next Friday. What would you like me to do?
  25. Do you think you’d be happy with this kind of service?
  26. Does this fit within your budget?
  27. Sounds to me like you’ve decided this is what you want. Am I right?
  28. Is there anything else you need to know to move forward?

You can work hard. You can be a star at prospecting and qualifying. You can design the best security systems known to modern man. But if you can’t close a deal, you’re going to starve.

A closing conversation is a natural part of most sales calls. Make sure you directly ask the prospect for their business.

While this list of closing phrases is certainly not a complete list, it contains the phrases that have proven effective over time. Take the time to learn them, and then use them.