By Zig Ziglar

The Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar lets readers in on some of the most effective ways to persuade anybody – be it their family members, friends, teachers, and especially prospects. The book contains relatable anecdotes, practical applications, and recommended closing techniques that can help salespeople close more sales.




Learn as much as you can about your prospect and capitalize on that information. Ask questions to identify the problem and guide the prospect to a decision. Find out what they need to solve their problem, and show them how your product can solve it.

Remember, many people do not know what they want because they do not know what is available. If you cannot exactly fill the bill, do not assume they are adamant enough to not consider anything else.

You can get everything you want in life if you will help other people get what they want.

Break payments into small bit size chunks they can stomach. You have to close the gap in the prospects mind between the cost of your product and perceived value.

You can gain mental assent from a prospect that your product is good, will save them money, they need it, they would like to have it and can afford it, and still have a customer that still refuses to buy. This means that you have convinced them of its merit but not persuaded them to buy.

If you really feel the sales process is something you do to the prospect, then you are a manipulator. But if you feel the sales process is something you do for the prospect, then sales benefits will be considerable because you are truly interested in benefiting others.

  • “Now or never” close – The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain.

Five reasons people will not buy from you:

  1. They feel they do not need what you are selling
  2. They do not have any money
  3. They are in no rush to buy
  4. They do not want what you are selling
  5. They do not trust you

CRITICAL SALES POINT: People buy what they want when they want it. They usually care more about the product itself more than what it actually costs.

  • The Law of Averages – This is a myth. If you see enough people, you will make sales because there is an automatic minimum sales percentage for every person.
  • Many times prospects who initially say no are really saying “tell me more.” It is your job to alter the value of your product in their mind. When a prospect says no, do not pressure them to change their mind. They won’t change his mind, but they will be delighted to make a new decision, based on new information.
  • You should learn from each sale you close, as it helps you improve on raising the value of your product or service to your prospects.

Voice Training to Close Sales –  Using a voice recorder should help you hear and critique yourself on your sales presentation.

Price Objection

  • When someone tells you that your price is ridiculous, repeat what they said as a question. This forces them to defend their statement as opposed to forcing you to justify the price.
  • Verify that price is the real objection. Ask, “If I could show you that the price is more than fair and the product is worth every dime we’re asking, would you go ahead and take advantage of this offer today?”
  • Response to an objection on price:
    “Mr. Prospect, you’re going to be concerned about price one time. That’s the day you buy. You’re going to be concerned with the quality for the life of the product itself. With this in mind, let me urge you to think along these lines: Wouldn’t you agree that it’s better to pay a little more than expected, than a little less than you should?” (Wait for an answer) “If you pay more than expected, we are talking about pennies. If you pay less than you should and the product won’t do the job you expected it to do, then you will lose everything.”
  • Cost Close – Explain to them the price you pay once but the cost is the maintenance fee for the life of the product. Cheap products have a higher cost because they break and require maintenance. “We decided it would be easier to explain price one time than it would be to apologize for quality forever. Aren’t you?”

Related Article: The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

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Selling is essentially a transference of feeling.

  • In order to transfer a feeling, you’ve got to have that feeling. When you’re trying to persuade somebody to do something you have not done yourself, that fact comes across to the prospect. All salesmen can occasionally con a person into buying something they don’t really believe in, but if you’re going to build an outstanding career, you’ve got to be committed to the product yourself.
  • The word “close” starts with a C. That “C” stands for conviction. Take the “C” out of close and you have lose, which is what you and the prospect do when your lack of conviction and belief influences the prospect to say no.
  • Not only should you believe in the product you sell, but you should also believe in the company you represent. Transfer that belief to the prospect; not only will you sell more, but you will sell it more easily and those customers refer you to people they know, giving you more customers. That’s career-building selling.

Sympathy means you know and feel what other person feels. Empathy means you understand what the other person feels, though you do not feel the same way. In selling, you need to master empathy so you can be emotionally detached from the problem and you can offer solutions. You move from your side of the table to the prospect’s side. Realistically, that is where the sale is going to be made, and the chance of that happening is greatly increased, because from their side of the table you can make your presentation from their point of view.

Salespeople need to have the right mental attitude to succeed.

  1. Your attitude towards yourself should always be positive. After all, no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. If you feel good about yourself, you are confident enough to face your prospects.
  2. Your attitude toward others should always end in building good rapport. Always be courteous and polite be it towards your colleagues or customers.
  3. Your attitude toward the sales profession is what makes you wake up every day embracing your career path. Be proud to be in sales and believe in your impact to the overall success of your organization. “If anybody should make a negative comment or a belittling statement about the sales profession, you should look that person in the eye and earnestly say, “Friend, you are earning as much money as you are because I and thousands of others are in the sales profession.” Our standard of living is high because of the free enterprise system, and the salesperson is the heart and soul of that system.

Related Article: The Art of Closing the Sale by Brian Tracy


Characteristics of the Professional Salesperson:

  • He knows that when he uses emotion and logic in the presentation, chances are he will end up with a sale today and a happy customer for the future.
  • He always follows up with the sale to make sure things have gone smoothly.
  • He is perpetual student. He studies his prospects, studies his company literature, studies his industry, and studies the art of persuasion.
  • He uses studies the effectiveness of his techniques, keeping those that work and dumping those that don’t.
  • He knows he needs to get his prospect involved in the sales process on as many levels as possible. He wants the to touch, smell, feel, see and hear the product in action.
  • He is constantly looking to grow, never content to consider his present ability his plateau, he is always searching for ways to improve his game.
  • He is an excellent time manager and he combines this with setting high goals.
  • He is constantly hunting for clients, looking to create conversions in the more obvious as well as the most unlikely of places.
  • He advocates the “Recency, frequency, potency, recommendation” formula

Related Article: The Way of the Wolf: Straight Line Selling


One of the most exciting things about the world of selling is that most prospects really do not want to say no. The reason is that no is so final; it ends the relationship. So rather than saying no, many prospects will start making excuses just to avoid it, but there are several closes to help overcome that.

  • The “1902” Close Revisited
    The “1902” simply means you break down the cost to a figure so low, the prospect can visualize ownership of the product because they now see it as affordable.
  • The 20/20 Close
    Ben Feldman, possibly the greatest insurance salesman ever, says it this way: “You make the sale when the prospect understands it will cost more to do nothing about the problem than to do something about it. ”
  • If you sell goods or services that save money, you should work on your presentation until it is crystal clear to your prospects that they pay for your product whether they get it or not.
  • Marriage Close
    This involves you vowing to your prospect that you will provide them a comprehensive service for the length of time that they is using the product or service. You will be at their beck and call any time that is convenient for them.

Using Word Pictures to Sell

  • Most-no, change that to ambitiously aggressive salespeople are always on the lookout for the magic word, the key phrase, or the new technique that will give them a persuasive edge and leave the prospect powerless to resist. Fortunately, no such “weapon” exists, but there are many words, phrases, and techniques you can learn and use which will enable you to present your offer in a more attractive light. The result is a more persuasive presentation which will enable you to persuade more but not all of your prospects to take action.
  • The first word that sells is your prospect’s name. Use it from time to time throughout your presentation.
  • Other words that sell:
    • Understand, Proven, Health, Easy, Guarantee, Money, Safety, Save, New, Love, Discovery, Right, Results, Truth, Comfort, Proud, Profit, Deserve, Happy, Trust, Value, Fun, Vital, You, Security, Advantage, Positive, Benefits
  • Words that don’t sell:
    • Deal, Cost, Pay, Contract, Sign, Try, Worry, Loss, Lose, Hurt, Buy, Death, Bad, Sell, Sold, Price, Decision, Hard, Difficult, Obligation, Liable, Fail, Liability, Failure

You Sell What It Does

  • You need to paint the picture of your prospect using and enjoying the goods or services you sell. When you become completely aware of this process and the benefits that go with it, you will work at doing it until picture selling becomes second nature for you.
  • What do you think about the salesman who is not aggressively concerned enough about the customer to take a certain amount of risk in actively encouraging the prospect to make one or two more purchases to increase the effectiveness or enjoyment of the purchases already made?
    Motive is the keyword. If you encourage the prospect to buy more merchandise solely because you can earn more, you are a “peddler.” If you encourage the prospect to buy more items for his benefit, you are a “professional,” and both of you benefit.

Related Article: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss


Objections are consistent, but objectors aren’t. All prospects want to be right and to be understood, they are naturally concerned about making a big mistake before making a large purchase. So your goal is not to be right, but to persuade the prospect to buy. Objections thrive on opposition but die with agreement. You should not put yourself in a lecturer position, rather you must get the prospect involved.

How to deal with different types of prospects:

  1. Gullible – Tell lots of human interest stories and go slow not applying pressure.
  2. Skeptical – Ask them to repeat the question and thank them for asking.
  3. Hostile – Say, I know how you feel. Others have felt this way in the past. They found when they had all the facts they were persuaded.
  4. Indecisive – Move to his side of the table and demonstrate empathy. Inner pressure is the key factor.
  5. Bargain Hunter – They want assurance they are getting a deal. Tell them the beautiful thing about your company is you treat everyone the same and no one will get a better deal than her. Tell them you will give them a special intangible you normally do not offer like personally taking the order and shipping it.
  6. Obnoxious – Give them lots of attention and challenge them. Tell them what they are buying compliments their greatness.
  7. Big shot – Let him know you are a high-caliber salesperson worth working with them.

Tips When Dealing with Objections

  1. Always deal with objections by asking questions.
  2. Always act grateful to be able to hear the objections.
  3. When interrupted by someone who just wants to know the price, that them for asking and tell them that you are getting to that in just one moment. There are a number of ways to dodge the question. If they insist tell them.
  4. Many people who say they will think it over, actually do not intend on doing so. A no today is better than a no tomorrow.

4 Questions Close – Tell the prospect that there are only four questions that they need to ask themselves.

  1. Do you like it?
  2. Do you want it?
  3. Can you afford it?
  4. When do you want to start enjoying the benefits?

Related Article: Executive Summary of Books Billionaires Read

Minor Decision Close – Get your prospect to make a minor decision related to the purchase and use that as a spring board for a larger one.


Here are four ideas that salespeople need to understand:

First idea: There never has been and there never will be an outstanding salesperson. But in every single case, they are a little bit “warped” in their belief in what they are selling.

It is beyond their wildest imagination how anybody could entertain the idea of thinking about saying no. Because they feel this strongly about what they sell, by the very force of their convictions they are able to persuade many people who are not really hot prospects to go ahead and buy.

However, they will inevitably encounter an individual who is going to say no. When this happens, it could create a problem in the mind of the salesperson. He rationalizes that the prospect is not saying no to the product–it’s too good–but to the salesperson. In short, with this attitude the salesperson is going to feel rejected.

Second idea: The salesperson must clearly understand the difference between refusal and rejection if he’s going to keep his ego intact and be able to sell his product effectively.

When the prospect says no to you, you should be still be nice to him. Give your prospect the benefit of the doubt; a chance to correct what surely is an obvious mistake. In your mind, “when he says no, you should see it as a mistake and proceed from there, giving him a chance to correct that mistake by saying yes.”

Third idea: You do not have to be a “natural born” salesperson to be a good one. Anybody can definitely can be trained to sell.

Fourth idea: You must remember who wins in the sales transaction. When you fully understand and believe the prospect is the big winner, you can close more enthusiastically and forcefully because you understand that the sales process, when followed with integrity, is something you do for someone, not to someone.

Here are eleven keys in selling which involve attitudes, procedures, and techniques:

  1. Positive Projection – You must make the sale in your mind before you ever talk to the prospect. This is true whether you solicit your business on a direct basis or you run a retail business with your customers coming in to see you.
  2. The Assumptive Attitude – You must assume from the beginning when you approach the prospect that he’s going to be delighted to talk to you. You assume you’re going to get the appointment. You assume you’re going to put on a powerful, professional presentation. You assume he’s got the money to buy and you assume he is going to buy from you now. In every step of the sales process you assume and see the desired end results.
  3. Physical Action – This key starts with physical cleanliness, and includes how you dress, and take care of your appearance. You never have but one chance to make a first impression. You want to make certain that first impression is a good one. It is true you don’t judge a book by its cover, but if the cover isn’t appealing, you probably won’t bother to find out what the book is all about.”
  4. More importantly, you also need to physically listen to what the prospect is saying, not just with your ears but with your eyes as well.
  5. Enthusiasm – Enthusiasm sells, but without direction it is like running in the dark. Make sure to funnel that enthusiasm properly into your sales process, your product and your prospect.
  6. The Subordinate Question – This question is any question the answer to which, if positive, means the prospect has bought. If it is not positive, it does not mean he has not bought.
  7. Ask: “Have I got you sold?” The answer to the question makes you a winner, regardless. If the prospect says, “Well, no, I’m sold,” then you write the order. On the other hand, if he says, “No, I’m not quite sold; maybe you should tell me more,” that’s really all any good salesperson wants, which is a chance to tell his story. This approach provides you with that chance.
  8. Listen – What we as professional salespeople want to do is find people with a problem which our products, goods, or services will solve.
  9. We want to become assistant buyers and move to their side of the table. We want to feel their feelings so we can assist them in solving their problem by acquiring our goods, products, or services.
  10. As we deal with our prospects we particularly need to listen with our eyes. The eyes are the only sense organ connected directly to the brain, and an impulse on the eye is transmitted directly to the brain. You’ve probably heard “You can’t believe everything you hear” and “I saw it with my own two eyes-and seeing is believing.” With this in mind we definitely need to listen with our ears and with our eyes.”
    • Here’s a simple little formula for listening with your eyes: The CHEF Method for reading body language.
      1. Cheeks/Chin – When they touch them it is a good sign.
      2. Hands – If they massaging palm against palm, or palm against the back of the other hand it means they have assumed ownership and are ready to buy.
      3. Eyes – The wider the eyes the better.
      4. Friendly – Always a good sign.
  11. The Impending Event– This is a key you can use to help customers, which obviously means you’ll be helping yourself as well. This is especially true when you’re selling a product to the customer that has resale value and hence the prospect is investing for profit or investment purposes.
  12. Persistence – This is to convince your prospect that you really believe the product you’re selling will solve a problem for the person you’re dealing with, and you will be reasonably insistent he take action in his own best interests.
  13. Inducement – Treat everyone as if he is a valuable customer, because he could be – if he’s treated like one. It can be as little as a smile or pleasantness in dealing with your prospects, or it can be as significant as a cash discount. It is like a personal touch, the little courtesies you offer which make it easier for your customers to function in their business and personal lives.
  14. Sincerity – The most important among all of the keys. You’ve got to establish that trust and respect with your prospects if you expect to be a sales professional. If integrity is as much a part of you as your head, then success in selling will be much easier and faster, and it will be solid and long lasting.
  15. The Narrative Event – End your sale with a moving but honest story that the prospect can relate to and compels to them to buy.