Always Be Closing: Is It Still the Right Approach for Sales?

Always Be Closing (HD) Alec Baldwin

Why is it important to always be closing?

Every salesperson should, to some extent, adopt the philosophy of an “always be closing” strategy because it puts all of the emphasis on your main objective as a sales professional. Despite the fact that the practical effect may actually call for a more dynamic performance when interacting with potential clients, some sellers benefit from the streamlined way of thinking about their job. The sales technique emphasizes creating a need even when the client does not initially believe one exists, making it especially useful in industries where the product being sold is not an absolute necessity.

What does “always be closing” mean?

Always be closing is a sales strategy that puts an emphasis on closing deals no matter what. The 1992 David Mamet-written movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” which is based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, is where the phrase first appeared. The phrase quickly gained popularity as “the ABCs of sales,” becoming a catchphrase for salespeople. According to the method, a salesperson must constantly modify their strategy to fit the client and bring them closer to a sale with everything they say. When used incorrectly, the strategy can come across as quite aggressive to the client, making it a tactic that needs to be used with great tact.

Does “always be closing” work?

The persistence of the approach is the main advantage of an “always be closing” sales strategy. When used properly, it is an efficient way to funnel a conversation because you concentrate on leading the buyer toward a purchase during every step of the conversation. A successful “always be closing” salesperson will also be able to sufficiently conceal their motivations to avoid coming across as aggressive.

“Always be closing” can be a very potent strategy when used correctly. Using what appears to be small talk to advance the sales process is a highly successful tactic. In contrast, a salesperson who uses the “always be closing” strategy poorly may come across as demanding and aggressive to the customer. The key to determining whether this technique is appropriate for you and how much you should use it is to evaluate your capacity to employ it without alienating potential clients.

Example of an “always be closing” approach

A mixed martial arts and fitness school wants to increase enrollment, so to entice potential students, they are offering a free trial offer. The deal includes seven days of obligation-free training. However, the gym wants the trial participants to become members after their first class. When a trialist completes their first class, they implement an “always be closing” sales structure for their front desk staff.

The front desk clerk, who also works in sales, stops the student as they get up from their mat. Trialists are given two options for moving forward: a free week of trial or signing up right away. The gym offers a uniform and waives the registration fee if the student enrolls. This gives the salesperson the chance to convert the trial into a sale by making it seem like a good idea to forgo the free week because the value of the waived fee and uniform is greater than the value of the free week of classes.

The staff member uses “always be closing” techniques to discuss the trialists’ experience and walks them through their options to leave the trial and make the sale after spotting an opportunity to sell. For the most typical excuses, such as scheduling conflicts or financial constraints, the clerk has prepared counters. They also highlight the positive aspects that the trialist brings up.

A student who enjoyed the class but is concerned about working out enough to get their money’s worth is given the gym’s extensive schedule, for instance. From there, the salesperson demonstrates how they can easily fit three classes a week into the hours the client specified. This results in 12 hours of class time per month, making for a reasonably low cost per class. If the defendant then worries that they are too old to begin a martial art, the clerk points out that the gym has many people in their age range who enjoy training.

The salesperson conducts what appears to be a casual conversation with the client while referring to a sheet that compares the two options and lists all the advantages of signing up right away. But throughout, they are paying attention and using what the client says to support their case for enrolling, all the while appearing to be merely outlining the options and letting the client make the decision.

The registration fee, which exists only to be waived to encourage the sale, is the first step in this process, which then continues throughout the conversation. Every complaint made by the client is deftly answered with a positive that the client finds appealing. This process produces high closing rates for trial members and steady membership growth for the gym when used by a trained staff member.

Tips for “always be closing” sales

Applying the strategies with tact and caution is crucial if you plan to implement an “always be closing” strategy for sales. When speaking with prospective clients, keep the following in mind:

Emphasize can over cant

Keep the conversation centered on advantages when trying to close a sale. When possible, choose to highlight the advantages of the service or item you are offering. Even when talking about the need your product is addressing, frame the conversation in terms of how your product does so. This maintains the customer’s disposition positively and increases their openness to a sale.

Keep the lines of communication open

Keeping the conversation going so you have more time to close is essential to the “always be closing” strategy. The conversation doesn’t end when a prospective customer explains why they can’t make a purchase. You can keep them interested and continue to lead them to a successful conversion by going on and addressing their concerns.

Agree, and redirect concerns

When you encounter resistance while attempting to lead a conversation in a particular direction, the natural response is to resist. This is not the right strategy when using an “always be closing” sales strategy because it might make the customer feel defensive. Instead, a salesperson will attempt to validate the customer’s worries while providing an argument as to why those worries shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

Have your answers ready

Even though it’s impossible to predict how any given interaction will turn out, a successful salesperson is ready for the most typical objections. To “always be closing” sales, having prepared options for guiding a conversation is extremely helpful. Quick and natural responses make it simpler to maintain the client’s comfort level and prevent them from feeling like they are being pressured into buying.

Customize for every client

When employing this technique, you must strike a balance between providing prepared responses and sounding robotic. Treat your prepared responses and answers as an outline to direct the course of your conversation rather than as a script. Since no two clients will require the same pitch to close, it helps to have several solutions for each common problem. You have the best chance of impressing customers and securing a sale if you are adaptable in your decision-making and personalize your approach to fit their needs.

Generate the need

Ideally, you’ll deal with customers who are aware of their need for what you’re selling and to whom you can best sell your brand. This is not always the case, however. If you’re offering a novel good or service, you might have to convince the client that they need it. This is taken to an extreme in infomercials, which show harrowing struggles without their product. In an effective “always be closing” strategy, you should do this subtly by highlighting the ways your good or service will make their life better.

Make a purchase the smart choice

Making the customer feel intelligent for purchasing what you are selling is one of the best ways to close an “always be closing” sales pitch. This is done by giving them choices and demonstrating why buying from you is clearly the best option. Being too overt may cause the customer to feel patronized, so tact is required. Instead of downplaying the advantages of the alternate options, the best strategy frequently entails highlighting these advantages before outlining the additional advantages of your product or service.

Cultivate long-term relationships

Maintaining solid client relationships is essential to closing deals if you work in sales where repeat business is common, such as business-to-business sales. A strong relationship with a customer puts you in a better position from which to pitch them. For instance, it is simpler to sell a new product to an existing client who already trusts you and your products than it is to find a new client. Almost always, keeping an existing customer is less expensive than having to find a new one if you lose them.

Know when to back off

Although a refusal to stop selling is the most typical association with “always be closing” sales, this is rarely the best strategy. A long-term relationship or a smaller sale may be lost when you try harder to make a bigger sale. Even though the philosophy of always aiming to advance a sale can be beneficial, when taken literally, never accepting no as an answer can be detrimental. A successful “always be closing” salesperson develops the ability to balance the risk-reward of pushing harder and dialing back.

“Always be closing” can be a helpful strategy when speaking with customers you’ve previously sold to, warm leads who requested information about your products, or cold leads you’re pitching to for the first time. You can become more at ease employing the techniques with the intention of increasing your overall closing rate and order sizes with practice.


What does it mean to always be closing?

Always Be Closing (ABC) is a catchy acronym for a sales technique. It implies that a salesperson who adheres to the routine should constantly seek out new prospects, present their goods or services, and ultimately close a deal.

Who says always be closing?

In the 1992 James Foley film Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin’s character Blake utters this phrase. It’s harsh advice, Shmoopers, but it sticks with you. The opening of the film features the “Always Be Closing” scene, which is appropriate given that it serves as the narrative’s framing device.

Did Glengarry Glen Ross win any Oscars?

The names of two of the real estate projects being promoted by the salesmen characters are used as the film’s title: Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms. The movie received positive reviews and is regarded as one of the best movies of 1992.

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