Sales is a challenging but incredibly necessary part of business. In many cases, the opportunity to effectively connect with prospects on a deeper level and differentiate yourself from competitors happens during the sales phase. Oftentimes, you get one shot--one first impression--to show people why they should do business with you and not someone else.

Whether you're a strong closer looking to improve your skills or a new salesperson looking to hit your groove, here are 9 words and phrases you can take advantage of to close more deals:

1. "How can I help you?"

This is such a simple phrase, whose power lies in how it puts the customer's needs before the needs of the company. It can be incredibly important when it comes to closing deals, but it must be used with caution. If you ask the question, be prepared to invest the resources needed to fulfill the responses you receive.

If you aren't actually willing to follow through on the offers of assistance you extend, skip this phrase entirely.

2. "When can we begin implementation?"

Known by many as "assuming the sale," this phrase bypasses the typical sales close entirely and puts the buyer in a mindset of planning as if the sale had already been made. Once someone has made plans for how and when to use something, it's much more difficult for them to turn down the purchase.

3. "If you buy today, we can include an additional item."

If you aren't already using upsells and cross sells in your approach, it's time to get cozy with these critical concepts. Many people are interested in a product, but hold back because they're on the fence due to a product's price relative to its perceived value. Using this phrase communicates more value for the same amount of money, in addition to instilling a sense of urgency in the buyer to act today in order to receive the included bonus.

4. "Thank you."

It's not exactly a secret that everyone wants to feel appreciated. But how often are you forgetting this in your quest to drive sales? Many salespeople lose out big time on this one because, while they're nice and polite in their dealings with prospects, they inadvertently forget to thank the people who, in effect, create their paychecks. Don't be that guy. Make it clear exactly how much your clients mean to you and why.

5. "The answer to your question is …"

If you don't know your product well, few people will want to buy it. I mean, think about it: If you walked into a store to make a big-ticket purchase and the salesperson couldn't answer even rudimentary questions, would you trust him or her with your business? Probably not.

Instead, make it abundantly clear that you know what you're talking about and that you're able to satisfy any concerns or questions your clients may have.

6. "What are you looking for help with?"

People buy things to solve a problem or meet a need, and understanding the issues they're facing can help you identify the appropriate sales approach for their situation. Be direct and inquire about what their specific needs are. Doing so will give you the information you need to find the best product or service for them.

7. "What's causing you to hesitate?"

You can't solve problems or answer questions you're unaware of. If someone seems interested in buying, but is holding back without stating a reason, ask that person what that reason is. Once you know, you're one step closer to eliminating the customer's doubts.

8. "Taking all of your requirements and desires into consideration, I think these two products would work best for you. Would you like to go with [X] or [Y]?"

Another assumptive close, this question assumes there will be a sale, but allows customers the freedom to choose what they are going to purchase. Their reply will not only tell you how they feel about a possible purchase, but which product they're more interested in taking home.

9. "I'd hate to see [negative consequence] befall your company because you didn't have the right product in place. Do you want to take the crucial step to protecting your organization today?"

Fear motivates people more than most other emotions. Don't be tacky with this one (repeating it verbatim as written above might make you sound like a used-car salesman), but if you can show your guests what might happen if they don't buy from you today, you'll be well on your way to closing a deal.

It isn't just your product that's at stake. Sales are made or lost during the conversations between you and your client. Your vocabulary and choice of words is of the ultimate importance when it comes to sales, so give these phrases a try and watch your sales soar.

What other phrases do you use to close deals? Share your best suggestions by leaving a comment below.