Take Your Assumptive Closing Technique To The Next Level
Why do salespeople always seem end-responsible for the entire business results?
That puts a lot of pressure on you and your sales team. Especially if you’re seeing that your sales team lacks the advanced skillset to close sales in the most efficient way. Sales efficiency today meaning: Rapid, human-centric, and appealing to the modern customer.
You’re not alone. 71% of sales professionals make closing deals their top priority. There is a big drive to balance catering to the modern-day consumer while in parallel closing sales and increasing business revenue.
There are two parts to tackling this problem:
- Building sales skills (training your behavior).
- Closing sales (practicing and executing what you’ve learned).
We’ll address both parts throughout this article. As one of the most effective sales closing techniques out there, we want to train you to hone your Assumptive Close. This will help build your skillset and instill you with confidence when it comes to closing sales so you can build them into your day-to-day job.
By learning about the fundaments of the sales process, both you and your team can get prepared to learn by doing.
To help you along the way, you first need to understand the fundamentals of the Assumptive Closing Technique, how to execute it, and empower you to take this training into your everyday sales process.
Let’s get started.
What is Assumptive Selling?
How many times have you been asked by a waiter, “What would you like for dessert?”, despite not having thought about buying dessert in the first place? Assumptive selling is when the customer is already seen as a buyer.
It works on the presumption that the sales process has successfully prompted the customer to buy your product, service, or solution. The restaurant waiter’s question is so effective because as a diner, you’re already a buyer!
So how about when you’re trying to close a sale for prospective buyers?
The Assumptive Closing Technique: Turning prospects into buyers
The Assumptive Closing Technique is the presumption that your customers will become buyers or are ready to buy. This famous closing technique is also known as a “presumptive close” or “assumptive close”.
36% of salespeople say that closing sales is the hardest part of the sales process. Why make things harder for yourself?
Take what you know to work - the fundaments - and then apply it to your situation.
Why is the Assumptive Close so effective?
Closing a sale is only half your battle. Your entire sales process should be taken into consideration. It’s about gathering information about your customers along their journeys, so you can provide them with the recommendation that fits their needs and desires at the close.
Assumptive Selling is so effective because it tackles this process:
- Applying your observations about the customer’s needs across the funnel
- Facilitating their purchasing decisions
- Providing a low-pressure environment to make this decision
- You coming across as confident and knowledgeable about your product, which boosts your company credibility and/or brand reputation
Confidence and optimism are key here. The Assumptive Closing Technique proves you are a convincing salesperson who is optimistic about how your product or service can add value to your buyer’s life.
This further means you need to be confident you’re truly selling something special - something that fills a gap or relieves a pain point.
Without this behavioral mindset, you won’t succeed in the Assumptive Close. But with the proper training and practice, you’ll be one step closer to positive thinking and adopting an optimistic mindset.
So while you may have heard and even leveraged the Assumptive Closing Technique, this time around we’re talking about it in a very different way:
- Through optimism and positivity (which is a trained behavioral mindset)
- Through the customer (across their buying journeys).
With that in mind, understanding which customers will respond to this closing technique is imperative.
Which customers will respond to the Assumptive Closing Technique?
The Assumptive Close sets positive expectations. It’s especially effective if you sense hesitation in your customers. They’ll mirror your confidence when moving forward with the sale.
Of course, there’s a caveat.
Assuming all your prospects will buy from you doesn’t always fit the bill. In fact, over half of your prospects will actually be a bad fit for what you’re selling. It’s about qualifying leads (think of BANT) before the assumption. Overconfidence can cause resistance.
For example, imagine you’re trying to dance with a girl.
She shows zero interest in you. You can tell through her body language. And more than that, she’s getting ready to leave (signals of which include packing her belongings and getting her coat).
Would you go up to her and say something like, “Since I know you love this song, shall we dance?”
Although an example of a strong Assumptive Close phrase (which we’ll discuss with a two-part Assumptive Close example), it won’t work. And, unfortunately for you, you’ll be left dancing alone. That’s because you didn’t take into account:
- Body language
- Buying signals
These three things are all crucial considerations for any salesperson, regardless of the decision-making phase (i.e., buyer’s journey), your customer is at.
In short, picking the right timing based on buying signals and body language is important to ease purchasing decisions across the sales funnel. But these are things you should especially recognize when closing a sale.
So which customers do you use the Assumptive Closing Technique on?
These are prospects who send you buying signals at crucial touchpoints. These can be things like:
- Nodding and smiling
- Positive comments
- Lack of objections
- Asking for pricing or next steps
- Saying “yes”
Capitalize on these signals, then get the timing right. If your customer isn’t ready to buy (e.g., about to leave the dance), you run the risk of rushing them and losing the sale. Which leads to customer dissatisfaction and even frustration, and reflects poorly on your company or brand reputation.
Instead, practice listening, noticing, and recognizing buying signals. And then time your close at the right moment.
Assumptive Closing Techniques Examples: Do This
Assumptive Closing Technique #1: Option Close
The Option Close gives prospects choices to facilitate their decision-making. Think of Amazon’s default options for shipping.
Or ‘software as a service’ (SAAS) companies giving three pricing packages. In sales, providing options has been so standardized because it helps alleviate some of that decision stress many customers experience - both online and off.
How do you make this work?
It’s not enough anymore to ask, “Do you prefer to pay by card or cash?”. Card or cash are hard-close presumptions that the sale has been made. But you’re trying to close a sale based on the customer’s behavior throughout the sales funnel.
Therefore, alternatively, you should ask,
“I see that [X] is of more interest to you [X business goals], but [Y] is of interest to your [Y business goals]. It’s up to you to prioritize your [business goals]. Given this, do you prefer option [X] or [Y]?”
Here, replace ‘business goals’ for anything that reflects the customer’s initial buying intentions, e.g., shopping goal, preference, desire, habit, etc.
By listing the key benefits you’ve analyzed throughout your customer conversations, you can create a more helpful option closing technique.
Doing this well will take your Assumptive Close to the next level through:
- Engaging with your customers at crucial touchpoints
- Identifying key drivers
- Offering new perspectives (to help them complete their journeys)
Assumptive Closing Technique #2: Add-Ons
Source: Macbook cross-sells their dongle and earphones with their MacBook air as a necessity
When it comes to adding products to your customer’s final purchase (for up or cross-selling), does it sometimes feel like you’re overselling?
Unfortunately for the end-customer, this is something we see time and time again.
How do you overcome this?
Let’s think back to your buying signals. If the girl at the dance gives you a flick of her hair, bats her eyelashes, and signals she’d like a dance, asking “Would you like to dance?” won’t be cause for embarrassment. Unless, of course, she wasn’t interested to begin with.
But what’s the harm in asking? Trial by fire is how we like to move forward in our sales training.
An add-on of the Assumptive Close phrase, “Would you like to dance?”, would be bringing the girl a drink. Or even changing the music to her favorite song. Or, to recall our first phrasing, saying, “I know that you love this song, so would you like to dance?”
The idea here is that you can’t up or cross-sell without listening to your customers throughout their journey. Because, although bringing her a drink is a good add-on, what kind of drink will you buy?
What if she hates the song that accompanies your offer?
It’s only by listening to your prospects that you can close sales through this assumption. In short, think of add-ons that:
- Fit the product or service well (e.g., similar products, additional services, etc.)
- Fit the goals and needs of the customer
- Fit the imagination and desires of the customer
Assumptive Closing Technique #3: Two-part Assumptive Close
To bring all these Assumptive Closing Techniques together is how you master your phrasing. Of course, what you say to your customers is dependent on your service vertical, industry, and - the most important thing - who your customers are so you can tailor your sales process to them as individuals.
However, you also need to develop your mindset. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let’s repeat that personal confidence is key to delivering measurable results.
Closing a sale means selling on value and benefit to the customer, rather than features and attributes. So do this:
- Listen to your customers to understand their individual situations
- Understand your customers current market situation
- Understand their desired evolution (how [X purchase] will get them to achieve [Y goal])
- Introduce the customized solution for this desired evolution
This sales excellence is also the crux of creating the best two-part Assumptive Close. You give customers a reason to buy, and then plug in an assumption to buy based on that reason.
For example, try phrases like:
- “Having an ergonomic and comfortable desk chair is so important as working changes to remote. You can save common back and neck pain with the perfect chair. Either work chair [A] or [B] would suit your needs. Which one would you like me to send you?”
- “Since you and your partner are eco-conscious, I recommend buying from our green section. The products [A] and [B] are on sale. Which one would you like to add to your purchase?”
Two-part Assumptive Close phrases go a long way. But as a sales rep, you need to cultivate a customer-centric approach for this to really work. Once you master the behaviors of listening and recognizing down to a T, then you can fashion your phrases in the most effective way.
Assumptive Closing Techniques: What Not To Do
Since Assumptive Selling is quite a traditional sales approach, there are a couple of scenarios where you should refrain from using it. Once again, this requires a certain amount of behavioral change.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Here’s what NOT TO DO when it comes to Assumptive Closing.
- “What name should I make the [payment] out to?”
The presumption of spending money can cause a lot of resistance. Many modern consumers will see this as aggressive, especially since it involves the exchange of private information.
Instead, do this:
Ask if you can discuss pricing. This removes the barrier of paying straight away, while still leveraging the Assumptive Close (being the transaction itself).
- “When can we start…?”
Making the assumption of a start date (be it for a service or implementation to begin) puts a lot of pressure on the customer which will cause hesitation for their decision.
Instead, do this:
Ask if they have any more hesitations, questions, or barriers. If they don’t, only then should you propose a start date. Offer options as start dates, but only if they’re in the final stages of their decision-making journey.
- “Do you want [X] with that?”
Here, you can be reminded of the “Do you want fries with that?” scenario. In this case, many consumers will react by asking, “sure, but how much does that cost?”, which leaves a bad taste – no pun intended. (Besides, doesn’t everyone love fries?)
Instead, do this:
Don’t assume without a basis for your assumption. Be transparent about pricing. Tell your customers that considering their journeys (goals, desires, and questions) you think that [X] is a good add-on for them. Remember that your tone should be helpful, familiar, and gentle.
Ready To Execute The Assumptive Closing Technique?
Learn by doing. That’s the way forward. Once you take what you’ve learned from this article and apply it to your sales process, then you can start honing these skill sets to match your sales methodologies and prospects.
Here’s a wrap-up of everything we’ve discussed in order to execute the Assumptive Closing Technique effectively:
- Know your products inside-out
- Stay positive and optimistic, building recognizable self-confidence that customers will be sure to mirror
- Listen to your customers and apply what you’ve heard at the close
- Be flexible and keep your customer’s best interests in mind the whole way through
- Truly believe in what you’re selling
- Be transparent if things won’t work out
- Close with solutions that are of value to your customers
- Take the fundaments of your Assumptive Close, and elevate them with training, behavioral change, and practice