The Assumptive Close: A Powerful Tool for Increasing Sales

the assumptive close - sales training closing technique

The world of sales can prove challenging and at times, intimidating. It’s little wonder that many salespeople find themselves approaching the close of a sale with an almost apologetic attitude. There’s a difference between using a soft close and simply giving the customer an easy out. Fortunately, there’s a simple yet powerful technique that can help you leapfrog past this potential roadblock: the assumptive close. Let’s take a look at this closing method to see what it’s all about, how and why it works, and how you can put it to the best possible use in your own sales transactions.

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How do you use an Assumptive Close? Understanding the Assumptive Close

Closing a sale can suffer from either a too-passive approach or a too-aggressive one. For example, asking the customer “Would you like to buy?” shifts the entire conversation’s outcome into the customer’s hands, making it all too easy for the customer to say no. On the other end of the spectrum, an urgency close with a “You need to act now” message can scare the customer away in an instant.

What is the Assumptive Close?

The assumptive close is also known as the presumptive close. It’s where the salesperson assumes the prospect is ready to buy. Instead of the salesperson saying ‘Are you ready to buy?’ they would assume the sale, and ask a question like ‘Would you like me to arrange for delivery on Monday?’

The assumptive close keeps you in control of the sales momentum by skipping past the whole question of whether the customer wants to buy. In this approach, you simply assume that the sale is as good as done. As soon as you complete your sales pitch, you move right into a question.

The assumptive close is common in retail sales, B2C sales and velocity sales.

What is an assumptive closing question?

With the assumptive close, you’re no longer asking permission to make the sale — you’ve already made the sale as far as you’re concerned, and the close is just a matter of settling the details. In other words, you’ve answered “Yes” on the customer’s behalf.

5 Proven Assumptive Close Questions & Phrases

Examples of an assumptive close include: 

  • “What method of payment would you like to use?”
  • “How quickly would you like the product delivered?”
  • “Whose name do I make the invoice out to?”
  • “How many of these items do I need to put you down for?”
  • “What day do you want our technician to do the installation?”
Assumptive close phrases, 5 assumptive close questions to ask prospects

The Power of Positive Expectations

One nice feature of the assumptive close is the effect it has not just on your buyer, but also on your own state of mind. For whatever reason, positive expectations just seem to boost people’s ability to sell. It’s as if your own enthusiasm, confidence and pride in what you’re selling transfers to prospects and turns them into buyers. If you’ve habitually wrestled with self-confidence as a salesperson, employing the assumptive close on a regular basis can help you enter each meeting or phone call with a fresh rush of positive energy. 

Final word: Tips for a successful assumptive close

Like any other sales technique, there are right ways and not-so-right ways to make use of the assumptive close. One key to success in this technique involves making a seamless transition between your benefit statement and your assumptive close — that secondary question that guarantees the sale. (Pausing gives the customer extra time to evaluate, and possibly dismiss the benefit statement.)

If you feel the need to move as gracefully as possible into the assumptive close, break your secondary question into two questions. For example, you might ask “When do you want our technician to visit you? Should we stop by on Friday, since you said that was your slow day for business?” Your customer might hesitate to answer the first question but then follow the prompt on the second question.

Turn “I’m just looking” into “Can you tell me more about this product?”

SOCO’s retail sales training program is designed to equip participants with knowledge and application skills to better approach customers, ask probing questions, make practical demonstrationsrespond to objections and close sales.

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