How to Use the Assumptive Close in Sales
When is it okay to assume?
We've all heard the saying that we should never assume. Assuming can set you up for disappointment, cause you to stop listening to your clients and to not be as thorough as you should be during a sales cycle. But all these "rules" go out the window when it comes to effectively using the assumptive close.
As powerful and as effective as the assumptive close can be, you'd better be prepared during each step of the sales cycle or this close won't end in a close at all. Assuming a sale that you haven't earned is akin to conceit, which is one of the most damaging traits for any sales professional.
The Assumptive Close
If you begin a sales cycle assuming that the prospect is going to buy your product or service, and you subtly let your prospect know that you are assuming that they will become a customer, you are employing the "assumptive closing" technique.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is but there are a few things to keep in mind when using the assumptive close.
Your State of Mind
Funny thing about having positive expectations whenever you enter a sales opportunity: Things seem to work out more favorably. Maybe there are some cosmic or divine forces at work or maybe being positive just puts you in a more resourceful mind-space. The more positive you are, the fewer fears or reservations you have. If there is one thing sure to kill a sale, it is doubtful. You also approach each step in the sales process with more enthusiasm, more energy, and more confidence.
These traits are contagious and often have positive effects on all you come in contact with. People, in general, prefer to spend time with positive people and avoid those who are negative. Using an assumptive process that develops positive traits not only has positive effects on those with whom you interact but has been shown to have significant benefits to you that permeate all areas of your life.
Assuming that your prospect sees the benefits of your product or service gives you a distinct advantage. While your assumptions may be completely wrong, your confidence can be contagious and may be all that is needed to pull your prospect out of the prospect column and into the customer column. It is important to note, however, that assuming too much may backfire. You need to use frequent "temperature checks" of your customer to make sure that she is following along with your assumptions.
Your Customer's State of Mind
In general, people love to buy things but do not like to be sold things. When dealing with a sales professional who feels they need to a prospect through each step of the sales cycle, people have a natural tendency to push back, become suspicious and often end up not buying anything at all. However, when someone feels they are being guided by a confident sales professional who seems to understand them, people often times follow the lead of the sales professional. Your main task is to lead them towards a sale that benefits them and you.
The wonderful thing about the assumptive closing technique is that it is very low pressure. Instead of trying to convince a prospect to do something, you assume that they want to and agree with moving forward. This only works if you've done your job thoroughly in each sales step and have the right to assume the sale. Do a poor job of prospecting, qualifying, delivering value or any of the steps in a sales cycle and your assumptive close turns into a pompous push.
If you find yourself having to employ "hard close" techniques, should serve as an indication that you have not done a good job with one or more steps in the sales process. Using the assumptive closing technique to move from one sales step to the next works extremely well once your customer sees enough value to invest more time and energy.
A Final Word
The Assumptive Close has many benefits to both the sales professional and the customer. Not only can the sales process be enjoyable, rewarding and easy, the process can also be much shorter. Getting to "Yes" is the goal of every sales professional. The quicker you can get to "yes," the quicker you can get on to the next sale.
In the first paragraph of this article, it was suggested that the assumptive close allows you to throw away the critical factors that you follow during a sales cycle. After reading, you're probably wondering, "So, what are those things I can do away with if I use the assumptive close?" The answer is, actually, none. In fact, you need to listen even more closely to what your client is saying.