Assumptive selling. Here’s what it is and how YOU can leverage it in your organization to experience a serious breakthrough in sales. That’s what we’re covering today.
A few weeks ago a young guy came knocking on my door selling pest control services. I stood and listened as he droned on about how his company was the best in the area. I showed little to no interest, but he continued with his pitch.
Finally, he handed me his tablet and said “Just sign here and we’ll be out this week to start servicing your home.”
That’s precisely how not to assume the sale. That’s how you lose the sale.
Before finding if there was a fit, before ever qualifying me as a customer, and before even getting a single “yes” out of me, he moved in for the assumptive close.
That’s not how it works, friends. The notion of “reading the room” is everything when it comes to assumptive selling. You have to be in-tune with your prospect’s attitudes before you ask for their credit card.
It’s like trying to set the hook before the fish even bites! You will lose your prospect every time if you do this.
Now, with that said, assumptive selling can be an incredible tool that can yield great returns. When done right, assuming the sale is a closing technique that can net you more deals than you ever thought possible. Let’s find out how to do it right.
How to Assume the Sale
First off, never be apologetic or sheepish when asking for the sale. If you close with “Would you like to work with us” or anything to that effect, you’re drawing dead. You’ve put too much power in the hands of your prospect, and they will wield that power to protect their best interest. In other words, they will say “No” or “I need to think about it” or “Can I get back to you.”
Remember, confidence is key, and tonality talks. By that I mean you must assert yourself with confidence and ask with conviction. Try this: “We can start Monday or Wednesday with the kickoff meeting – which of those days works for you?”
You’re assuming your prospect wants to buy your product or service. And assuming they want it sooner than later. Both good things! But it’s worth repeating — you should only attempt this close if your prospect is warm and there’s a fit. What’s a fit? Easy. Your product or service solves your qualified prospect’s pain point(s).
Other assumptive closes include:
- “We can take a credit card or check, which do you prefer?”
- “I can deliver the product Friday, what time is best for you?”
- “Should I write your name or your company name on the form (contract, delivery invoice, etc.)?”
- “Would you like product A or B?
When to Assume the Sale
The “yesses” keep coming
It’s smart to assume the sale if you’re getting head nods from your prospect and/or they’re saying “yes” to your questions. These are indications that he or she is receptive to your offer. They are in the mindset to buy, so don’t bore them with unnecessary details, assume they want to work with you and get the deal done.
The room temperature is warm
Take a proverbial temperature check a few times throughout the sales appointment. Are their non-verbal cues mostly positive? Are they excited about the vision for their future? Are they readily sharing company/departmental intel with you? If so, the temps are warm and a won deal is in the forecast.
BANT is met (qualified prospect)
You can assume the sale if your prospect is qualified to be your buyer. That is, they meet the BANT parameters (they have the Budget for your offer, they have the Authority to make a decision, they have the Need for your product/service, and the Timing is right).
At the end of your presentation
Assuming the sale is our go-to close. And it can be yours, too. If you’ve done your job by listening to your prospect and communicating how your offer adds tremendous value and alleviates his or her biggest pain points, then there’s nothing left to do but get paid. You must get out of the way (stop talking) and close the deal. As the conversation comes to a close, assume the sale and the deal is done.
When NOT to Assume the Sale
When there isn’t a natural fit
If you cannot truly help your prospect, and you’re just looking to hit quota, then do not assume the sale. In fact, don’t go for any closing technique. Sure, you could sign just any customer or client and make short-term gains, but it will come at the expense of long-term strain and potentially a black-eye on your brand. It’s best only to work with people and companies you know you can help.
Low Buyer Confidence and Buy-in
If at the end of your presentation and conversation you have a totally uninspired prospect, don’t assume the sale. Continue to ask questions and reposition your offer in a way that gets them excited (even thrilled!) to work with you. If they aren’t excited about the idea of working with you, then they will almost certainly churn or be a bad client/customer. Thankfully, by using tonality and other techniques you can get buyer confidence sky high.
BANT Not Met (unqualified prospect)
If your prospect doesn’t meet ALL of your qualification requirements (budget, need, authority, timeliness), then do not assume the sale. Well, you can try, but chances are you’ll get stonewalled. The bigger issue here is that you shouldn’t have gotten this far in the sales process with an unqualified lead. You should only be presenting and/or giving demos to prospects who have been qualified on a previous call. There’s no excuse here, as a “pre-qual cold call” only takes 5 minutes. Qualify. Book the sales appointment. And THEN close.
RELATED: The 5-second Rule in Sales
Wrapping Up on Assumptive Selling
So that’s the long and short of it: how and when to assume the sale.
If you lead a sales team, you’d be wise to train your salespeople and closers on this simple yet powerful technique. While it comes natural and feels intuitive for the sales rock stars out there, others will benefit from training and role-playing on assumptive selling.
If you’re a closer yourself, be sure to add this technique to your arsenal to increase your sales numbers. I can almost guarantee a lift in closed deals. It cuts through any confusion and helps your buyer make a decision.
At the end of the day, I’d rather see you be too aggressive than too passive. I’d rather see you try to assume the sale, even if the timing is wrong, then NEVER ask for the sale at all. But if you follow the tips and tricks I’ve outlined above, you’ll have it dialed-in just right, and you’ll be an assumptive selling superstar in no time.
Until next time…