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How to use an assumptive close in your sales process

An assumptive close is a sales technique that presumes the client is ready to book with you. It works by focusing your pitch and your sales collateral around the client’s needs and allowing them to easily move forward with booking. 

Group shaking hands after an assumptive close

Over 50% of sales professionals report that their close rates were relatively stagnant in the last year. Especially if you run an independent business, you may be wondering how you can get those numbers higher.

The assumptive close is a sales technique that can help you convert more prospective clients who are almost ready to make a purchasing decision. Keep reading to learn how to use it to boost your close rate.

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What is an assumptive close?

The assumptive close is a sales tactic that uses specific phrasing, questioning, and action to close a sale. By understanding your ideal client, you’ll know when it’s appropriate to nudge them toward a sale, versus other clients who might need more nurturing. You can even incorporate an assumptive close into your sales pitch to smoothly lead the customer toward a purchase.

For example, when the client seems ready to purchase your services, your assumptive close could simply be sending a file that includes an interactive pricing guide, invoice, and contract. Your client will have everything they need to select the services they want and book with you. 

When to use an assumptive close

By understanding your leads and ideal clients, you’ll know when it’s appropriate to nudge them toward a sale, versus other clients who might need more nurturing. You can even incorporate an assumptive close into your sales pitch to smoothly lead the customer toward a purchase.

Once a potential customers indicates they’re ready to make a purchase, you then use a transition statement and start closing the sale. As long as they’ve shown interest in the sales conversation and are a good fit, they can be a successful sale using an assumptive close.

How does an assumptive close work?

To use an assumptive close, you need to understand your ideal clients and what they need to know to book with you. For instance, if you’re a business consultant, your clients might usually view testimonials and case studies before booking with you. 

With that information, you can be sure to frontload that information as soon as a prospect inquires with you. 

Instead of going back and forth with them, you can immediately send the information they need and let them know how to book with you. Some clients may need more information, but others can move forward and book on their own. 

If you’re in the middle of the selling process and the customers shows signs that they’re interested, you can start by using closing phrases. This helps lead them to converting quickly. For example, you can say things like “When you book with us, you’ll see a discount added to your invoice.” 

Using an assumptive close technique helps you close deals faster because it guides your leads toward converting without any friction. 

Pro tip

The assumptive close, like any technique, will work best if it fits your prospect’s personality. Since it instills a sense of urgency, it’s best for clients who are more likely to convert. Learn other closing techniques for clients who aren’t responsive to this one.

Benefits of using an assumptive close

Though it might feel like an approach that could irk potential clients, the assumptive close is one of the most effective sales conversion strategies. 

As long as you’re using this strategy with the right leads, it can have the following benefits: 

  • It increases revenue, helps you find more clients, and boosts your confidence as a salesperson
  • It harnesses observation of your client’s needs so you can give them accurate recommendations
  • It provides your clients with instant gratification since you can offer actions that allow immediate booking
  • It encourages client-first sales, focusing your efforts around their specific needs so you can recommend the perfect option for their pain points

How to use an assumptive close

When you gather information about your leads, do you send a questionnaire or schedule a discovery call? However you do, this is the point where you can determine if you can use an assumptive close. 

Say the client is an exact match with your ideal customer in terms of budget, timeline, and needs. In this case, you can assume that they’re highly likely to book with you. If so, you can move forward with any of the following options: 

  • Over the phone, let the client know exactly how they can book with you. Even if they haven’t given you an affirmative “yes” yet, laying out the next steps can move them forward. 
  • If you’re communicating via email, you can send an all-in-one booking file using a tool like HoneyBook. Let your clients select their services from a list of options, sign a contract, and pay an invoice within one file. 

If you aren’t used to this strategy, you might feel like you’re being aggressive. But, the prospect can always let you know if they aren’t ready or need more information first. It’s better to get the booking process started with a client who’s ready rather than risk them dropping out of your sales process

Ideally, your initial discussion with your prospect shows them how your service will perfectly solve their problem. Then, you can move forward and close the sale. If you’re not sure whether they’re ready yet, make sure you’ve met these conditions:

  • The prospect knows they’re the decision-maker
  • You’ve built trust with the prospect
  • The prospect clearly understands the features and benefits of your service
  • You’ve addressed all the client’s questions and objections so far
  • You’ve picked up on buying signals from your prospect
  • You’re at a point in the sales process where the close is the next logical step

A good assumptive close gives the prospect an “aha” moment when they realize they want to purchase.

What to say during an assumptive close

When you make an assumptive close, remember you’re not asking permission to make the sale. You have to presume that you’ve made the sale and are just settling the final details.

You can split this presumptive close into two parts. The first focuses on how your service helps your client. In this process, you usually affirm their decision to choose your service over other options. In the second part, you ask about the purchase. This can be straightforward, like asking how the client plans to pay (ACH transfer, credit card, etc.).

You can also ask assumptve closing questions to guide them to payment, like “What type of credit card will you be using?” or “Would you like to set up autopay?” These questions help get them in the mindset that they’re already in the booking process. 

Pro tip

Your close is strong if you know your service well enough to communicate how it will make potential clients’ lives easier. Make sure you’ve prepared to answer any questions they may have.

Two-part assumptive closes

In the two-part assumptive close, the first part reassures the client by reminding them why your service is perfect for them. In the second part, you harness this extra comfort, so they’re more agreeable toward the less comfortable subject of sealing the deal.

The best close is one you tailor for your client based on what you’ve learned about their needs. But here are some two-part assumptive close examples you can base yours on:

  • “I think you’ll love our fitness class. It focuses on low-impact workouts, so it’s perfect for your knees, and the trainer’s very hands-on, so they can always adjust your workload to your level. Would you rather sign up for the Sunday or the Tuesday class?”
  • “Swimming’s a great way to maintain flexibility, strength, and stamina. I’m glad you’re getting started with the hobby. Which swimming starter kit would you like to get?”

One-part assumptive closes

If you feel like your prospect is comfortable, your close can be the second part. The best one–part close is quick and simple—asking one clear, direct question about the purchase.

Some examples of one-part closes include:

  • What day is best for you to start your subscription?
  • Which tier would you like to sign up for?

Complete more sales

The assumptive close is one of the best techniques to help you hit your sales goals because it centers the sale around the client and their journey. Once they know how your service is perfect for them, it’s much easier to convince them to make a purchase without undercutting their position as the decision-maker.

HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform can help your independent business close more clients by creating interactive files containing multiple parts of your sales and booking process. During your assumptive close, you can send a file that contains your pricing guide or sales brochure, along with the online invoice and contract already populated, so the client can book immediately.

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