Sales Planning - Assumptive Close
By Steven J. Schmidt
The Assumptive Close is a favorite of mine, though it's completely based off of confidence.
Let's recap the journey that got us to the point of the sale. We grabbed the customer's attention by using one of the attention grabbers. We then got hit with an objection, and agreed with the customer, asked some questions and engaged in good conversation. We then turned the objection around based on the information that they gave and made some recommendations. Once you make the recommendation to the customer, you are just about there to ask the customer for their business.
Let's go back to using the pharmaceutical rep scenario. You just explained all the benefits of a drug that will help with birth control for women. Remember that the doctor did not have time to spend and you stood there and took his best punches. Because you've stood there the entire time, there is no way you are going down now. You want to recap with the doctor, and this is how it will sound: "OK, Dr. Martin, you told me that you are using another drug, but we've discussed that this drug has less side effects and happens to be approved by the FDA. We have agreed that the side effect for women is the main contributor. In addition, we will be able to beat the price of our competition too, with a trial offer and a money-back guarantee for customers to test it out."
At this point, you are going over all of the questions and answers that you and the doctor discussed. Also, the doctor agreed with your answers, which completely strengthens your argument and gives you the confidence so that you can ask for his business with confidence.
You then say to the doctor, "Look, I understand you are very busy and I just took a lot of your time up. However, I hope that you see this time was well worth it, and that you'll be making a smart decision for you and the health and well being of your customers. Why don't I put an order in for you, and we can have them in here in 10 days?"
You are also at the advantage because the doctor is at his office and has to make a decision. However the probability of his turning you down at this point is very minor. Why? Because you were persistent to stay in there with him and he committed to taking the time to hear what you had to say. The doctor will probably agree to the deal.
However, if the doctor still wants to think about it, you then have to bring reassurance into the picture. This is similar to an objection, but people will try to get out of the deal one last time. This is where you say, "I understand that you want tot think about it, but I'll be giving you all of my information, so that you can reach me after working hours if you decide you really can't do it."
This is basically telling the client that you are on their side and that you are looking out for their best interest. Trust is one of the key components when it comes to making a sale as we've discussed earlier. In this situation, if the doctor is still not biting, you'll either have to set up another appointment to come back or at least obtain all of the doctor's contact information. You never want to leave, where any potential customer says, "why don't you give me your number and I'll call you back." This is the way out for a customer, as they probably won't call you, whether they fail to do so intentionally or simply forget.
There are some sales you won't be able to finalize, even with the Assumptive Close. With those clients, you want them to know that tyey are missing out on a deal you have for them. You don't want to be there too long because you don't want to seem like you're trying too hard. When people try too hard, things don't come out naturally and it won't look like you're genuine in what it is that you are trying to sell. You may even look desperate. And when you look desperate, it may seem like you are just trying to make a sale, which will make the customer believe that you're trying to rip them off.
Therefore, you want to still have confidence so that you know that they will think about it, so when you reach them again you will be able to close the deal. You also want to remember that sales is usually a numbers game. The more clients you see, the greater the possibility of making more sales.
When you're in this situation, you will say, "Well, look, I definitely appreciate you taking the time to listen to what I had to say. I understand that you want to think it over and you do not make decision right away. I'm the same way too. What I'm going to do is give you my number, so you can reach me. However, what's your number so that I can remind you of this great deal, so that you don't miss out on the benefit of your patients? In fact, here is a Web site that you can visit so you can see how for real we are. How does that sound?"
Once you exchange information, you say, "OK, great, I don't want to take any more of your time. I'll call you in two days so that we set up another appointment." You can even set up an appointment right then and there, "I don't want to take up any more of your time. How about if I take you out to lunch in three days so we can talk it over?"
When you assume the sale, you are making an educated and calculated recommendation based off all the information the the client has given to you. In addition, you are taking away any option for them to say no. You are recommending a time for them to see you or order your service. This means, the only question in their mind is, "How many birth control pills should I order?" or "When am I free to discuss this sale?"
Either way, you are getting a commitment from them because you assumed the close.
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