The Powerful Assumptive Close!

Text: "The Powerful Assumptive Close!"

You have probably seen a basketball player take a shot, reveling in the moment before the ball even swishes through the hoop.

That’s confidence!

Illustration of a man shooting a basketball.

That’s knowing you’ve put in the work, and now it’s just about letting things unfold as they should.

In sales, there is an equivalent behavior – the Assumptive Close.

It’s like releasing that shot with confidence, except here, instead of a jump shot over a defender, we’re dealing with words and your prospect.

This technique assumes that the sale will be made, even before it’s official.

Does it seem a tad presumptuous? Maybe! But is it effective? Definitely!

We’ll dive into understanding everything about the assumptive close, including how you can use transition statements to guide your prospect toward buying decisions, how to craft compelling closing phrases, and much more.

Understanding the Assumptive Close

The assumptive close is a powerful closing technique in the arsenal of the very best sales professionals.

However, it’s more than just a closing technique. Being assumptive is something great sales people bring into most of their interactions, to subtly lead and influence their prospects.

It’s an effective strategy that persuades prospects to lean your way, based on the energy you are giving off.

You seem to have a sense that the process is going a certain direction, and most people are very happy being comfortably led because it feels nice, and it’s easier than leading themselves.

Illustration of a business man looking through a periscope and at the wheel of a ship.

The assumptive close also gives you a powerful sales technique to infuse urgency when and how you wish.

So what is the assumptive close?

Well, first and foremost it’s a mindset and attitude. You go into sales situations presuming the best, believing that your offering is the right choice for your prospect.

You telegraph this belief through your attitude, subtle language and leading statements.

You transition from exploring prospect needs and pitching details about your products, services, and prices, to leveraging these language tools to imply that your prospect is choosing you and using your offerings.

An essential part of mastering this method lies in knowing when to test, and how to adapt based on how the technique lands with your prospect.

I recommend my coaching clients embody a generally assumptive attitude, and then try using transition statements to guage their prospect.

It’s then about observing verbal cues, body language, and responses to your assumptive tests.

3 Core Elements of Assumptive Closing

For an assumptive close to ultimately be successful, several elements need alignment.

Element #1 – Initial Presumption

The initial presumption really sets up the sense that things are moving in a positive direction.

This can’t be too blatant or arrogant of course, it should be an undercurrent that grows more powerful as you proceed through various checkpoints in the sales cycle.

Element #2 – Using Transition Statements

Transition statements sprinkle your intensions into the conversation, moving from a positive belief you hold in element #1 above, to something more tangible, that you are speaking into existence.

For example, leading statements like this are highly effective; “Once we get started, our team will ensure seamless integration with your existing systems.”

This statement assumes agreement, is leading in nature, and helps prospects begin to imagine the engagement happening.

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Another example is; “When we begin addressing those pain points during implementation planning…”

As you can see, these statements are moving the dialogue forward without requiring buy-in from your prospect just yet. Of course, you’ll want to observe their reactions to these comments.

Element #3 – Asking Closing Questions

The 3rd element of the assumptive close begins to involve prospects in the frame you are establishing.

It invites them to discuss and visualize themselves using your offering, vs. prompting simple yes/no type answers.

For instance, “When do you plan to get started with the software?”. Typically this type of question will garner participation from your prospect, or clarity that they aren’t quite thinking about getting started just yet.

Crucially, it does so without putting them on the spot with a direct question, and it allows you to assess the situation for what it is.

Closing questions show you where things stand, lead the sale forward, and help uncover objections.

Here are a few more closing questions; “how many users will we need to accommodate?”, “which services do you think you’ll need?”, “what date are we aiming to get started?”.

You can ratchet up the directness of your questions based on the situation, leading eventually to a firm close.

Advantages of Using the Assumptive Close

Why does this technique prove so effective? The assumptive close can’t be as easy and straightforward as it sounds, can it?

Like with anything in sales, it is a fairly simple concept.

However, the complexities lie in the nuances, and how you adjust and recalibrate based on what is happening with your prospect.

We’ll get into the challenges later in this article, first let’s explore the advantages of using this powerful technique.

1. Helps You Set the Tone Early

Anyone that makes it in sales or business has a core belief that they are going to succeed. It starts with this belief that you have deep down inside.

By letting that belief shine through, you become influential to others. In prospect or customer scenarios, this can be very persuasive.

By embodying this belief, you are setting the tone early with your prospects that you have confidence in your offering, and the results they will achieve when (not if) they get started.

That’s potent! 

2. Helps You Lead the Sales Process

By setting a presumptive tone about the direction the engagement is going, you are naturally in a position to lead the sales process through whatever checkpoints are required.

Being assumptive is actually akin to being predictive. People can only trust and follow those that have clarity and foresight about how things will go.

Text stating: "People can only trust and follow those that have clarity and foresight..."

3. Helps you Know Where Things Stand

The hope is that our assumptions will all be true, and that every prospect will naturally become a customer.

We know this isn’t true, and how we find out is through the feedback we get from prospects. 

Providing feedback that contradicts our assumptions is challenging for prospects to give, so it tends to be obvious – whether it’s being said, or communicated in another way via pauses, silence or body language.

Resist the urge to consider this feedback negative. On the contrary it’s extremely valuable.

4. Helps you Uncover Objections

And why is this contradictory feedback valuable? Well, because it shows us where the real issues lie.

Read into the feedback you are getting, and then determine how to overcome any challenges you have identified.

5. Helps you Build Strong Relationships

The assumptive close telegraphs your belief that a partnership is in place (or is going to happen soon!). That’s a powerful thing to sub-communicate to prospects.

Through your friendly assumption, you’ll notice a large percentage of prospects will warm to your charms. 

Illustration of 2 business men sitting at a table and shaking hands.

6. It Shortens The Sales Cycle

This strategy not only helps create strong relationships but also shortens the sales process.

The faster you move through relationship building & deepening, and other phases of the sales process, the less time there is for doubt or second thoughts.

An effective closing phrase doesn’t leave room for maybe; instead, it pushes towards clarity, and either a close or the opportunity to address objections.

Telegraphing your belief that the deal is moving in the right direction won’t always work, but it will help accelerate many deals and provide less opportunity for the time delays that can be deal killers.

Challenges Using the Assumptive Close

The biggest mistake most beginners make when using the assumptive close is overdoing it, and annoying their prospects.

Remember that this is a subtle tool, and using it should start with an internal attitude that gently resonates vs. knocking prospects over the head.

At the appropriate time in the sales process, a test statement can be used to then see how the prospect reacts.

The next major challenge I see is that salespeople don’t know what to do with the cues they receive back from prospects when using initial test statements or questions.

Certainly it’s easy to assume someone will go with you, but what happens when they imply that they are still considering other options, or are clear they aren’t yet interested?

Illustration of a business woman giving a business man the cold shoulder.

This is valuable information that you must use to advance your position, however many will just disregard it and hope things work out – a poor strategy.

Remember that it’s not enough to simply apply the assumptive close, you need to figure out how to handle the information that comes up when you use it!

Implementing the Assumptive Close

The assumptive closing technique is definitely something you want in your toolkit.

It’s not just about asking closing questions or using assumptive language. The secret sauce lies in setting expectations early and proactively steering conversations toward mutual buy-in and a purchasing decision.

A key aspect of this approach involves sales transition statements outlined above, that subtly guide prospects toward a buying decision.

To get started with assumptive closing, first work on your mindset of belief that prospects will buy form you… then figure out what sorts of leading, presumptuous statements you can make a little further in each sales cycle, to test the waters.

These are thoughtfully crafted sentences designed to make the prospect feel comfortable with their potential purchase, and uncover any concerns that may not yet be on the table.

Lastly, create some closing questions that uncover information you will need, and don’t be afraid to use them when it’s time to push for the close.

The Assumptive Close vs. other Closing Techniques

The assumptive or presumptive close, is definitely something you want to work into your game..

Let’s compare this approach with other popular techniques like the Franklin or Left Hemisphere close, which uses pros and cons analysis to help customers decide.

I would suggest that the assumptive close should be standard in almost every sales situation, with something like the Left Hemisphere close being sprinkled in for those more analytical, logic oriented prospects.

Another different close I like is the Soft Lead close. This one can also be piggy-backed onto the assumptive close, via softer and less pushy questions like “does that satisfy the final requirement you shared?”

As you will learn, closing techniques can be stacked, and every prospect will respond to a different single or stacked approach.

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Learn more about other effective closing techniques including 19 of my favorites here, and another fun list of closing techniques here.

Remember though, a spectacular closing technique isn’t all you need!

Refer to this handly list of reminders so you can get to the close.

Winning with the Assumptive Closing Technique

Mastering the assumptive close technique will significantly boost your sales success rate. 

The power of this technique lies in its ability to tap into prospects’ desire to solve their problems, preference to be led, and their emotions.

Learn and practice until you can execute this sales tactic effectively.

Beyond just improving close rates though, assumptive closing helps build trust with potential clients by showing them that you understand their pain points and are confident enough to assume they’ll see value in what you offer too.

Assumptive selling and closing is truly a win win for you the sales rep, and for your soon-to-be customer.

Text stating: "Tap into prospects' desire to solve their problems, preference to be led, and their emotions."

FAQs re: the Assumptive Close

Is the assumptive close the same as the implied close?

In my humble opinion, the assumptive close is an attitude you bring into most of your sales conversations, whereas the implied close is something you do right at the end to seal the deal.

Everyone has a different take of course, but I’m right almost all of the time, so just trust me. 😉

What are more examples of assumptive closing questions?

“When should we deliver your order?”, “Who will be the main contact person on your team?”, “who’s going to sign the agreement?”, “what features are you going with?” are all good examples.

Why is the assumptive close effective?

The assumptive close technique taps into psychology, in part through your confidence, to make prospects relax and enjoy the feeling of being led.

When handled deftly, it makes the process easy for them and allows you to gradually build momentum towards closing.

When should I use an assumptive close?

The assumptive close / presumptive close is a sales technique that is relevant through various phases of the sales cycle.

The key is subtlety, and not being overly presumptuous, which can sometimes be a tough balance to hit. 

If you’re a new sales rep, finding the balance will take time, but don’t let that stop you from trying!

Try sprinkling in an assumptive transition statement or some assumptive closing questions into your next sales conversation.


Mastering the Assumptive Close technique is like discovering a cheat code.

It can give you a tangible edge in sales conversations, helping to guide your prospect toward buying decisions.

By using effective transition statements and compelling closing phrases you can embed and nurture the concept that your prospect wants and needs to move forward with your solution.

This powerful tool not only helps close sales but also builds strong relationships, helping you build confidence and belief while fostering trust.

Remember though, the key is subtlety. Use an assumptive close in your next interaction and continue calibrating until you see it’s influence.

When you start using the assumptive close effectively, it’s like shooting hoops with confidence – every shot might not go in, but your game improves significantly!