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Getting to Yes with Assumptive Language

By Chris Bibey
Getting to Yes with Assumptive Language Feature Image
11 minute read
⚠️ Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate, neither its authors nor Aged Lead Store accepts responsibility for any errors or omissions. The content of this article is for general information only, and is not intended to constitute or be relied upon as legal advice.

Today is your lucky day! 

I’m being serious here. You’re going to be grateful that you found this article because I’m going to share one of the most effective techniques for closing more sales.

Learning to use assumptive language to move your sales conversations forward.

This assumptive strategy works on two levels:

  1. By using this kind of language in talking to prospects you’ll become more confident, and
  2. Using assumptive language helps your prospects forward in their decision-making process, without lingering on irrational objections.

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What is assumptive language in sales?

Let’s quickly learn how this tactic works and then get to some concrete examples.

When writing a sales script using the ‘assumptive’ approach we intentionally try to drop subjective words, like: 

  • If
  • Were
  • Would
  • Could 

Instead, we replace them with active words, like: 

  • When
  • Where
  • Will 

Our mindset and script should look more like a step-by-step checklist. 

And this step-by-step script, which always assumes we are moving forward, should guide your prospect quickly through the decision and buying process.

Examples of assumptive language sales scripts

Let’s look at a few examples of assumptive language in action.

“Let’s move forward.”

This phrase encourages the prospect to work with you to finish the transaction. It feels collaborative and at the same time considerate of their time.

“What’s the next step?” and “When should we start?”

These related questions assume that there must be a next step, and that encourages the customer to make a progressive decision.

“Where should I send this contract?” and “Would you prefer to pay by credit card, cash, or check?”

These are powerful ‘trial closes’  that assume simple pertinent facts: 1. the contract is ready to be signed, and 2. the product, loan, or policy is purchased.

“That takes care of _____ now let’s take a look at _____?” and “This covers _____. Have you also considered _____?”

Tie with a shirt? Rims with a car? Mixing-and-matching, bundling, and packaging-related products, if done in an enjoyable and engaging way, can feel like a strong value proposition and convenience for new prospects and existing clients.

“This has been a very popular product; however, a lot of clients are now requesting…”

In other words, what you think you need or want is not ideal for your situation, but the alternative is proven and popular with others. People always like to follow the trend and mix in with the herd. 

There is security and confidence when they hear these kinds of facts. It also takes on the air of a consultative sale—guiding them with expertise and experience to the right product.

“What other products have you considered?”

This simple question can garner valuable information about competitors they may be considering or quotes they may be shopping for. 

This is a great way to tease out the competition and kill their pitches by highlighting the strengths you have over them. Always keep it positive and focus on your strengths, not picking on them.

“What questions do you have?” 

This is one of my all-time favorite open-ended questions. This simple question gives your prospect a sense of control and compels them to ponder your pitch and consider its benefits to their personal situation.

“What motivated you to call/inquire about _____ ?”

An invaluable sales tip, this question makes a customer recall the original reason why he or she chose the product.

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Dos and don’ts of assumptive language in sales conversations

While assumptive language can be effective in nudging potential clients toward making a purchase, it’s crucial to use it with care. Overstep the mark, and you risk making the prospect feel pressured or uncomfortable. Below, we explore the dos and don’ts of using assumptive language in sales conversations.

Dos of assumptive language

Here are some of the many things you should attempt to do when employing assumptive language in your sales conversations. 

Do speak in future terms

Talk about the customer using your product or service in the future. This will help them visualize the benefits they’ll receive and how your solution can fit into their lives or businesses.

Do use affirmative language

Phrases such as “When you start using our service,” or “Once you’ve experienced the benefits of our product,” presuppose a positive outcome and can help to sway the prospect in the right direction.

Do make it personal

Tailor your assumptive language to the individual prospect. Your assumptions should be based on the information the prospect has provided during the conversation.

Do confirm your assumptions

While using assumptive language, always seek affirmation from the prospect. This helps you gauge their comfort level and gives them the opportunity to correct any incorrect assumptions.

Do use assumptive language in closing

Use this technique to assume the close. For example, instead of asking, “Would you like to proceed with the purchase?” you could say, “How would you like to pay for your purchase?”

Don’ts of assumptive language

Now, let’s review some of the things to avoid when it comes to using assumptive language.

Don’t assume without reason

Your assumptions should be based on the prospect’s needs and wants. Do not make assumptions without having some indication that the prospect is interested in your product or service.

Don’t pressure the prospect

Assumptive language should never make a prospect feel forced into a decision. It’s meant to guide them toward realizing they want or need your product, not pressure them into a purchase.

Don’t ignore negative responses

If a prospect reacts negatively to your assumptive statements, take a step back. Reflect on their concerns and address them before proceeding.

Don’t overuse assumptive language

Assumptive language is a powerful tool but overusing it can come off as aggressive or insincere. Strike a balance in your conversation.

Don’t use assumptive language to mislead

While assumptive language can create a positive sales environment, it should never be used to mislead or deceive a prospect. Transparency and honesty are key in all sales conversations.

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How to handle objections when using assumptive language

Even if you’re a master of using assumptive language, you should expect some pushback every now and again. You’re going to face objections. 

It’s how you deal with these objections that defines how much success you have. Here are some tips you can use to your advantage.

Understand and empathize with the objection

Whenever you encounter an objection, it’s crucial to first understand what the concern is. People have objections for a reason, often based on some real or perceived issue. It might be related to the cost, timing, or uncertainty about the product’s effectiveness. Listen attentively, ask clarifying questions if necessary, and empathize with the prospect. Say something like, “I understand why you might be concerned about that.”

Understanding the root of the objection allows you to address it directly and honestly. This understanding also reassures the prospect that you’re genuinely interested in their needs and aren’t just trying to push a sale.

Validate their concerns

No one likes to feel dismissed or ignored. If a prospect raises an objection, it’s important to validate their concerns, even if you think they’re unfounded. 

Make sure to acknowledge the prospect’s concern, showing respect for their perspective. You might say, “That’s a valid concern. Many of our customers felt the same way before they saw the results firsthand.”

Use evidence to counter objections

One of the most effective ways to handle objections is to present clear, credible evidence that addresses the concern. 

For instance, if a prospect is worried about cost, demonstrate the potential return on investment (ROI). If they’re uncertain about efficacy, share case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers.

Remember to use evidence relevant to the prospect’s industry or situation for the maximum impact. It’s one thing to claim your product works, but it’s more persuasive to show how it has worked in comparable situations.

Use assumptive language to reinforce positive outcomes

While addressing the objection, continue using assumptive language to keep the conversation forward-looking and focused on positive outcomes. 

For example, “Once you see the increased efficiency our software provides, I believe you’ll find that the investment more than pays for itself.”

Remember, the goal of assumptive language is to guide the prospect towards a sale, so use it to steer the conversation back to the benefits of your product or service after addressing their objections.

Confirm agreement before moving forward

After you’ve addressed an objection, make sure to confirm that you’ve assuaged the prospect’s concerns before proceeding with the sales conversation. 

You can do this by asking a confirmatory question like, “Does that address your concern?” or “Do you feel more comfortable with the cost understanding the ROI?”

It’s important not to skip this step. Moving forward without ensuring the prospect’s concerns have been addressed may lead to further objections or the prospect withdrawing from the conversation entirely.

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Assumptive language: Practice makes perfect

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to utilizing assumptive language effectively.

Understand the art of assumptive language

The first step to practicing assumptive language is understanding its core principle. 

Assumptive language assumes the sale is already a done deal. This approach instills confidence in your prospect and subtly guides the conversation toward the outcome you desire. 

However, to use this technique effectively, you must understand how to make your assumptive statements sound natural and not forced. Practice will help you learn the delicate balance.

Build confidence

The more you practice using assumptive language, the more confident you’ll become. Confidence is key in sales; if you don’t believe in what you’re selling, how can you expect your prospect to? 

By practicing, you’ll grow more comfortable with this style of communication, and it will start to come naturally to you. This confidence will shine through in your conversations and influence your prospects positively.

Get the timing right

Timing is crucial in sales conversations. The best salespeople know when to listen, when to ask questions, and when to use assumptive language to guide the conversation. But understanding the ebb and flow of a sales conversation isn’t something that comes instantly. It requires practice.

As you use assumptive language more and more, you’ll begin to understand when it’s most effective and how to use it seamlessly in your sales dialogue.

Feedback is essential

Another crucial aspect of practicing assumptive language is feedback. Just as athletes watch replays of their performances to improve, sales professionals can benefit immensely from getting feedback. 

Whether it’s from a coach, a colleague, or even a willing client, constructive feedback can provide insights into how your assumptive language is perceived and how it can be improved.

Why assumptive sales language is so powerful

Sales scripts are critical tools in crafting your discussions with prospects. Practicing these scripts over and over again will make your sales conversations more efficient and effective for you and your prospects. 

However, because these scripts are often written in a quiet room without distractions and objections we often write them in the most idyllic context. 

We craft and use language that assumes the prospect knows exactly what they want and is motivated to move through the process quickly. This is rarely the case.

That’s where writing your sales scripts to include assumptive language—that sale is assured—will help condition you to be a more active guide, moving them towards the right product as efficiently as possible.

Bonus Tip: We all talk too much. Let your prospects talk themselves into the deal. One of my favorite things to remember when I’m pitching: He who speaks first, loses.

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Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

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About Chris Bibey

Chris Bibey is a freelance writer with 15+ years of experience in the insurance and finance industries. Clients include Sales Hacker, Outreach, Discover, PayChex, and Moran Insurance. He has also worked as Head of Sales for Verma Media.

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