Who says Follow the Leader ended along with grade school? Adults play the game daily behind sales desks and in store aisles. Every savvy salesperson wants to be the leader and have the credulous customer as a follower. But seizing the lead takes a silver tongue and an essential sales tip: assumptive language.
Assumptive sales language assumes the customer will buy; it does not leave room for ifs or buts. Why use assumptive language? Because the seller/buyer relationship is one of push and pull, and whoever exerts the most force wins the tug-of-war. This is standard business practice and, in fact, markets could not function without it. Assumptive language places sellers in a position of leadership and authority. At the conclusion of a sale, the salesperson has made an undeniably sensible case, and any smart customer should go along.
There are ten basic sales tips as assumptive phrases that all sellers should use. These questions and statements are phrased to eliminate subjective words such as “if,” “were,” “would,” “could,” and to replace them with active words such as “when,” “where,” and “will.”
“Let’s move forward.”
This phrase encourages the seller and customer to work together to finish the purchasing process.
Both the phrases “What’s the next step?” and “When should we start?” assume that there must be a next step, and force the customer to make a progressive decision.
“Where should I forward this contract?” and “Would you prefer to pay by credit card, cash, or check?” both assume simple pertinent facts: the contract must be written and the product bought.
“How do you think _____ will look with this _____?”
Tie with shirt? Rims with car? Mixing-and-matching products make for an enjoyable and engaging consumer experience.
“Since this product is almost out …”
In other words, “Everyone wants this product, and you – the lucky customer – have a limited opportunity to get one.”
“What other products have you considered?”
This simple question can garner valuable information about competitors that cannot be gleaned by stale quarterly statements.
The query, “What questions do you have?” compels the customer to ponder the sales pitch and consider its benefits.
“What motivated you to use our services/buy our product?”
An invaluable sales tip, this question makes a customer recall the initial reason why he or she chose the product.
And always remember the cardinal sales tip of closing: He who speaks first, loses.