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Assumptive Closing

I recently bought some 1400-thread count bedsheets. I never knew there was even such a thing. I was, however, in the market for bedsheets for a while now. So, when a salesperson approached me in a big box wholesaler, I happily picked up a set.

I remember a lot about the interaction, and remember how the salesperson used an “assumptive” closing technique. I remember, also, being perturbed by it. However, I was in the market for bedsheets, so picked up the set anyways.

The interaction went something like this:
I’m walking with my brother with a cartful of things. We’re nearing the checkout lines when a woman approaches us.
The woman talks about these ultra-soft bedsheets she’s got. I happily listen while my brother continues to the registers.
Woman places a set of bedsheets in my hands. “These are 1400-tc sheets, so you can feel they’re incredibly soft”. (Okay, I’m paraphrasing.)
Me: “Yeah, they are.”
Woman: “These sheets also have a warranty of 3 years!”
Me: “Okay, great.”
Woman: “They come in these three colors. What color would you like?” She walks over to her stash of sheets, looks at me while extending her arms like she’s reaching for whatever color I say.
Me: “I think the beige works fine, but…”
Woman: “Oh, we also have a special with {{Big Box Wholesaler Name}} where you get a second set free. Do you want beige for the second set, too?”  
At this point, I’m thinking, “well, heck, if I’m already wanting new sheets, I might as well ask if my brother and his wife want new sheets.” 
I respond to the woman, “Not sure. Let me ask my brother’s wife,” as I pull her in. The sale was pretty much wrapped up here.
I just so happened to be in the market for bedsheets, but had been lazy to go shopping before. Otherwise, I found the salesperson’s tactic of handing me a set and walking away to get a second set annoying.

This is an example of assumptive closing. The salesperson is assuming the sale is made and is just putting the final touches on the sale – color selection. She started by showing off features of the sheets including thread count, colors, and warranty before getting to closing.

This is also an example of a simple, transactional sale where I knew what I wanted, and didn’t care about the annoyance of the sales tactic. Here, I realized that I was just buying bedsheets. I wouldn’t have to interact with the salesperson ever again. The product was the most important piece to this interaction, not the relationship. As such, making a quick buy was a simple choice. 


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