We make the world’s best flooring adhesives at Taylor, so naturally, we and our customers would like to sell more of them. One way to do that is with the assumptive close.
The art of the assumptive close was born the day after McDonalds restaurants opened April 15, 1955. “Would you like fries with that?” was probably first asked for the first time and has been alive and well ever sense. So, it begs the question, why not use this technique with flooring adhesives, like Taylor’s Resolute®, Pinnacle®, Ironwood® or a host of others?
Seth Gladden and Shelley Ackerman of Taylor Adhesives asked and answered that on the TAYLOR TIME LIVE episode entitled “Would you like fries with that?” (March 21, 2023). Shelley coined the name of the show, because as she pointed out, “It’s called an effective, assumptive close.”
The assumptive close is a sales technique where the salesperson assumes that the prospect has already made the decision to buy, and then proceeds to close the sale by asking for the details of the purchase. It works by taking advantage of the principle of commitment and consistency, which suggests that once a person has made a decision, they are more likely to follow through with that decision in the future.
For example, let’s say a salesperson is selling a car to a potential buyer. Instead of asking the buyer if they are interested in purchasing the car, the salesperson would assume that the buyer has already decided to buy and would ask them questions like “What color would you like?” or “How would you like to finance the car?” This approach assumes that the buyer has already made the decision to purchase the car, and it can be an effective way to close a sale.
It could as easily be “Would you like any adhesives with that?” when a flooring purchase is in the making.
“It’s about changing the mentality to sell more flooring adhesives,” observed Gladden. “It should be asked every time. If you’re selling a floor that needs to be glued down, you’re going to need the glue to put it down–it’s that simple.”
“You should ask the customer ‘What adhesives are we going with on this job?’ or ‘Is this the right adhesive for this project?’ and ‘Is the space ready for this project?’” advised Ackerman.
As a sales associate, your knowledge of adhesives and your assumptive close positions you as a subject matter expert, concerned with solving problems and making trustworthy relationships.
Adhesives have different attributes that are required for installation confidence. Selling the right one with the flooring order can also result in:
- Eliminating callbacks
- Contributing to LEEDS
- Adding credibility and peace of mind
Distributors also need to train their reps to ask about adhesives. Product shipped with orders of glue down flooring need to aim for a 100% attachment rate, because they go hand-in-hand with the flooring. And don’t forget trowels to spread the adhesive, etc. These are additional sales dollars many will leave on the table, simply by not asking the assumptive close.
A word of caution: It is important to note that the assumptive close should only be used when the salesperson is confident that the prospect is genuinely interested in the product and is close to making a decision. If the salesperson uses this technique too early in the sales process or with a prospect who is not ready to buy, it can come across as pushy or aggressive and can ultimately harm the sales relationship.
Watch “Would you like fries with that?” on the Taylor YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/live/BsdfUJfucyQ?feature=share
Seth Gladden is the host of TAYLOR TIME LIVE and is Marketing Director for the Meridian Industrial Flooring Division, including Taylor Adhesives
Shelley Ackerman is Director of OEM Sales + Commercial Groups–Taylor Adhesives