The biggest sales mistake I see is that people assume that they know things; about the customer; about their product; about what someone else is thinking. Stop it! Don’t assume. If it sounds like I have my hand on my hip and am waggling my finger at you – it’s because I am. Read on to understand why we assume and how to stop it.
Sales Mistake ~ why we assume:
The number one reason that we assume is because we are scared to ask questions because we think we know the answer.
Mindset: Stop assuming!
To stop assuming you need to ask more questions. If you don’t ask questions, you will never know the answer. You need to give your client the permission to speak for themselves and not to take that away by assuming you know (because I bet you don’t). Even when you are partly right you have no clarity on your customers reasons. Don’t be scared of the answer. Seek first to understand, and in their answer you will gain a much clearer picture of what the client likes and what they really want to buy from you. Don’t be scared to not know something. No-one in the world (except really mean people – and you don’t want them as clients anyway) will begrudge you for not knowing the answer to a question that they have. All they want is an answer and for you to go and help them by finding it out.
Activity: How to stop assuming
The only way to know what someone else thinks or feels is to ask them. Here are some helpful points:
Meet with the person or Pick up the phone
Don’t sit and wait, pick up the phone, or better still see the person. The benefit of seeing them is that you can read their body language, which gives you a much clearer understanding of what they are really thinking as well as saying.
Ask the question
Tell them what you have been thinking, and ask them what you want to know. “I haven’t heard back from you and so I thought perhaps you weren’t interested or you had some other questions?”
Listen and dig!
Listen quietly while they speak and look for areas to explore. Read between the lines and think about what they might not be comfortable to tell you. Their first answer or response may not give you the whole picture, so make sure you ask clarifying questions to get to the nub of the issue, and again don’t assume you know.
Once you are sure you have a clear understanding. Look for a next step. Even now, you shouldn’t assume. Make sure that you phrase your response as a question so that you can confirm with your client that you are on the right track. “I am thinking that the next step for us is to ………………………… Do you think that is a good idea, or would you like to do Once you stop assuming, you will have a much better understanding of why people buy from you and this information is gold! What other sales mistakes do you experience and want answer to … let me know! Happy Selling !