The number one sales trap that people fall in with selling is to assume. The most important thing that you can do in helping people buy (selling) is to understand them and what they want.
When we assume things about someone, we stop ourselves from learning more about them.
Here are the top assumptions that stop people selling… and what to do about them.
Sales trap: Assume you know what they want.
Problem: If you assume that you know what they want or where they are in the sales cycle, then you start asking questions and giving information that may not fit with where they are at. To the customer, it will feel like you are trying to ‘sell’ them, instead of helping them to buy. Sales tip: Your first and ever present job in sales is to understand your customer. Start at first principles with a new customer, even if they have come to you ‘ready to buy’ from a referral or other lead. Don’t assume that you know what is happening with a client’s business even if you have known them for a long time. Each time you meet them, see them with fresh eyes. Look for and ask about what has changed.
Sales trap: Assume they are not interested.
Problem: If you assume that someone isn’t interested, then you don’t give them the attention that they deserve, and chances are they won’t buy from you. Have you ever been shopping and the person behind the counter doesn’t acknowledge you? How likely are you to buy in this situation? Not very! Sales tip: It’s okay to think that someone isn’t interested or ready to buy, but instead of assuming – ask! Make sure they know that you are ready to answer questions or help when they are ready.
Sales trap: Assume they know how you operate.
Problem: Most people, when they start talking to you, have some idea about how you operate. We work in our business every day, so the processes and how we do things are second nature to us. We forget that it is foreign to others. Sales tip: Be explicit about how you operate, help your new client understand how the normal sales and delivery process works. Here’s more on why a sales roadmap helps your client!
Sales trap: Assume they don’t want you to call.
Problem: Sometimes picking up the phone can feel awkward. You don’t want to bug or stalk them. And when they have questions, they’ll call – Wrong!
If you want to understand what someone thinks or feels about you, your company and your product or service – you have to pick up the phone!
Sales tip: One of the very first things that I learned in sales was that it was my job to call the client. To make it less awkward, I always make sure that I have permission from the client to make the next contact, that way I know they are expecting my call. The phone is so much better than an email – here’s why! Last words: Be inquisitive, always ask questions to better understand your client, and help them buy!