Assumptions Kill Sales… And Entire Businesses Too

Man In A Medical Mask Of Money, The Concept Of Earnings On An Epidemic, Pandemic, Deficiency

“Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble.”

~ Lemony Snicket

What Dangerous Assumptions are You Making?

You probably know that not everyone shares your way of looking at situations and events, but have you ever thought just how often your assumptions lead you completely off-track?

Assumptions are risky in every aspect of our lives especially in the context of sales and business.

In my book, Confident Closing: Sales secrets that grew a business by 400% in six months and how they can work for you! I tell the story of a friend who came to visit me from Portugal and how my assumptions about what she would love to do nearly ruined her holiday before we addressed them.

In sales and business people often make some of the following deadly assumptions:

  • What the client actually wants;
  • How much the other person is willing to invest;
  • Whether they have already done substantial research and how much they know about the subject/issue;

Each of these cover a broad sweep of items that have implications for your sales process and more.

How Assumptions Affect Your Outcomes

Recently I was talking with a woman who was offering a program which was very appealing. I had followed a very effective process and jumped through all the pre-qualification hoops, so I was fairly well informed about her product and had just 3 specific questions I wanted answered directly before I said ‘yes’ to the offer.

I anticipated that we would discuss these during the sales call as promised and was rather shocked when we spend most of the call going over the information that I had previously absorbed and she didn’t start asking any questions that didn’t relate to whether I understood her proposition until the time was almost gone. In the end, I bought the program, not because the sales process was so effective… It definitely wasn’t… But because I already trusted this woman and knew the value she offered.

In this case, her assumption that I hadn’t properly understood the proposal or followed the pre-qualification process felt dismissive. Her inability to manage the time we had meant that she didn’t have time to answer my objections, and she (rightly, in my case) assumed that I respected and trusted her enough to make the commitment on the basis of what I had heard already. She took an awful lot for granted… And in a tight economy filled with uncertainty one thing is certain: you cannot afford to take the interest and trust of customers and prospects for granted.

Listen Carefully, So You Can Clarify Your Own Assumptions

I see sales people and business owners all the time who are so concerned that they won’t say the right thing, that they miss all the cues.

They assume that people aren’t biting on the bait they’re putting out there because they’re not getting the words right.  In a lot of cases they’re so caught up on what they’re going to say next or what they’re going to do next that they don’t actually hear the buying signs from the clients… And they definitely don’t hear the real questions that are being asked.

Most people actually tell you what they need if you’re listening carefully enough.  Sometimes I do role-plays with my clients where I actually get them to sell to me and it’s really interesting watching them make assumptions about what my needs should be rather than spending time asking probing questions and discovering what I really am concerned about.

No matter how well prepared you are with material that will interest your client in what you, the best thing you can do when you go into a sales meeting is to ask some questions and then shut up and listen to their answers. Then you listen some more – and if you open your mouth at all, it’s to ask questions about the things they are saying.

If you follow that advice, you will learn what you need to know to close the sale.  You would really be astounded to learn how many sales are lost just because we make assumptions about what the other person is looking for.

One of the most powerful tools of NLP is learning to ask questions and read the other person – not to manipulate them, but to hear what their problems and concerns really are.  The techniques I learned have closed more sales, and resolved more communication issues than I can count and this is especially important in a fragile economy where your prospects are bombarded with opportunities to spend.

What Are You Going to Do About It?

The Confident Closing Virtual Sales Masterclass will help you ask better questions, listen more effectively, and prepare you to develop a tight sales process that sees and seizes opportunities as they arise even in a tight economy.

Click the button below to learn more. You can attend live free of charge or purchase lifetime access along with some amazing bonuses:

Confident Closing Virtual Sales Masterclass

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