ASSUMING is perhaps the single biggest shortcoming of the human race, and definitely the biggest on a sales call. It holds the #1 position not just because it stands on its own as a profound truth in life and business, but also because it touches on all other rules in our Enterprise Sales Top TEN list.
In the absence of critical thinking, a lot of what should be questioned isn’t.
At some level, assuming is necessary. If we questioned everyday routine, it would drive us and those around us mad. In a sales setting, however, we need to bury our assumptions. If we’re going to assume anything we should assume the call will be a failure, and then detail our concerns and have a plan for overcoming them.
Regardless of your level of expertise, never assume something is important unless the prospect says it’s important. Think like a child with an ‘uneducated’ mind. Forget what you know. Approach every sales opportunity with the attitude of learning something new. You will.
Consider the psychologist who is trained to see every patient as a blank canvass. They let the patient describe their world and, through questions, often get patients to find their own answers. They know that an answer reached by the patient is better than one given them. The same principle holds in business. Salespeople need to act like psychologists by identifying problems, discussing their impact, and leading the client to the right solution….. which, of course, is the one you’re selling!