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The sin of sales assumption

Does this happen to your salespeople?

Prospect says, “This looks really good.  I can’t imagine why we would not do business. There’s an excellent chance we will do business together.”  The salesperson assumes, “Closed deal!”

Prospect says, “I never expected your price to be so high!.”
The salesperson assumes, “I’ll have to discount my price otherwise I won’t close this deal.”

Prospect reveals, “We were hoping for a shorter delivery time.”
The salesperson thinks, “I’ll have to push this through as a rush order to get this sale.”

In each scenario, the salesperson’s thinking might seem to be making sense – but is it? Or is the salesperson committing the all too common sales crime of “assuming?”  Or worse, trying to read the mind of their prospect? 

In the first scenario, what does an "excellent chance" mean?  When will the prospect stop thinking about it and take action?

Was the second scenario prospect’s comment really a request for a price discount to do business? Or was it actually a tactic prospects use to test the waters to see if they can get salespeople to lower their price? 

Was the last prospect comment actually looking for a shorter delivery time a demand – or a hope?  There is no way to know without asking questions and frankly too many salespeople do more telling and assuming than asking.

When a prospect uses words or phrases that are vague and/or unclear,  stop assuming and ask for an explanation. Don’t jump to assumptions.  Ask for and get the facts.

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Gary Harvey

Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or gary.harvey@sandler.com.


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