Sales is about connecting with the customer.

Problem is too many of us in sales make the connection with the customer by way of assumption — or, I should say, our personal assumption.

Recently, I was talking with a person who I consider extremely knowledgeable and a very capable business person/salesperson.

Each time I’m with the person, the insights we share are powerful and stimulating for both of us.

During one conversation, I shared a couple of ideas regarding a  key issue he had asked me about.   I left the conversation thinking the ideas I shared were very clear and he would be able to benefit from them immediately.

A few days passed and I followed up with him regarding the ideas I had shared, as I was eager to gain his insight as to how he was using them.  What followed was an eye-opening lesson for me.

He shared how he learned several things, but they were completely different than what I had anticipated.  The reason is he took my initial comments and interpreted them completely different than I meant them to be.

In my mind, I was shocked at how he could have reached the conclusion he did, but then it hit me.

I merely made an assumption he would understand clearly what I was saying.  I based that on the premise of him being very smart and business savvy.

For me this was another one of life’s “ah-ha” moments where conventional thinking gets blasted out of the water.  I thought it wasn’t necessary to ask him questions so I could measure his understanding.  I believed this wasn’t necessary because of my perception of him.

Lesson I learned is that making assumptions is fatal.  It can get us off-track too easily.  Rule for me is to ask more questions!

Gee, it sounds simple, but oh how we forget too easily based on the circumstances we may find ourselves in.

What assumptions have you made that have impacted the outcome?

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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