Unconsciously Incompetent: Identifying An Ideal Client

unconsciously incompetent

Have you ever had a day when you felt like banging your head on your desk if another client asked you this dreaded question, “Why do you need to know that?”

How many times have you needed information from your client to deliver on their expectations and they acted put out by your request? Does this response frustrate you? It's easy to let this get under your skin when it happens time and time again.

Last week at a corporate training gig, a participant in the room voiced her frustration on how unresponsive clients are when she needs something from them in order to answer their questions, deliver a proposal, etc. Her comments opened up a great dialogue between all the salespeople in the room. There was a lot of discussion about how much time is spent explaining to clients why they need to provide information and answer questions before proposals can be sent.

Unconsciously Incompetent Continued…

One comment made was, “Should we have to dumb it down for clients?”  Keep in mind; this was a safe place and any comment or feelings mentioned were respected.  We all need a safe place to blow off some steam from time to time.

As I listened to the back and forth dialogue of the salespeople it struck me that sometimes we tend to overlook a valid and important point: Your clients don't know what they don't know. It may seem like common sense to you as to why you need certain information to answer questions, send proposals, etc. Keep in mind; you've probably been doing what you do for years. You're an expert at what you do.

Yet, chances are this is all new to your client and expecting them to use “common sense” is a wasted effort because to them, it's not common. And, to be honest, if it was “common sense” to them, what the heck would they need you for?

Your Savvy Sales Tip this week: Unconsciously Incompetent

Appreciate and educate your clients on what they don't know yet. When you approach prospects/clients from a place of offering them grace for what they don't know yet, you'll find you're more patient which in turn allows for more rapport-building opportunities.

When you look at the four levels of competence, most clients will want to hire you when they are in the place of being consciously incompetent. To earn their business, you most often start working with them when they are unconsciously incompetent.


unconsciously incompetent


Instead of allowing yourself to become frustrated, reframe it for yourself and get curious, helpful, and excited about the possibility of getting to work with an ideal client.

Some of my best clients are the people who tell me they already know all there is to know about sales. When I'm able to teach them something new or open their eyes to something they're doing now that may be costing them business, they become raving fans of my work.

I'll bet the same can be true for your work as well.

Wishing you continued success this week.

Agree? Disagree? Have additional comments or thoughts on this article? Please share.

Share This Post