Assumptions In Sales: Is Your Bias Costing You Clients?

assumptions in sales

Assumptions in Sales: Have you ever been in a situation where someone says to you, “I have something to tell you, and you’re not going to like it?”

Do you instantly go on the defensive or maybe brace yourself for bad news.

In certain situations, the person might be right in their assumptions about whether or not you’re going to like what they have to say. In other situations and a more common scenario is, the person deciding how you’re going to respond based it on their own personal feelings and how they would respond if they were in your shoes.

The mistake when this happens is assuming you can read some else's mind. Too often people project their own (limiting) beliefs onto other people.

Assumptions In Sales Continued…

In the selling process, these “mind reading” assumptions show up in the way we answer our client's questions.

For instance, the other day I went into a store to inquire about a product needed for a project I'm working on for my VIP clients. When I asked the salesperson about the cost of a particular product, her response was, “It's really expensive.” My initial thought was to start brainstorming ways to revise my project. I then decided to ask a follow-up question, which was, “How much is really expensive?” Her response was, “$2.85 per piece.”

Of course, she had no idea what I'd be using the product for. And frankly, a $2.85 item for a VIP client is not going to discourage me from moving forward with the project.

Maybe in her mind, this particular item does not seem worth $2.85. Yet, telling a customer it's too expensive is a terrible way to sell. For one, it may cause the customer to look elsewhere. It could also break down trust in the relationship when the customer disagrees with your assessment of what “too expensive” means.

Your Savvy Selling Tip this week: Assumptions In Sales

When a client asks for pricing, answer the question with a straightforward answer. So, avoid adding your own beliefs about the value of the product in your answer. Let the client decide for themselves.

In a Storytelling In Business training, I taught recently, a participant in the room voiced her concerns about the pricing her company was charging for a particular service. When I asked a few questions, it became apparent that the service was something she would never personally pay for. Therefore, she could not get her head around why anyone else would pay for the service. And, because of her beliefs, she didn't think it was possible to sell the service. This particular company has been in business for years and has hundreds of clients that have already paid for the service, so there's already evidence that people do find value in what's being offered.

Assumptions In Sales Continued…

It's short-sighted and potentially damaging to your business when you approach sales as only being able to sell something for which you'd personally pay. It's like saying since I don't like goat cheese, I could never sell it even if I worked in a cheese shop and people were coming in to buy it. When someone asked to purchase goat cheese, I would never say, “I hate the smell of it; therefore, I couldn't possibly allow you to purchase it at this price.”

Take a moment and think about how you're answering the pricing questions. Are you offering flippant responses, like, “It's going to cost you” or “It's not something I'd recommend,” or “It's expensive,” These responses may very well be costing you business and breaking rapport with your clients.

Wishing you continued success this week.

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

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