Saturday, January 24, 2009

Making Assumptions in Sales is a Big Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in sales is making assumptions about prospective customers before doing any sort of investigating. That being said, I don't want anyone to get this confused with qualifying prospects. Qualifying is extremely important in attaining sales success, but qualifying doesn't involve making assumptions. Qualifying is a process in which a prospect is thoroughly examined through questioning and other relevant fact-based analysis.

In your sales career, you might have pulled up to a facility that seemed sub par and decided there was no way that any buying potential existed for your products or services. You might have met with a gentleman that you just couldn't see as being successful, therefore you left them in the dust and never took action. While your judgement might be right, I would argue you need to make sure to investigate these opportunities thoroughly before pulling out of the fight.

There have been numerous times in my own sales career that I have missed opportunities by making false assumptions. As I grew in my selling career, I started dismissing my own initial gut feelings about prospective customers and began a qualifying process of them to make sure I was right. While my own "gut" check was usually on the mark, I occasionally would find a "gem" in the group.

If you are making assumptions in your sales interactions, I would urge you to discontinue this activity immediately. Every opportunity is worth investigating, even if your own initial feelings point you toward dismissing them. I can guarantee you that if you qualify every prospect that comes your way, you will occasionally find a great opportunity that you didn't see initially.


Avril Shelton said...

Great post Will...This is as true in sales as it is in life...

From the Author: Will Fultz said...

Thanks for your comments, Avril.

Will Fultz