There are two basic reasons in our business (and probably personal) lives that we don't ask others what's on their minds. First and foremost is that we likely don't want to hear the answer. We'd prefer to fantasize that the worst case scenario we fear, won't come to pass if we just stay passive/ignorant and don't push the issue.
The second reason is that we think, even though there's no evidence to support it, that we know what's on the other person's mind. In this case presuming to know that, we can strategize how best to make it work out our way. (Heck, you are way ahead of the game if you really know what's on your mind, much less mine--or a prospect's).
How's this for an idea? The next time you are unclear about the client's needs, reaction to your proposal, alternatives, view of the quality or pricing of your proposed service or product...ASK HIM!
The downside is that he might tell you the truth. Then you'd be in a position to write up the order, thank him for his time and consideration with no order and move on to the next client, address his concerns by explaining your proposal further, adjusting your proposal to better meet his needs in a way that's still acceptable to you...Or you could continue addressing whatever your fantasies are about his state of mind and likely as not, blow the opportunity. What's the downside to asking again?
Great sellers ask for as well as tell the truth!
(Happy to answer your questions)
Bob Sherman has 40 years experience managing relationships between media companies and advertisers in old and new media from radio, cable and TV to the Internet, and from sales executive to chief executive and from the biggest media corporations to his own entrepreneurial companies. He is currently in partnership with Pilot Group, LLC. Bob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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