The Importance of Avoiding Assumptions in Sales

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  • 0:05 Assumptions
  • 0:28 Honesty and the Sales…
  • 1:27 False Assumptions
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over the concepts of assumptions and false assumptions and how they apply to sales. You'll learn about numerous false assumptions some sales professionals make.


An assumption is something we take for granted. But how many times in your life did your assumptions turn out to be wrong? Most likely more than a handful of times. So it's pretty self-explanatory that doing your best to avoid assumptions in sales is many times an asset as opposed to a detriment.

We're going to explore why in this lesson.

Honesty and the Sales Professional

We'll start with exploring assumptions from a customer's end and how that relates to honesty as part and parcel of a sales professional working his or her magic.

You've surely heard stories of sales pros who were gleeful about the fact that they managed to pull one over a client and score a big sale. Maybe they sold some appliances, labeled as new, which were actually about to break down. This may be a stretch of an example, but it helps illustrate an important point nonetheless.

How did those sales professionals achieve such a sale? They probably lied. Their dishonesty led to the customer's assuming that what she was in fact paying for was new. Her assumption turned out to be wrong. And her judgment of the sales professionals' character as well as the company they represent and the product they sell almost certainly dropped to rock bottom. That client won't be coming back, and she'll make sure everyone else knows about it as well.

False Assumptions

Now let's turn to the other side. Assumptions sales professionals make that can be wrong are known as false assumptions. We'll go over how false assumptions made by sales professionals can impact them or their customers.

Let's follow Sally the saleswoman around for a bit to see what false assumptions she makes and how she corrects them.

Sally's first customer of the day is a businessman who is looking for a solution to his problem. Initially, Sally falsely assumes that the businessman's problems are easy to fix. First, she could be flat out wrong and her company may have no solution for the businessman. Second, even if the problems are relatively simple to Sally's mind, they are certainly not to the businessman. The best thing Sally can do is empathize with her client and show the client in a step-wise fashion that she understands what is going on and that the product she is selling can address his concerns.

The businessman appreciates Sally taking the time to understand and provide solutions for his concerns. Sally makes another false assumption: that the customer will instantly buy her company's product instead of her competitor's because he clearly understands the difference between the two. The problem is that it's hard for customers to differentiate between similar business products from competitors. So Sally shouldn't assume that the businessman understands the fine differences between her company's product and that of a competitor's. Instead, she should clearly explain to the businessman what he's going to get and how it's different and much better than a competitor's product.

Thanks to that, the businessman can now better appreciate why Sally's product is better. However, he eventually decides not to buy the product Sally is selling. Sally makes another false assumption. She assumes that she lost a potential customer because the price was too high. In fact, the price itself is rarely a deciding factor. Instead, it's the customer's appreciation of the value he gets for the cost of the product. So next time, Sally should ensure she explains exactly how much time, money, and stress the customer will save thanks to her company's product or how much will be gained in terms of better customer service.

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