In Sales, Assumptions are Worthless
Back in my early days in sales, I thought I had a pretty good handle on who would be a good client and who wouldn't. In fact, I felt pretty darn good about my ability to judge who would make a high potential prospect and who I shouldn't waste my time on.
In retrospect, I had a lot to learn.
I'd spend months sending message after call after message to a Vice President at a major food company, who I was introduced to through a mutual friend. He would send me pleasant messages indicating some management change, some environmental delay, some business issue at hand, that meant now was not the right time to speak. Suggesting we should connect after another month or two. I would do so, and the cycle would repeat itself.
At the same time, there was another senior VP at a different company who I knew from my prior career, who I wouldn't call on because I felt he wouldn't be interested. Why? Well, I reasoned, he and I didn't really know each other. We'd pass each other in the halls at my old company, maybe say hello but not really engage. I thought if I'd call him, he wouldn't be interested in taking the call, or take the time to learn about what I sold. I expected him to be closed to the discussion.
On both counts, I assumed.
Of course, ultimately, I realized that there was no opportunity with the first VP. And the second one? When I finally made the call, he turned out to be one of my biggest clients.
Fact is, when it comes to sales, assumptions are a dangerous proposition. And, in my experience, usually wrong.
In sales, you need to let the facts, the data, the actual experience drive your decision making, your actions, your beliefs. So long as you believe in your product, your service and that you have something to offer, make that call. Reach out to that prospect. Dare to have that conversation.
Assumptions, or preconceived notions, do nothing but hold you back from your ultimate goal and often for no good reason. You're playing the odds for no reason.
Don't waste time, effort and, frankly, potential revenues on assumptions that almost always have no basis in reality.