Everyone is steered by expectations. Sometimes they may not even be able to verbalize those expectations. And other times, they may actually result in you thinking the wrong thing is important to your prospect.
Think about when you first talk to a prospect on the phone about meeting together. Hopefully you ask what they expect to get out of a meeting together. If they don't know for sure, or aren't specific enough, you might ask something like, "If there's one thing you really want to get out of this meeting, what would it be?"
Sometimes you may have to ask multiple questions to uncover that! But there's always some sort of expectation in there, even if it's buried somewhere deep inside their subconscious. It's your job to draw it out.
However, other times, your prospect may share an expectation that seems important, but it's not really.
"Do you guys provide this service?"
"That's a really interesting question. I'm guessing you're asking that because you're hoping for a certain answer. Can you help me out with that?"
"Well, I really want a company that provides that service?"
"Why is that important to you?"
And then the answer comes that I've heard time and time again, both from my own prospects, and from the prospects of my clients.
"Well, when I visited your competitor, they said they provide that service, and it was really what was important."
Now you know! It's possible that's not important to them at all. But then again, it could be.
You should then respond with something like, "I'm curious. Is that important to you? Or did the competitor just tell you it was important?"
And then you're having an entirely different conversation. Of course, tonality plays a huge part in being able to ask those questions, as does bonding and rapport. But when you work toward uncovering what's really going on, you may discover what they say is important really isn't important to them at all.