Often, prospects you talk with will have an expectation about what doing business with you will be like. If the reality turns out to be different, that can be a challenge.
Their expectations are formed by past experiences. And if you’re not careful, your prospects may have those expectations and you don’t even know about it!
The key is finding out if they’ve every bought what you sell.
Of course, that doesn’t mean literally what you sell at all. What you want to uncover is if they have a past experience they think is similar. If they do, they’ll be drawing comparisons whether they’re valid comparisons or not.
I have some clients that are independent insurance agents. In that world, it’s easy to ask, “Have you bought insurance before?” But to really uncover expectations, a lot more information is needed.
- Have they bought it from an independent agency?
- Have they bought it from a live person versus buying it online?
Of course, the specific information will differ from industry to industry, and even from organization to organization. But here is some good information to uncover:
- What was their past experience working with someone like you?
- Was it good?
- Was it bad?
- Did they enjoy the experience?
- Did they hate the experience?
- What did they enjoy about it?
- What did they hate about it?
If you really dig in, you can discover the comparison that prospects - and even clients - are making. And knowing those expectations can help you decide if you can fulfill them, or if it’s not worth doing business together.