One of my clients who is a trainer received a couple of referrals a while back. When he got in touch with one of them, she was immediately ready to get started training her staff, which is not typical in his world.
He called to follow-up on the referral and she asked when she could come out to train her staff. Typically, he meets with the decision-maker for fifteen minutes or so to decide if his training is a good fit, and then he schedules enrollment.
But in this phone call, she was ready to begin training immediately. So he asked what time worked for her, and they decided he would come out in the next week to meet the employees.
They skipped the entire decision-maker step! He received dedicated time to train the employees, a payroll deduction slot—everything he needed on his end, before he even started.
But he didn't know what their pain was! Without know that, it could either be really successful or really challenging.
A really good approach in situations like that is to pause and ask a few questions. It's a good time to say, "Whoa, I'm curious—we're skipping a few steps that are kind of normal here. Are you okay with that?"
Obviously, when you're approached with something that seems to good to be true, you'll need to ask that question in a way that makes sense for the situation. But you can't know what's going on in your prospect's world or what's causing unusual speed unless you ask.
It's very easy to get happy ears—excited about something that's not a sure thing— if a situation seems too good to be true, or is moving too easily toward your goal. It may be that this prospect was just an excellent fit for my client, but I think he would have been more confident going into the training if he knew more about the reasons behind his prospect's speed.
You probably won't know the decision-making structure or process for every prospect you contact. But if things seem too good to be true, asking a few questions can get everyone on the same page so you can move forward confidently.