If we're not careful, we can get in our own way. We make assumptions about how our prospects will react to something and can really foul things up. It happens all the time! You have to take care of those things early on in the process.
One of our clients is in manufacturing. They had a long-time customer where they'd never worked directly with the owner, always with one of his team.
Suddenly, the owner reached out to them directly. He had an order that was a lot smaller than normal, and he needed it quickly.
Our client knew the price was going to be sky high, and he suspected the owner didn't realize that was the case. He was also worried that they wouldn't be able to meet the timeframe, so he was dreading the conversation with the owner.
Sure enough, the owner sent over a purchase order with the wrong price on it, and he needed it in ten days. The normal lead time was two to three weeks.
Our client called the owner on the phone and left a voicemail. He explained the situation briefly, then hung up. He also started to work on an email, because he thought it would be a good idea to have everything in writing.
Suddenly, the phone rang, and my client's receptionist transferred the owner through.
"I got your message," he said.
Uh-oh, my client thought. "Yeah, sorry to be the bearer of bad news."
The customer replied, "That's okay. I understand, it's no big deal. Just tell me what the price is going to be."
"Well," my client said, "I don't know if we can get them to you in time."
"Listen," his customer said, "we're out right now and desperately need them. But I know it's our fault. You just tell me what the price is going to be and when you can get them here, and we'll deal with it."
The price ended up being double, but they were actually able to get them done in time. And his customer was fine with that.
Can you see the head trash the client had? Thankfully, he didn't act on the assumptions he made. Instead, he was very up front about things and shared his concerns before they became an issue.
Sandler Rule #23 is Defuse the Bomb Before it Blows Up. That's what our client did. Do you think if he'd just sent the invoice over things would have gone as well?
If you're worried about the outcome, bring it up with your prospect. What if things don't go as well as they'd like? What if you can't hit the deadline? What if the price is double?
By talking about those concerns up front, you'll avoid the possibility of major issues down the line.