When expectations are unmet, people are upset. When people are upset, they do not buy.
If you, as a sales professional, have an expectation that is unmet by your prospect, client, colleague, or even yourself… you run the risk of being upset. When you are upset, you are not bringing your best self, your best creative thinking, your honed selling skills to the situation. You just are not.
If your prospect has an expectation that is unmet by you… the likelihood that you will win the deal just plummeted. If you have a client who has an unmet expectation, you could be in for a surprise when renewal time comes around.
There is a simple solution to mitigate this. Wait for it…
Talk about what you both expect.
It really is that simple.
- If you expect the conversation to last one hour, say, “We need an hour to discuss _____. Does that work for your schedule today?
- If you expect a decision to be made, say, “When we are done asking and answering each other’s questions, is there any reason we can’t reach a decision today?”
- If you expect to ask a lot of questions, say, “I have a lot of questions to clearly understand the situation. Is it okay if I ask them today?”
Thankfully, this stuff isn’t rocket science. If you voice your expectations and get agreement around them, there’s no room for upset because it’s all out in the open. The same is true for your prospect or client. That way, as an example, if the meeting is going to go long or at the end they can’t make a decision, you can say, “I’m confused… we agreed to… (yada, yada, yada). Did I miss something?” If you agree upfront, there is little room for upset later.
And if your expectations are opposing…when do you want to know? Now or at the end of the conversation when it is too late?
If you don’t set expectations upfront, you can really only be upset with yourself.