One of my favourite notions is that nobody, ever, shares the exact same experience of reality.
And you wouldn’t believe the amount of pushback I sometimes get on that.
Because, the argument goes, reality is there, it’s real, and we all perceive the same reality.
And sure, I suppose we do (leaving philosophy about the nature of reality aside).
But we can’t ever share the same perception.
To illustrate: take a pen, and hold it up horizontally. Imagine there’s a person in front of you, and the pen is inbetween you and them.
For you, the point is on the left, and the end on the right. Right?
But obviously, for the other person, the opposite is true.
Now, imagine you’re side by side, looking at the same pen. Same reality?
Sure, but not the same perception. Slightly different viewing angle, different light refraction, different way sound waves bounce off it… It’s subtle, but it’s a different perception.
So what does this have to do with selling?
Simple: it’s a big mistake to assume that you know what your buyer is experiencing.
They might nod, but they might feel concern or contemplate a doubt.
They might say yes, but that might just be to win some time, while they think something through.
In the sales conversation, making assumptions is a big mistake.
Yes, you’re having the same conversation, together – but what do they make of it?
The way you think it’s going is only one side, and we must be careful not to project our views onto the other.
Because if we do, the other person will experience discord – they’ll experience that you’re not aware of their experience, and that doesn’t help the situation.
Instead, enable the other person to tell you what their experience of the situation is.
After all, every person is a world, and what they experience in their world, is their truth. It’s what’s real for them.
So ask questions. Explore. Discover. You’ll learn a lot when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes – and you’ll be far more likely to land yourself a client.