Sales Coach Christine Harrington

Assumptions are Bad for YOUR Business. Are You Making This Mistake?

How many times have you walked into a sales appointment full of assumptions?

As you glance around the prospect’s office, you notice a few things and more assumptions are made.

As you piece together a few facts, you begin to construct an image of the person sitting in front of you. You begin to believe you know the prospect in a certain way…your way…from your perceived observations, a few facts you gathered in your pre-call prep, and now glancing around the prospect’s office.

The truth is, you don’t really know the prospect at all, but you pretend you do.

This happens every day outside the office as well. Assumption gathering to assign judgment.

In Gerhard Gschwandtner’s Peak Performance Mindset workbook, (which I teach) there’s an exercise that addresses this.

It’s called “Align Confidence with Judgment”.

Success is the result of balancing confidence with judgment. When people get overconfident, their judgment decreases. Overconfidence can quickly turn to hubris-a cognitive distortion-that can often lead to disastrous consequences.

My dear daddy called this..”Don’t get too big for your britches!”

Assumptions are bad for your business.

Here’s a question to ask yourself to keep assumptions in check.

Do I know this to be true?

This is a question, I tell my coaching clients to ask whenever they go down the assumption road. What may seem blatantly obvious from your viewpoint, can be just the opposite of the person you just passed judgment on.

Here are a few examples I’ve heard from my coaching clients:

  • The prospect isn’t interested because he never called me back.
  • It’s Monday morning. The prospect didn’t take my call because he’s probably too busy. 
  • No-one buys in December

Apply the question to each of these examples.

  • Do you really know that the prospect is not interested just because you didn’t receive a callback? NO
  • Do you really know that the prospect didn’t take your call because it’s Monday morning and he’s too busy? NO
  • Do you really know that NO-ONE buys in December? NO (December was my highest sales month in 2016 & 2017)

Drop the arrogance and start finding out the real facts before you begin down the assumption road.

Work towards having a Peak Performance Mindset and as we call it the mindset world, no limit thinking.

When you make assumptions then pass judgment based on your limited viewpoint, you stay small and ineffective.

Dr. Marcia Sirota:

Here’s what Dr. Marcia Sirota said in her article “The Problem with Making Assumptions”

Instead of basing our understanding of people and events on what we observe and what we know for a fact, we often prefer to make judgments based on our emotions, beliefs, expectations and wishes.

We too easily confuse these psychological mechanisms with reality, and the assumptions that spring from them become the basis of our own version of “reality,” even though it’s not actually real.

We don’t recognize just how much our inner world is coloring the way we see and understand our outer world, and how it distorts things for us. When making assumptions becomes a habit, we are less and less grounded in reality and more and more prone to creating problems for ourselves and others.

She goes on to say…ask this question,  “How do I know this?”  Her question is very similar to mine, “Do I know this to be true.” Use either question to help flush out assumptions.

Here’s How to Grow No Limit Thinking

  1. Go to your sales appointment full of curiosity. Check your beliefs, judgments, and expectations at the door. 
  2. Consciously set aside any bias and preconceived notions. Every time you notice an assumption, ask yourself, “Do I know this to be true?” Then ask a clarifying question to the prospect.
  3. Be aware where your thoughts take you. If you automatically jump to conclusions without getting ALL the facts, then you’re ruled by your emotions and this is bad for your business.

Another saying my dear dad said…”there are two sides to every coin.” And there is. 


This week, I’d like to challenge you to challenge your own thoughts and assumptions. See where you pass judgment without having all the facts. Listen to your thoughts as you engage in sales conversations this week. See how often you make assumptions and pass judgments.

Ask yourself this question…”Do I know this to be true?”



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