The MOST important skill for a professional sales person is the natural ability to ask questions, and the Most important character trait for a professional sales person is to be unassuming!
When you first meet a potential client, or even a returning client it is important to remind yourself that you have no idea what they want. It is important to ask questions to gain information about the client’s needs, financials, time frame, wants, and if I cans. It is also important to not assume you know more than or as much as your client in regard to their needs. Even if you may be right, the client will feel better if they are a part of the process.
If I work for a digital office supply company should I assume that every client wants a black and white, 55 page per minute copier? If I assume that in the beginning of the conversation will I subconsciously be pushing the client toward the 55ppm B&W copier throughout the entire sale? What if this is the third time I have sold to this same client?
Assumption is a rookie mistake! What if that client changed the focus of their business and they wanted to buy 3 large color machines? Would they still want to give you the business if you don’t listen to their needs? Probably not, and when you don’t get the deal you’ll blame the client not yourself. Rookie!