We are all guilty of it…. Judging a book by its cover. The question is why we do it or more importantly, what are the consequences of doing it.
Let’s look at the why. Previously we’ve talked about first impressions and how important those first interactions with a customer are. In relationship building we have to make a lot of assumptions in a short amount of time. Naturally, in the absence of new information we must rely on the information available at hand. But wait, we are still in that initial five minutes of establishing relevance and we don’t have any information on which to make decisions. Therefore, our minds will use what it has to go on…. past experiences. The mind will quickly look for similarities to the current environment and make ready for recall previous interactions that are similar. Are you meeting the client in a conference room or an office? Are you both standing or sitting? Is it raining outside or sunny? All of these environmental inputs will work to help prepare you for action based on similar interactions you’ve had before. In a short matter of only seconds, all of this data is used to make a judgment on what you should say and how you should interact with the client. That is until the silence is broken and new data is presented.
So what are the potential consequences of judging incorrectly? What if you assume they are not a decision maker? Or they don’t know anything about our company? Or they don’t have any money? Ultimately there is only one answer to all of these questions… the consequence will always lead to a missed opportunity. Missed opportunities to do better and be better.
As we strive to avoid missed opportunities, let's also apply this message to how we treat one another and try to build a better One Family, One Team, with One Purpose!
- Marquis Woodard, Director of Sales, Houston