I just got back from a huge conference where EZ Photo Scan hired us to drive traffic to their booth and for me to “work their booth” to help bring in sales (bonus, this big head of curly hair does wonders for foot traffic!). As the booth became flooded with customers, I noticed other booths that weren’t getting nearly the traffic we were. So while on break, I did a little “reconnaissance mission” to find out why. 

The feedback brought back memories from my  25 plus years of training sales professionals, and I’m still hearing the same asinine sales assumptions that stop people from turning a conversation into cash.

Below are the top five… if you see yourself in at least one of these, take note and lose them!  By avoiding these 5 assumptions, you’ll convert quicker, close faster and collect a whole lot more!

Assumption 1: People need a lot of information: Sales people are by nature “talkers,” they talk so much that it becomes information overload. They like to share all the fabulous information about their product – because they think you need it all – but in doing so, end up talking themselves out of the sale. You’ve heard the saying “less is more,” well in this case, right is more – share the right information. Keep it light; keep it fun and most importantly, keep it relevant to that customer’s needs. 

Assumption 2: They’re just being nice by asking: People will ask about your product because they want to further the conversation, not because they’re just being nice (We know there’s not that many nice people in the world.). Sure, you may have that few that are asking out of kindness. However, that kind gesture could lead to a saving grace for their uncle who lives up in Minnesota who owns one of the biggest ice fishing stores in the North and you’re little “catch-and-release-cold-as-crap-but-they’ll-still-bite-fishing-lure” will be his best seller! 

Assumption 3: You assume they can’t afford it or that you’re not a right fit. Let’s take a step back here and I’ll give one solid example to debunk this entire assumption…Louis Vuitton handbag on special for only $250 for the next 24 hours. You. Will. Find. The. Cash. I don’t care if you live in a cardboard box, if you love it and want it, then you’ll find a way to get it. Help them love it and they’ll find a way to buy it!

Assumption 4: They need to think about it. Think about what, spending money?! Well shoot, if everyone really thought about that, then we’d all be living off the land and wearing the same pajamas 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cue the banjo music, Bob! Don’t let them think about it because the moment they walk away is when your chances of closing a sale drops from 90% to 10%. Because guess what, the next salesperson that they encounter doesn’t assume point #4 and they are the ones who get the sale.  Remove the option from the table, ask for the sale.

Assumption 5: That if you ask for a sale, they will be offended. They’ll be offended if you don’t ask. You have to go under the assumption that if they have a problem that you can solve, how dare you NOT  ask them to let you help them. 

This is the biggest asummptions that sales people need to overcome… 

I am not offending them if I know deep down that this a good thing for them – that I don’t want them to suffer any longer. I don’t want that business owner to not make money off of something they’ve dream of for years. I don’t want that individual to feel stuck in a career to not make a change because they just don’t know how. I don’t want nonprofits, who are passionately trying to serve, make costly mistakes by thinking small. It pains me to see an organization invest in tens of thousands of dollars at a conference to not net huge results because they didn’t have time to leverage and maximize every conversation and interaction before, during and after the event.

This is what I’m most serious about – these assumptions will kill a sale, kill a business and ultimately, kill a dream. 

At the end of the day just stop assuming, period. They’re not true and it’s all in your head. Now get out there and go close a sale! If you are still hesitant, give me a call and I’ll coach you through it. 


Coach Jenn Lee is a small biz strategist, marketing consultant and rockin’ high energy motivational speaker, and the founder of The Work Creative. Obsessed with small business owners and corporations who “get it” Jenn leverages her 25 years corporate sales and marketing experience to speak to small business owners, sales teams and companies across the nation. Her spot-on advice has made her a regular contributor on Orlando’s FOX News, and FOX Business Network, and is often featured in entrepreneurial podcasts and quoted in national magazines .  Follow along at @coachjennlee