When someone goes to a ballroom dance studio and asks about lessons, we assume they need to learn to dance. That could be, but it’s not a given. How will you find out what they’re actually looking for? Don’t fall into the trap of selling all the benefits of dancing when they only have one thing in mind. And, if you want to know what that is, stop making assumptions and start asking questions.
Assumptions are thoughts you believe to be true. Let’s get back to the potential new student at the dance studio. The assumption is he or she wants to learn to dance. However, they just might be looking for something else. For example, they might want to impress a particular person, get in better physical shape, or improve their posture. Ask questions and you’ll get the information you need.
Don’t forget to listen to their answers. If you don’t pay attention, you could make a mistake. Like emphasizing the fact that they’ll make new friends at the studio. Maybe they already have plenty of friends. Do you mean to imply that they are friendless? Of course not! Don’t assume you know what they want. The only way to serve family, friends, or customers is to ask clarifying questions. And, keep asking questions until you find out what they really want and need.
Why should you stop making assumptions?
Get a load of this!
Yesterday one of my daughters went into a fancy beauty store to purchase a gift for her sister. She was looking for a particular body scrub when a salesperson came over to her. Seeing that she was having a hard time finding what she was looking for, the salesperson offered to help.
Now, here’s the good part. Rather than asking a question, she made an assumption. She looked at my daughter’s gray roots, figured she must be pretty old with all that gray hair, and said, “Are you looking for an eye cream?”
Well, that didn’t go over too well. I can’t understand why a so-called professional would say that. All she had to do is ask the question, “What can I help you find?” Obviously, nothing, as she left the store empty-handed.
To wrap it up, those are a few reasons to stop making assumptions and make it your habit to ask questions instead. It shows you’re interested and want to know how you can help. Be curious about others. Don’t be the person who asks a woman when the baby is due, only to find out she’s not pregnant…just fat. Man, that was a bad assumption!