Home > Approach > Another Reason not to Pre-Judge a Customer

Another Reason not to Pre-Judge a Customer

**Note this is about prejudging customer before you approach them, not about qualifying them during interview**

Was sitting at my desk finishing up some paperwork when I noticed a Blind man in the show room with his seeing-eye dog. All the sales people ignored him, and I thought he was lost so I went up to ask him if he needed any help. He said yes, and informed me that he was looking at buying a truck. No joke seriously. I thought he was messing with me, but played along, and asked him what type of truck he wanted. He informed me he wanted a Black Silverado LTZ with Navigation and the works. Again I was skeptical, but asked him, who the vehicle was for and he told me himself. I told him didn't mean to be rude but, he was blind and how could he drive? His son has a hardship license and chauffers him around. No joke, this guy turned around and bought a $43,000 dollar truck, and was one of easiest deals I had worked. Front end gross of about 4k and I made a lil bit over $1000 on it. - by jrboyd
Great story.

Why can't we get it through out heads that we shouldn't pre-judge?

When I was a sales manager, I once had an employee who boasted, "I can tell if somebody is going to buy from me." I told her, "Wow, that's a great talent and a valuable one. The only thing is, I've never seen any salesperson who could do that." She said, "well I can."

She had worked for two of our competitors before she came to work for us, and after her tenure with us, she went to work for another and then another. It seems her ability to figure out who was going to buy from her wasn't a talent after all, but a limitation that needed to be removed.

Some of my most remarkable sales have been made to customers who were least likely (at least, on the surface) to buy. I'm sure that's true for many top-performing sales reps. - by Skip Anderson
Just review in your mind the scenes from the movie "Pretty Woman". Many times those that give you the best 'impression' of having financial resources are the most interested but can afford nothing.

Works both ways. The old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover" is never more true than today. - by Paulette Halpern
I am always being asked if it is ok to prejudge. I say go ahead and prejudge but by all means throw the prejudgment out the door as you are wrong 99.9% of the time. - by rich34232
Sometimes I need to pinch myself and remember the fact that one of my biggest closes started with a "NO" from the very beginning. - by Polysquared
Great story.

Why can't we get it through out heads that we shouldn't pre-judge?

When I was a sales manager, I once had an employee who boasted, "I can tell if somebody is going to buy from me." I told her, "Wow, that's a great talent and a valuable one. The only thing is, I've never seen any salesperson who could do that." She said, "well I can."

She had worked for two of our competitors before she came to work for us, and after her tenure with us, she went to work for another and then another. It seems her ability to figure out who was going to buy from her wasn't a talent after all, but a limitation that needed to be removed.

Some of my most remarkable sales have been made to customers who were least likely (at least, on the surface) to buy. I'm sure that's true for many top-performing sales reps.
Very interesting yet real story because I think we all can relate to someone in our life who has this behaviour.

In my time I've pre-judged people but I've also had the awareness that this is not a useful state and really limit my potential prospects.

In the end others will captalise on the people you've written off. - by MrCharisma
Well I can judge people almost as if I have a polygraph strapped to my head. Show me a picture of someone even... I'm like 60% to 70%... But you know what you have to consider? It don't matter how well you can judge a client... it matters how well he judges you...

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
**Note this is about prejudging customer before you approach them, not about qualifying them during interview**

Was sitting at my desk finishing up some paperwork when I noticed a Blind man in the show room with his seeing-eye dog. All the sales people ignored him, and I thought he was lost so I went up to ask him if he needed any help. He said yes, and informed me that he was looking at buying a truck. No joke seriously. I thought he was messing with me, but played along, and asked him what type of truck he wanted. He informed me he wanted a Black Silverado LTZ with Navigation and the works. Again I was skeptical, but asked him, who the vehicle was for and he told me himself. I told him didn't mean to be rude but, he was blind and how could he drive? His son has a hardship license and chauffers him around. No joke, this guy turned around and bought a $43,000 dollar truck, and was one of easiest deals I had worked. Front end gross of about 4k and I made a lil bit over $1000 on it.

Thanks for sharing your story... I've heard many similar stories about car sales and it's amazing that this day and age it still happens. I mean doesn't your sales manager give the "new" guys training so as not to do stuff like that? This is one of the oldest mistakes in the book (especially car sales) and I'm shocked that people still make this one. It is very easy to avoid. Just do what you did. May I help you?

shds; - by Andrea
Great story.

Why can't we get it through out heads that we shouldn't pre-judge?

When I was a sales manager, I once had an employee who boasted, "I can tell if somebody is going to buy from me." I told her, "Wow, that's a great talent and a valuable one. The only thing is, I've never seen any salesperson who could do that." She said, "well I can."

She had worked for two of our competitors before she came to work for us, and after her tenure with us, she went to work for another and then another. It seems her ability to figure out who was going to buy from her wasn't a talent after all, but a limitation that needed to be removed.

Some of my most remarkable sales have been made to customers who were least likely (at least, on the surface) to buy. I'm sure that's true for many top-performing sales reps.

Did you or anyone do her the favor of making her aware of her limitation (before letting her go)? If not... why wouldn't you? - by Andrea
A perfect example of the Stephen Covey "paradigm shift" - a change in perception and interpretation of how the world works. thmbp2; - by KTB_trainer
Hello Jrboyd,
This is my first post, and I am glad it is....for this is the one mistake I see a majority of other sales professionals make! To me, the unpredictability of the sales experience drives me to want to bring that situation closer to my ideal of the optimum outcome. A negative "prejudgement" in my eyes is just a sign of the salesperson's insecurity trying to discount the possibility of trying and.....*gasps* failing! It is the age-old story of the "glass is half-empty", or "the individual going to the river with only a cup"....and not a bucket, I......would bring a tub!
I have found that our own insecurities shape our image in the eyes of our potential clients (and our peers), for we live in the kind of society that thrives on the negative. It has always been my goal to ask myself "I wonder if this client is right for my product/service", instead of asking "why would this client not be right for what I'm offering?".

Sales to me is more like education than anything....and in the end, who is worthy vs. not worthy of being properly educated about your expertise?

Much thanks for your inquisitive post,
-David - by DRIVEN82
Weekly Updates!
Questions and Answers about Selling
Subscribe to our mailing list to get threads and posts sent to your email address weekly - Free of Charge.