We are all familiar with the saying, “perception is reality.” For sales professionals, it would be more accurate to say, “perception drives your sales reality.” In Dimensions of Professional Selling, we address the importance of our own perception as a precursor to being able to effectively understand and solve the customer’s problem, or “GAP.”
You may recall that “Odds Are” 2 to 1 that sales professionals will experience a customer’s message in terms of how that message will affect them. This inwardly focused orientation reflects selective perception. The sales professional who is immersed in selective perception will have difficulty gaining an accurate understanding of the customer’s problem, and therefore limit his/her ability to create impactful insights or solutions.
By contrast, objective perception is seeing and hearing events/information in terms of how it affects the customer, as well as how it affects us. Objective perception is a critical, foundational skill because it prepares us for more effective listening during the all-important Exploratory Process, facilitating a greater degree of perceptual accuracy. Superior understanding of the customer’s GAP presents a far greater opportunity to develop and present insights that respond to, or better yet, exceed the customer’s needs and expectations.