Do you have the curse of assumption?

In business, people often slip into the trap of thinking they know a client, thinking they know what that client wants, what their budget is, and which service would suit them best.

But what happens so often is people make assumptions about their customers that are horribly wrong.

This is what I call the ‘curse of assumption’ – thinking we know someone or something, making decisions based on that assumption, and only learning later that assumption was radically wrong!

I was consulting recently with one of my clients, a national company. The general consensus around the table was that, of all the ways to communicate effectively with their customer base, email was regarded as very low priority.

They sat around the board room and decided that email is too easily ignored, would end up in Junk folders, and are not personal enough… etc. etc. etc.

It became overwhelmingly clear that email would no longer be the go-to strategy the company would use.

But here’s what happened next...

As part of their overall business development plan, I forced them to sit with four of their very best customers and a day long interview. An entire day where those customers gave frank answers to lots of questions about how my client’s company could do better, service their needs better, assist them more.

And guess what? From each of the four customers, there was an emphatic tone that that Number 1 preferred choice of communication was EMAIL!


Try as often as possible to avoid making decision based on assumptions.

Even if everyone in the board room agrees with that assumption!

Don’t assume. Ask!

How can you help anyone unless you find out what’s important to them?

You might assume you can call your clients’ decision makers any time. But they may only want to see or speak to you on a Wednesday or Thursday morning.

You all may get excited about a new product or project and invest massive time and energy in developing it, only to find it misses your customers’ mark in several key areas.

Always consult.

Always research.

Always ask.

Remember the famous acronym – C.A.R.E. - Customers Are Really Everything

If you CARE, you’ll ask the right questions. If you don’t, you won’t.