Carry this statement throughout your selling career: "Prejudging is not prequalifying." Most salespeople try to determine the customer’s ability and willingness to own by prejudging. Prejudging usually occurs during the initial moments of the meeting. The salesperson may judge the customer by his appearance, car or job.
One day, during a sales meeting, Steve, a top producer, substantiated this tendency of sales people. His father, a successful surgeon, never reveals his profession when shopping for high-ticket merchandise such as luxury automobiles and real estate investments. He also intentionally dresses down and drives in his older car to appear less than qualified. Steve’s father has been able to shop unattended and almost inconspicuously. If he drove his Jaguar and dressed in his professional attire, he most likely, would have received a lot of attention.
It is human nature that makes our first impressions our lasting impressions, but you must resist human nature and not judge people on the surface. Ability and willingness to own are not determined by outward appearances. (Regarding our nature to prejudge during the first few moments of the initial contact, remember, the prospect will also prejudge you. So it is important that you portray a professional image of yourself, product, and company.)
Lets say a salesperson hasn’t prejudged by appearance and disqualified a qualified prospect. The second time prejudging may occur is somewhere during the presentation when a salesperson decided the prospect does not want to own because she asks to many questions or voices concerns or objections. The salesperson loses heart.
Remember, a sale is a transfer of emotion, and the moment you decide the prospect will not own is when your energy and enthusiasm dissipates and you deliver a poor presentation.