Sales that are easily won are often just as easily lost.

Buyers who don’t put prospective vendors through the hoops are often disappointed later. The reason: They’ve never had an honest conversation with the vendor about their expectations. And even the best vendors will have trouble meeting buyers’ expectations if they don’t know what those expectations are.

Sometimes “easy” customers don’t really know what they expect. Or they’re carrying around a set of unrealistic expectations, but haven’t let you in on the secret.

So you close the sale and go off thinking everything’s fine. And the buyer does too. Until the day she looks around and says, “Whoa, this is not what I was expecting at all.”

Guess who the buyer blames for her disappointment? You.

Guess who deserves the blame? You.

Bottom line: It’s your job to understand the buyer’s expectations — even when the buyer doesn’t understand them herself.

The next time you’re faced with an “easy” sale, make your buyer work a little harder. Insist that he define his expectations clearly. And if it turns out those expectations are unrealistic, keep working until your mutual expectations are understood, agreed upon and perfectly aligned.

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