Absence of negative isn’t the same as the presence of positive.
The fact that you aren’t negative, pessimistic, and cynical doesn’t indicate that you are positive, optimistic, and empowered. Your attitude can lie somewhere on this continuum between the two poles, even though we know that optimism is a far healthier choice.
An absence of illness is not proof of good health. Even though you may not be sick, you may not be healthy, just like not being poor isn’t proof you are wealthy. There is some state between an absence of illness and an absence of well-being where most people live.
Because your dream client is engaged with you in a sales conversation that is following your sales process and your assumptions about client journeys without expressing any real concern isn’t an indication that there are not risks to the opportunity. The absence of a threat isn’t proof a threat does not exist, nor does it prove you are succeeding in winning your dream client’s business.
A client who is not unhappy isn’t necessarily pleased and satisfied. The lack of complaints or concerns is not evidence that they are over the moon with you, your service, or your relationship. One key stakeholder being thrilled is not proof that their peers are not horribly unhappy.
When there isn’t evidence of something negative, it’s easy to mistakenly believe something is positive. The absence of one is not proof of the other, and if you want to know where things stand, the best strategy is to ask for confirmation.
Is there something negative that you can’t see because you haven’t explored or asked for confirmation, being afraid of a confirmation that something isn’t quite right? Is there something positive you aren’t tracking because you fear asking the question might change someone’s perception? In either case, you eliminate your ability to improve your circumstances unless you uncover the evidence.
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Filed under: Sales 3.0