"I Don't Have Any Expectations"
According to Aussie 'matchmaking coach' Louanne Ward these five words sabotage any hope for a successful first date. She finds that;
- these five words inadvertently drive people away in the beginning stages of dating
- there are always expectations when dating, such as their date arriving on time, looking like their photos and being who they said they are
- this 'orange flag statement' could mean your date isn't emotionally ready for a relationship and that they are 'wasting your time'
'Praps it's my stage of life. Big Tech algorithms spent an entire week bombarding me with 'insight' centred around this phrase.
As you can see, it is considered a complete no-no when dating.
What though if we hear it at the outset of a sales meeting?
Is it really an 'orange flag statement' (great term) in our sphere too?
If you nonchalantly first state your zero-expectation stance, then why are you there?
Surely you're on the lookout for something to get yer teeth into. Even if as deceptively simple as genuinely helping the other party present.
If your prospect utters this quasi new-age pressure-off mantra then, again, why they wasting their time here?
They absolutely must be along a train of thought about something in their domain. Whether it be facing imminent catastrophe or bringing the slightest of tweaks to how they go about things.
Is your reason for meeting explicit? How properly predefined is your meeting purpose? Or merely convened for the hell of it?
There's also a kind of semi-jokey quote this calls to mind;
no expectations, no disappointments.
With all manner of connotations. So varied in fact, its discussion could be an Oxbridge entry paper essay question.
I'm reminded too of the mid-10s' meme suggesting ten success pre-cursors that require no talent whatsoever.
I myself blogged adapting this to Sales back in 2016.
I noted the inevitable backlash (such as this Time piece) where despite its level of pedantry, there's a valid point. Namely, that the list comprises of learned skills. So you ought not think adopting even these traits is a breeze with instant results to flow your way.
I also applaud the additions. Whilst most are satirical, hiding deeper truths of their environment, an added eleventh of 'empathy' feels a good 'un. Especially in its Sales guise of, y'know, listening to the prospect. Truly getting on the same side of the table as your potential client is not easy, and is all too often taken for granted. Everyone says they understand the customer viewpoint. Yet lamentably so few do it's heartbreaking.
You might argue the listing's Point 10 'Be Prepared' is a catch-all for having expectations.
From my earliest days, my formally submitted agendas for sales meetings featured upfront what the output ought be.
Admittedly, in those times of nascent career learning, such line originally swayed too far towards my wants, rather than the customer. 'Sign up', whilst ballsy, isn't quite the long-term winner of a proposed meeting outcome slant for a sustainably successful salesperson.
Yet for me it is undeniable that the foundation of setting expectations at the top of our meetings, verified and jointly agreed, is fundamental in achieving genuine progress, agreement and action.