If You Don’t Know the Answer, Don’t Guess

No one likes to be caught flat-footed, or to lose a sale because they don’t have an answer. The temptation to guess, fudge, or pull an answer out of your hat always backfires. I mean always. The customer may not know you’re clueless then (although most will). It may take them a week, a month or a year or more, but eventually they’ll find out the real answer to their question and immediately your wrong answer is going to be the only thing they remember from your pitch.

Then they’re going to wonder what else you got wrong.

Pretty soon they’ve convinced themselves you’re sleazy, not to be trusted and certainly not anyone they want to buy product or services from. The best answer when you don’t know something is, “I don’t know. I’ll check on that with someone that does know and get back to you within 24 hours though.” Say it matter-of-factly, with confidence and cheerfully. No one expects you to know all the answers. You should know most of them, however, when you don’t? Just be honest. You’ll be more trusted, appreciated and respected even if you lose the sale. And the next time the customer is ready to buy, they’ll remember that as well.


“A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.” ~ Edgar J. Mohn

image compliments of art crimes

2 thoughts on “If You Don’t Know the Answer, Don’t Guess”

  1. This quote here is very true! Don’t pretend that you know everything, but the truth is you are not.
    Just keep your mouth close and listen, better than answering with no thoughts at all.

    1. Salespeople want to have all the answers because they think not having them will delay the sale. Often the opposite is true. By taking the time to get answers and provide extra value we are cementing the relationship and making our services more valuable in the eyes of the customer. Thanks for being here!

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