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As a sales manager or business owner, you’re always looking for ways to improve your team’s performance and increase sales. However, one often-overlooked factor that can significantly impact your sales success is cognitive bias, specifically the false consensus bias.

What is the False Consensus Bias?

The false consensus bias is a cognitive bias that leads people to overestimate the extent to which others share their beliefs, opinions, and behaviors. In other words, we tend to assume that our personal qualities, characteristics, and actions are more common throughout the population than they actually are.

How the False Consensus Bias Affects Sales

Salespeople, like all humans, are susceptible to cognitive biases. When it comes to the false consensus bias, salespeople may assume that the objections and stalls they hear from customers are reasonable because they personally hold similar beliefs and act or behave in the same way. This can lead to several false beliefs:

  1. Every customer values price above all else
  2. Focusing too much time on justifying price while ignoring other benefits
  3. Ignoring customers who are willing to pay more for premium features and excellent service
  4. Assuming every objection is really a price objection
  5. Believing everyone knows your product or service is the best, so no explanation is needed

Mitigating the Impact of the False Consensus Bias

Once you’ve identified the false consensus bias as a potential blind spot, you can take steps to mitigate its impact on your sales team:

  1. Conduct a self-awareness check: Are you projecting your beliefs and buying behaviors onto others?
  2. Challenge your assumptions: Is what you’re thinking based on facts or assumptions?
  3. Actively listen to the customer: Ask questions and clarify what they mean.
  4. Be open to feedback: It’s hard to listen to something you don’t agree with, but it’s essential for growth.
  5. Invest in customer-centric sales training: Focus on the customer’s journey, not what you think their journey is.

The Importance of Mindset in Sales Success

While having a strong skill set is undoubtedly important in sales, it is equally critical to recognize the impact of your mindset. Salespeople with the correct mindset are more likely to effectively utilize their skills and achieve success. A positive mindset that overcomes the false consensus bias allows salespeople to approach each challenge and sale with confidence, build strong relationships with customers, and continuously learn and embrace new strategies and techniques.

Selling is not just about your skill set; it’s also about your mindset. By understanding and mitigating the impact of the false consensus bias, you can help your sales team achieve greater success and build stronger relationships with your customers.

For more insights on sales strategies and small business success, connect with Dennis Collins or Leah Bumphrey at