Something that happens once you’ve been in any job awhile is that you start to notice patterns in what Customers want and do. Human brains are hard-wired to spot patterns. That’s what helped you remember your mother’s face when you were two weeks old, and that’s what helped us spot the leopard in the grass 30,000 years ago. Pattern recognition is one of the things that has made us such a successful species.
Once you’ve been on the job a little longer, though, you start to make assumptions about what Customers want, and that tendency only gets stronger over time. We think we can guess what Customers will say if we tell them that they need $800 worth of brake work, or assume they don’t want leather seats, or speculate about the state of their credit based on the clothes they wear.
The trouble is, we’re often wrong. People are individuals, not pre-programmed robots. And it’s not just that we’re wrong with our first guess - a single Customer’s answers can change over time, too. And they may not want to tell a complete stranger what they really think right out of the gate. That’s part of why many sales classes teach you to ask the same question three different ways.
Don’t guess. Don’t assume. Don’t speculate. Find out. Ask, and ask more than once, and in different ways. That’s the only way to know.