YOU’RE VERY PASSIONATE about your mission. I get that. I wish everyone had that level of engagement with their business and job.

The dark side of that passion is that it can easily disconnect you from your customers.

How so?

Imagine that someone comes up to you and starts raving about something they absolutely love. Maybe they are an avid bicyclist, doing those 100 mile rides without a second thought.

Sure, you can appreciate their skill and enjoy the energy they bring to the conversation. But it’s not likely to change your mind unless you just happen to be at a place where you’d also find it a great activity. But if you struggle to find time in the day and have an hour long commute, you may not latch onto it and engage at a personal level.

“It’s fantastic that you enjoy that, but it’s just not for me.”

But how often we do this in our sales efforts in business? We tend to assume that OUR enthusiasm for what we’re selling, and all its great features, will translate into exciting the potential customer.

There’s one thing missing: the deep understanding of what this customer actually needs.

This is especially critical in a high-transaction business. If you’re asking me to spend $3 on some frozen yogurt, sure, I’ll go ahead and take the chance. What’s the worst that can happen?

But if you’re asking me to spend a thousand dollars or a million, I have to deeply trust you before I’m going to risk that kind of money. Even more, I might well be risking my job or my business.

I have to grow to trust you. In the sales context, that’s about believing that you understand me, have my interests at heart, are honest, and can deliver.

If you’re spending all your time talking about your expertise and your product’s features and even your company’s mission, well, it doesn’t feel like you’re understanding me. And you’re not taking the time to dig beyond just my surface issues.

Yes, getting the sense of mission alignment between vendor and customers is an amazing asset for developing long-term, productive relationships. Fantastic.

But don’t forget that what’s going to have them become your customer is listening, understanding what they truly need, and addressing it in a highly effective way.

You don’t get a free pass just because you’re passionate.