Wednesday, 4 March 2015

there is more to making decisions than you think...



by John La Valle

For years I've been telling people that if they're working harder than their clients or customers, then they are doing something wrong! Now, since this means they ought to take a look at what they're doing and how, I like to start before where most people think any strategy starts. Even in your own decision making, there are places to check for what you're sorting for, especially when choosing who you want as customers. That's right, too many people throw out the net and try catch as many as they can. And if you prescribe to the Pareto Principal at all, then you know that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, and that you spend most of your time with the other 80% who either don't give you business, or very little.

The best sales people have something very special that they do: they *decide* if the relationship is right! While many people think that "closing" the sale is where it's at, I can tell you from my own experience that it's not! In today's market, it's about *Relationship Management*. It has been all along, but it's even more important today than ever. The internet has changed the world dramatically! People, like me, like you, are inundated daily with information, offers, opportunities, etc. And this has caused a shift in the Meta Program Sequencing of many, many people. Because of the *stack overload* of the information, I find that many people now are filtering their email, hence their input, based on *who* is sending it, as a primary sort. This tells me a lot about the value of relationships! And it may also have crossed over into the context of regular junk snail mail, or perhaps that's where it started. At any rate, the information isn't enough, anymore.

So, how best to manage the relationship of selling? Similar to your other relationships, if you have a good strategy for that. Who do you want to do business with? Of course you'd want them to have a need or desire for your product or service, but what about your other criteria? Do you really want to do business with everyone? Aren't there some customers you already have that are more work than return? Even with our seminars, there are people we turn away, for their good, as well as ours.

Think about who your potential customers are and let's assume they have a need or desire for what you have to offer.
Here are some questions worth asking yourself about them, or of them, even, although you'll want to change some of the questions a bit:

Do they make decisions? While we all know that everyone makes decisions, what's the depth of their decision making ability? How much information do *they* need or want in order to process through their strategy?

How do they make decisions? We can break this one down into other pieces:
How are they motivated to start their decision making strategy (which is a decision itself)

Once started, are they proactive or reactive inside the strategy they are operating in? This will let you know the difference between whether or not they will take action on their own, or will need to be reminded (by you) to take the action, like sending in that contract. While you can easily detect this in their use of active or passive verbs and complete or incomplete sentence structures, consider that this part of their strategy is also going into another strategy (subroutine).

For example, if they are reactive, then at the end of their strategy of decision making, they will say, or think, or represent in some way, "Yes, but not now." And this may in many cases have nothing to do with your product or service, nor their desire for it necessarily, but another subroutine in their own strategy that stops them, or redirects their attention, or moves them into hesitating, some internal state that isn't necessarily useful to you. None of this is wrong, actually, and can be useful to them, for them. Recognize it and you'll know what to do next, which is the next secret of the best sales people: They KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT, regardless.

This will let you know how much of the relationship *You* will *Have To* manage.

How are they comparing? Remember that every decision is made by comparing one thing to another. It's either, "go", or "no go" from that point after the comparison. Are they comparing against what they already have, or know, or are they comparing what's different from their past experiences, or how it can be different?

What are their criteria? What's important to them about what you are offering? Make no assumptions here. Everyone may very well have different answers to the same question, and linked to a very positive feeling, or state. This is one of the basis' of Persuasion Engineering™ . Rather than give you pat phrases,, etc. we provide you with a systemic approach that you get to build into your personal approach to selling!! You've got to gather information from potential customers before deciding.

Are they a *buyer* or a *shopper*? Now it's easy enough to change a shopper to a buyer, and just as easy to change a buyer to a shopper, if you're not paying close attention, but you'll have to know which strategy they are operating in, regardless of what they may actually tell you. Many of the same subroutines may run, but not in the same sequence. They may well have the same questions, the same sorts, but in a different sequence when they are deciding vs. shopping, and vise versa.

And there are others, but this will give you a good start!

When you can detect these, it puts *You* into a position deciding whether or not *You* want them as a customer! And that then changes your selling strategy, doesn't it!