Jim stood there shaking his head back and forth saying, “I
know I had all the facts right. My proposal was completely logical. How could
they say no?”
I saw Teresa grit her teeth. She sat forward cupping Jim’s
face in her hands and told him, “They said no because there was no emotion in
“I don’t get it,” he replied.
I wanted to blurt out, “That’s obvious,” but I held my
Teresa, consults on sales. She is outcome driven, pragmatic
and extremely knowledgeable about how to go from contact to contract.
She began again, “There was no emotion in your pitch. You made
the mistake of thinking that people buy things logically. Yes, you need to be
sure they have a problem you can solve, can pay you to do it and are willing to
see you. You got through that hurdle okay but overlooked the way decisions get
made. All decisions are made by a part of the brain called the amygdala.
Sometimes people call this older part of our shoulder top computer the lizard
brain. Even in the most analytical people this portion of the brain is relied
on to make decisions.”
Jim pulled away from her steady gaze and asked, “So what
could I have done to do this better?”
I couldn’t keep my self quiet any longer and leaped in with,
“You could have started using an integrated CRM system like I advised you to.
It would have allowed you to build a greater level of Trust more quickly and the
prospect would have been dealing with a friend he saw as an expert.”
Teresa harrumphed and rode over my comments, “I agree. A systematic
approach to gathering information about a prospect or client that includes an
easy way to maintain that contact via e-mail, phone and video conferencing is a
good idea. I recommend that Sales Contact Systems include a way to tap into and
capture and demonstrate these areas in addition to all the logical stuff:
- Common interests These
lead to ways to build a friendship. Friends, people we trust are always more
persuasive than strangers. Who you know matters. What you know is important.
But the single most important key to building a business is who trusts you. And
trust begins trough shared experiences. Note them.
- Expertise We
grant authority and credibility to people that demonstrate a skill or knowledge
we don’t have. We come to believe in them and their viewpoint. Our brains are
wired that way. Record your demonstrations and observations about the prospect.
- Consistency is
the one thing you must deliver over everything else. It is a cornerstone of
Trust and one of the most compelling reasons people have in making decisions.
Look for consistency in your prospect and reactions to your consistent
behavior. Record them.
Those are the three most powerful persuaders in getting the
sale. If you don’t find common interests, demonstrate your expertise and show
yourself as consistent you will not get the contract.”
I noted, “A CRM system helps you keep track of all that data
especially when you are dealing with a lot of prospects. If it has good e-mail with
auto responders and video conferencing integrated it can be a real boost to showing
your expertise and consistency.”
Teresa capped that off by saying, “Look, if you play your
cards right you might get another shot at this. Try calling them up and saying
that you would like to have a candid discussion about why you didn’t get the
nod. You may still be in the running but not know it. Their budget may be on
hold or the project has been delayed for other reasons. Even if it was awarded
to someone else, you will be one of the few people that ever ask why and that
sometimes gets a referral you would never expect!”
Jerry Fletcher is a professional international speaker and marketing consultant to management.