The Negotiator Magazine

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My experience is that it's all too easy for salespeople to take their allies for granted. I think the biggest problem we have with people who are in the coaching mindset lies in expecting them to be proactive. We assume they will call us when something happens that affects our relationship with the organization, and that's often not the way it goes. Page 4 How Do Your Customers Make Decisions?

Let's face it: Most human beings are not pro-active in nature. The value of the person in the coaching mindset is going to depend on how willing you are to take the initiative and ask for the advice and the guidance you need: "I'm scheduled to have a meeting with Joe Smith this Tuesday. Tell me what his issues are. Tell me what he's likely to be worried and concerned about. Tell me what you think I have to do." Or: "I'm running into some problems with Mary Brown. How can I handle this situation? How can I deal with this road block?" More often than you might expect, someone who's in the coaching mindset will give you invaluable advice, but only if you ask for the help and ask for the latest information. The other person will not usually take the initiative.


The emotional decision-making factor is basically rooted in your prospect or customer's pride, sense of well-being, self-esteem, or emotional state. On a personal level, people buy for one of two reasons, to avoid pain or gain pleasure. Emotional factors are sometimes rooted in a desire to make a personal announcement to the world about one's own power and prestige.

Some people view problems related to increasing profits, improving productivity, reducing costs, or gaining the competitive edge as deeply personal matters. Some people have something to prove. Some people are determined to surround themselves with "the best," no matter what -- which means that the low cost other prospects are searching for can, in some situations, actually be a negative when you're dealing with someone who places a premium on the emotional value of "prestige" purchases.

Emotional factors are not the same as intangible factors. Intangible factors have to do with concerns like market share, image, and perception by customers. Emotional factors, on the other hand, are rooted internally. We need to recognize that, in some situations, emotions play not just an important role, but the dominant role.


Learning about your target client's and organization's decision-making process really boils down to a simple question: Are you willing to change the way you look at what you have to offer in order to deliver the value your prospect or customer requires?

Ron Karr is a professional speaker, consultant, trainer and author who specializes in helping organizations to dominate their marketplace and assisting individuals to get closer to the people they serve. This article is taken in part from Karr's Titan PrincipleT- The Number One Secret to Sales Success.

For information contact Frog Pond at 800.704.FROG(3764) or email

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May/June 2005