Driving Results: What Closes Deals?

One of the joys of my job and life is the number of smart folks I get to be around. I gain a ton from their collective wisdom.  I picked up a gem this week from friend Chris Kopka. He passed on one of his colleagues’ distilled views of what it takes to make sales consistently.

It goes like this, “Conviction sells, Emotion buys, Logic pays for it.”

Perfect. It immediately struck me as exactly right and neatly sums up years of sales and marketing experience and it’s a bit Yoda-like in brevity (“No try, only do”).

In my experience, to drive through to a final decision you really need all three working at the same time. Like a three legged stool.

Conviction sells

One of the first things I was taught by experienced sales staff was “selling starts at ‘no’.” If you can’t get past “no”, you’re just taking orders. You have to be driven, believe in the value of what you’re selling and value your customers to really have conviction.

If you have it, you’ll persist and grind to deliver. If you don’t, you’ll quit early and not get anywhere.

Emotion buys

Of course it does. I think of this as “what does my lizard brain want?”

My son just had to write a brief homework on “wants vs. needs”. He did a nice job of articulating the difference. Then his class was asked “Have you ever been greedy and wanted something you didn’t need?”  His succinct answer? “No.”

I asked him about it and he said he might have wanted something he didn’t need, but he’d never been “greedy”. Right.

We’re getting an iMac for the kids to use for school. I will pay more because it’s beautiful, well designed and I’ve coveted one for awhile. So we need a computer, but we want a Mac. Emotion.

I need sustenance but I want a meaty/cheesy pizza. Emotion.

Emotion won’t always carry the day, but without it you’re just pitching stuff. This is why so many of us emphasize telling stories. Stories connect me to a larger vision and can activate different parts of my brain than spreadsheets can.

Friend and uber-presentation coach Mary Milla recently spoke to my class about delivering a compelling talk. She used a Steve Jobs product launch presentation as one of her models, noting he delivers a lot of very tech oriented details…but AFTER he pulls you in with a story connecting the details to a bigger vision.

Logic Pays

In most business situations you can be as emotional as you want, but usually someone has to sign off on a financial model of some kind. A savings plan, growth model, estimated cash flow…something.  The story will get you only so far if the math doesn’t work.

So evidence and facts are important, just often not sufficient.

The opportunity that the seller has passion and belief in, connects with the “buyer” in a deeper way and is backed with good data will tend to sell better than anything lacking at least one leg of the stool.

So remember, Conviction sells, Emotion buys, Logic pays for it. And without all three nobody’s buying anything.

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