Whose Reasons? Their Reasons, of Course

When you have something for someone – a product or service, or a plan, or a great idea, or a different viewpoint you’d like them to try, you know why it’s good.

You have reasons that you know are valid.

They’ll be happy with the purchase, it’ll solve their problem. They’ll enjoy the restaurant you have in mind. Your kids will grow up healthy and strong, if they eat their veggies. Folks will enjoy the movie or the book you have in mind for them.

In short: your reasons for wanting them to want what you have, see, or think, are solid and correct.

Except there’s one problem:

People don’t buy (or buy in) because of your reasons – no matter how valid those are.

No, when people buy something or enroll in something, they do it for *their* reasons. Not yours.

And that’s where so much communication (and indeed: sales) break down.

We try to persuade, convince, influence… we try to reason with the other person.

But they need their own reasons… once they find those, they enroll themselves – they buy in willingly and voluntarily.

And no matter how much you try to reason with them, remember that you’re only making it harder for them to discover their own reasons.

So instead of trying to reason with the other person, appeal to their desire for change, and give them space to figure out *if* they want the thing or idea you have, and most importantly: *why* they would want it.

It’s not your reasons that make people buy or buy in: it’s their reasons. Help the other person discover those reasons.



“Can’t They Guess?” Maybe They Can, but Is That Their Job?

Of course the other person has intelligence. And ears, and intuition. They know how to compute and make sense of what you’re saying. But, when you want to get results with people in any sort of way, you shouldn’t give people the job of trying to figure out what you mean. It’s your job to […]

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The Shift: Serving Customers Before They Buy

As a coach, I meet lots of people – and it’s amazing how many folks are hung up where it comes to selling their work. Stressful, ‘no good at it’, awkward, ‘I just want to do my work without having to sell it’… these are some of the things people tell me. It’s a sad […]

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That’s Right!

It’s nice to be right about things. Especially when selling, when you know you’re right: you know that once the other person buys, they’re doing what’s best for them. You know your stuff, you understand their problem, and yeah, you’re right: buying your thing would be a good choice. But being right is only as […]

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How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love ‘the Close’

When new subscribers join my list, I like to ask a question: What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes finding buyers for your work? The answers are often interesting. Some people say it’s finding buyers in a down economy, others say it’s their own penchant for procrastination, and yet other say it’s identifying their ideal […]

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What to do When ‘the Face Ain’t Listening’

So you’re talking to someone whom you’d like to buy in to your idea – buyer, spouse, team mate, etc – and you realise: They’re not buying. No matter what I tell them, they don’t seem to be enrolling in my idea. So you try a different approach, different logic, another kind of appeal to […]

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Reality? It’s Relative

One of my favourite notions is that nobody, ever, shares the exact same experience of reality. And you wouldn’t believe the amount of pushback I sometimes get on that. Because, the argument goes, reality is there, it’s real, and we all perceive the same reality. And sure, I suppose we do (leaving philosophy about the […]

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The Three Biggest Mistakes in Sales

The first one is blindingly obvious: too much talking, not enough listening. If you want a buyer to care about what you know, or do, they first need to know that you care about them and their problem. The second mistake, is selling on features and benefits. The saying goes: features tell, benefits sell – […]

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Permission –> Trust –> Vision –> Decision –> Sale

And, always in that order. A potential client will only make a decision to buy, when they’re ready – and that means, they need to *see* themselves enjoying the benefit of having bought your thing. That’s the vision element of a sales process: getting to the point where they see the vision you have for […]

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How to Make Enemies and Alienate People

Saw two examples of how to network with people, at an event in Malaga a while ago. One good, and one disastrously wrong. Before the socialising part, each attendee got one minute to pitch their business. Afterwards, I was accosted – literally – by an attractive young woman. She came up to me, introduced herself, […]

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