Here You Go: Your Right to Veto

Listened to an interview yesterday with a guy called Jim Camp, who is called the best negotiator in the world.

He highlighted a simple principle that, if used well, will make your marketing both more ethical and more effective.

In my own words:

There are basically three ways to approach a sales (or marketing) situation.

The first is the typical threatening and aggressive attitude: “You must buy this or else [insert disastrous consequence].”

The next is the highly fashionable ‘win-win’ situation, where you compromise a little, and I compromise a little, and then everybody is happy.

Finally, there is the negotiation attitude: A process whereby two parties seek to reach agreement, with the premise that each party has the right to veto.

That there is just brilliant.

Because let’s be honest: everybody has an agenda. You, me, everyone

A client wants as much as he can for his investment.

A seller (yes, me too) wants to close a sale and win a client.

And those things are a given – there shouldn’t be a sort of cat&mouse game, but instead it should be clear and open from the start.

Cards on the table: I want your business, and you want the best of me.

Your agenda, my agenda – now let’s see what we can offer each other.

If you approach a sale this way, there’s no pressure, and there’s no need for manipulation or sly tactics.

Like I always say: this is what’s on offer, that’s the pricetag, and over there is checkout.

And your prospect has every right in the world to say no

“No, not the right time.”

“No, too expensive.”

“No, I’m looking for something else.”

All fine.

Whoever you’re trying to sell to has an inherent, fundamental, human right to veto.

A person is his own master and it’s up to him to decide what will and won’t happen to him.

Why is this so important?

Because we don’t like the right to veto to be taken from us, and we shouldn’t.

If you come at someone with the conviction that they should buy, and you try to bypass their own judgment, you effectively challenge their right to veto

And you better believe this gets all kinds of defenses up.

Tell a child they shouldn’t touch the heater, and you’ll be treating a blister within half an hour.

Tell a person that you know what’s best for them, and they instantly stop listening.

That’s why unsolicited advice has such little effect.

You tell a guy what he should do, and his subconscience immediately reacts: “Screw that, I’ll make up my own mind”.

The right to veto, by the way, applies to marketing just as it does to sales.

That’s why emails should have an unsubscribe link: at some point, you signed up and gave me permission to send you emails.

But at any moment and for any reason, you might want to revoke that permission.

In which case you click the link, because it’s your inbox – it’s your right to shut down my access to it.

This is what Seth Godin called Permission Marketing.

You start by asking people for permission to talk to them

That shows them you respect their integrity as a person with rights, and that creates a relationship based on equality

And from that, sales close themselves, without manipulation and without disallowing anyone to say no.

Emails do the same thing, when done right – but then you’d expect me to say that.

It’s true though.

When someone allows you into their inbox, and you show up consistently but without abusing the privilege? Sales become much, much easier.

Let me show you how –>



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~ Antonio Herrezuelo,
Avenida Capital

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