Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sell your ideas by knowing your audience

A recent study found five distinct decision-making styles among executives.
  1. Charismatics who show exuberance during a sales presentation, but yield a final decision on a balanced set of information.
  2. Thinkers who exhibit often contradictory points-of-view within a single meeting through a barrage of questions.
  3. Skeptics who remain highly suspicious of each data point due to their very strong egos.
  4. Followers who make decisions based on how other trusted executives made them or decisions they've made previously.
  5. Controllers who focus on the pure facts and analytics of the offering due to their large amounts of fear and uncertainty.
Be ready to adapt to the person's attitude during your discussion. And, don't assume you're dealing with Skeptics, who are only about 19% of the typical middle management demographic. You're more likely to find Followers or Charismatics in the room. So, as you sell your idea, observe your audience and adapt your pitch accordingly -- you just might find a greater success rate.
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