sales as a system

CRO Rule #4 - Find the "Emotional" Decision Maker


CRO Rule #4
For a shorter sell cycle, your Differentiating Value message(s) should be directed toward the emotional decision maker, describing what he/she will lose without you.

People make decisions emotionally and later justify them intellectually.  This fact is critical to understanding the purpose of finding the emotional decision maker in any potential deal.  I explain how this principle works in my book, but for brevity let me offer this excerpt:

The emotional decision maker can be described as the one who suffers the consequences of life without you.

Emotional decision makers are usually harder to find, easier to close, not as price sensitive, and can typically tell the technical buyer what to do.

This fact is paramount as you develop, refine and implement your Differentiating Value.

Brand is NOT Differentiating Value


We spend a lot of time helping clients understand their Differentiating Value – what they bring to the market that is unique and/or better than the competition. The process is straight forward.

Differentiating Value is not:

  1. Features and benefits
  2. Value platform
  3. Brand
  4. Quality, service or support proclamations

Sales people have been trained to memorize and mimic the slogans and sound bites that always accompany these concepts. STOP! These exist in your world but not the prospect’s. If you base your positioning on these items, you will always enjoy longer sales cycles and perpetual discount requests – especially if your sales people lead with “We are the #1 brand in the market.”

Differentiating Value only exists in the prospect’s world – not yours. It is what the prospect is buying and that is typically not how you get paid. One of our clients is a materials science company that manufactures polymer pipe for the plumbing industry. Their engineered products allow homeowners to operate all water consumption devices (dishwasher, clothes washer, lawn sprinkler, etc.) concurrently and still have family and guests able to use all the showers in the house. Prospects are buying a convenience life style but the payment transaction is based on linear feet of pipe purchased. This is Differentiating Value.

Top 10 Revenue Rules

Writing List Top 10.png

Down from the revenue mountain and written on stone...

1. When you are telling you are not selling – it is all about asking the critical qualifying interview questions.

2. Prospects buy for their reasons – not yours. Features & benefits are your reasons – not the prospects. Differentiating Value exists only in the Prospect’s world – that is what they are buying.

3. Humans make emotional decisions (pleasure or pain basis) and justify those decisions intellectually.

4. Good sales people can ask any prospect any question about any topic at any time.

5. A “no” is rejecting your Differentiating Value – not you.

6. Give the prospect control – keeps them in the OK chair plus they have control anyway. No “Why” questions. Third party stories shorten the prospect discovery process.

7. Anything you bring up, prospects cannot use on you. It keeps the playing field level without creating a “not ok” barrier.

8. You can’t lose something you don’t have. When you don’t know, re-qualify – never assume.

9. Forecasts are the report card for your qualifying process. If forecast data is flawed, so is the qualifying process.

10. 4 Aces are the goal and the audit trail. Do-over’s are better than lost orders.