Break Through the Proverbial Brick Wall of Sales with Transformative Thinking

By Joni Santos on Jul 13, 2018

Picture this – You’ve been nurturing a deal for quite some time – much longer than the average deal, as a matter of fact. It seems that no matter what you say or what you do, you can’t make headway with this new prospect.

Every meeting you schedule is moved or cancelled. Every email you send goes unanswered or is met with a combative response. Every recommendation you make adds fuel to the rapidly spreading fire of negativity and ultimately ends with a resounding, “NO!”  

You’ve hit the proverbial brick wall of sales. It’s almost as if you and your prospect are speaking different languages.

The problem may be that you really are speaking different languages. Sure, your spoken language is the same, but what about your brain language? Let me explain…

Don't Give Up! Change Your Brain Language!  

Speaking the same brain language is about connecting with the way someone thinks. When we don't connect on this level, communication issues arise, wreaking havoc on the sales process. 

Each negative interaction is like one more brick being laid on the wall. Truthfully, it can be so frustrating that most salespeople will ultimately give up. They throw in the towel – usually way too early – and simply walk away with no regard for the money they are leaving on the table.

In fact, research from SiriusDecisions tells us that “the average sales person only makes two attempts" with a prospect before they give up and walk away.

But if you know the conditions are right for the prospect to buy, and you are willing to make a slight adjustment in your approach to think more like your prospect, you don't have to throw in the towel so early.

How You Think vs. How Your Client Thinks

One of our partners, Herrmann International, is a global leader in Transformative Thinking. Their proven, highly validated tools and systems increase thinking agility so that users can achieve higher levels of performance and achieve success in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.

After conducting years of extensive research and analysis, Herrmann developed a four-quadrant model of the human brain consisting of:

  • An Analytical quadrant (data-driven)
  • A Practical quadrant (process-driven)
  • A Relational quadrant (people-driven)
  • An Experimental quadrant (big picture-driven)

Every person in the world – and therefore in your sales eco-system – has these same four quadrants. That’s the good news. 

But, if we all have the ability to be analytical, practical, relational, and experimental, why do we regularly run into brick walls during the sales process? 

The truth is, as individuals, we are all wired differently. According to Herrmann International, everyone has their own favorite quadrant(s), or “Thinking Preference(s)TM,” which ultimately has a profound impact on the way the individual takes in and processes information… and interacts with others.

For instance, someone with an Experimental thinking preference may get easily frustrated with the lists and timelines created by someone who is more Practical. By the same token, this Practical person may get easily frustrated by the way the Experimental individual pontificates new ideas but has difficulty developing a plan of action.

You can see how this situation could quickly create issues - and brick walls - during the sales process, possibly causing a deal to fall apart at the seams. Persistent sales people who don't recognize these nuances can spend too much time and energy trying to "break through" their own way, driven by their own preferences. 

Hermann's research and tools can help break through the proverbial wall with Whole Brain® Thinking.

The Power of Applying Thinking Preferences

“Whole Brain®Thinking" is Hermann's model to help you engage all four quadrants of your brain. According to their website, “The awareness of one’s own thinking preferences and the thinking preferences of others, combined with the ability to act outside of one’s preferred thinking preferences is known as Whole Brain®Thinking. Applying Whole Brain® Thinking means being able to fully leverage one’s own preferences, stretch to other quadrants when necessary, and adapt to and take advantage of the preferences of those around you to improve performance and results.”

With this in mind, let’s go back to our earlier example. If the Practical individual used Whole Brain® Thinking and picked-up on clues that he was selling to someone with an Experimental thinking preference, he could have altered his approach, leading with a strategic conversation before discussing the project timeline. This approach would immediately engage the Experimental person, establish trust, and allow the individual to open-up with details otherwise unknown. When the conversation eventually turned into a discussion of the project timeline, the Experimental would already be comfortable, his guard would be down, and the project details could be addressed without issue. 

Breaking through the proverbial brick wall is really as simple as knowing yourself and your audience and being able to adjust your style and approach to appeal to your audience’s preferences. Will you win every deal? Probably not, but this approach will help to remove communication conflicts out of the equation and keep you in the game longer.

For more information on Herrmann International and their services, visit their website.

For more information on how Symmetrics Group incorporates “Whole Brain Thinking” and Herrmann’s HBDI® assessment tool into our client work, visit our website, read this case study on how we equipped a sales force to close more deals with HBDI®, and/or contact us with your questions on how we can help you break through the proverbial brick wall of sales with more effective communication strategies and techniques.

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Topics: selling skills

Joni Santos

Written by Joni Santos

Joni Santos thrives on connecting with clients on a level deeper than your typical consultant to develop customized business solutions that drive measurable results. With her diverse background in corporate marketing, field sales, training/development and consulting, as well as having worked in and for companies from start-ups to the Fortune 50, Joni brings a unique and well-rounded perspective to each sales effectiveness initiative. Best known for her team-player attitude, eye for detail and propensity for planning, Joni drives the delivery of high-impact client programs that are on time, on budget and on point.

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