Money cash Shekels currency 521.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Countless times, two sides of a potential business deal come to the table and
consider working with each other. All seems to be going well, when suddenly the
air in the room suddenly seems colder and less appealing.
happened that torpedoed the deal, and the seller was left wondering what had
gone wrong from the positive start that suddenly led to a dismal failure at the
Throughout my years of consulting with clients of all kinds, I
can tell you that one of the biggest reasons for this is the language that was
being used by one side that turned the other party off.
entrepreneur, for example.
It’s fair to say that entrepreneurs take many
risks and calculated gambles to turn a company from nothing more than an idea on
a shoestring budget all the way into the successful business it is today. The
owner of that business thrives on action, change and excitement – the very
things that drove him up the ladder of success and past the many setbacks he
inevitably encountered along the way.
Now, contrast that with the chief
executive officer, or head of a department as a large organization. How did that
person get to the top of that organization to the position they are in? Unlike
the entrepreneur above, this person’s success was probably due in no small part
to coming in early, putting in the right number of hours, and not “rocking the
boat” in any way that could get them booted out the door.
companies where people take initiative, they will get promoted and recognized as
long as things work out in their favor.
But as soon as they have a
failure (and everyone does, at some point!) they will fall out of favor and
often end up seeking a new opportunity (or becoming entrepreneurs and starting
their own company). Now that we have climbed into both their heads, a startling
picture starts to emerge for what they need to hear to feel
When you are selling a new software program to the
entrepreneur, what should the approach be? I’d venture that “this program will
transform your business! Your clients will love the new interface and shiny
buttons!” would be a compelling pitch. If the product is needed by the client
and will provide them with value, then you’ve given them the excitement they
crave and the enthusiasm and confidence you have in your product will be
appreciated by the buyer.
However, trying that approach with the
executive would be downright foolish. Why? Because again, getting inside their
brain and the way they think, what they need to hear is “our product can be
installed after six o’clock in the evening and will be finished before nine
o’clock the following morning. Your income will increase and your costs will go
down… but to the consumer it all looks the same, and will not affect the way
they interact with you. They won’t even know that we’ve changed the guts of the
They need to hear that this can be done without rocking the boat – and
without potentially costing them their comfortable corner office and cushy chair
and salary. After all that’s how they got to this point! If you are writing a
letter to people who like sports, you should mention in passing certain
references that they’ll understand, even if someone outside the group would
If you are dealing with a specific ethnic or religious group, work
that into your communications as well.
To the Jewish market, “Free matza
balls and borscht!” is a better promotion than “Free clam chowder!” On the other
hand, if you were marketing to gas-station employees in New England, the
response would likely not be that great to a matzo ball and borscht
When you speak to a client, or read their web page, LinkedIn
profile, or an interview they did for a newspaper, see what kind of words they
are using. Are they words that show they thrive on excitement? Perhaps they
skydive? That would tell you something about their personality you can use in a
powerful way to understand what makes them tick.
And something often
overlooked: when people call a business and the person they want is not in, they
will often hurry to hang up the phone. But think about this for a minute: people
hire people they want to be around. So if the receptionist has a certain
personality, you can pick up some important cues from that alone that can help
you develop rapport with the client, as well as the so called
And if you were trying to get me to let you skip the queue
for an appointment? Offer me bagels and lox, not tickets to a baseball
Know how to get to your client by giving them what they need to
firstname.lastname@example.org Issamar Ginzberg is a business adviser, marketer,
professional speaker and rabbi who has been published in more than 50 business