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Do you hate to lose? Or love to win?
It could be impacting the way you sell and depending on which one you are, it may be costing more business than you realize.
My name is Tim Rowe and today’s episode is neither a guest spotlight or a recap, rather today you get the down-and-dirty Tim-talk, things I’m thinking about that I believe could benefit you, and today I’m talking about the phenomena known as ‘loss aversion’ and its impact on how you go to market, literally a personality trait that could be impacting all of your sales and marketing and it starts with answering this question - Do you hate to lose? Or love to win?
Seriously, sit and answer this question for yourself. For me, I love to win and II love working with other people who love to win. It’s a focus on the positive outcome of the effort and sacrifice. You believe in the chance of a successful outcome and that is what you’re directing your efforts at - victory.
On the other hand are folks who hate to lose. Now if your whole team is made up of folks who hate to lose, it may sound like the same thing as a team that loves to win but I assure you…it’s very different and we’ll talk about what those differences are, why they matter, and how it could be costing you business.
Personally, I believe that the right mix is finding team dynamics that balance, having a little bit of both, but when it comes to how you present yourself and your company to people with the means to buy from you? Well, what we want is confidence.
I think it was sales-legend Zig Ziglar who said “sales is a transfer of emotion” and if you’re worried about losing more than winning, it can come off as desperation and there is nothing worse than desperation in sales.
The reality is though, more of us hate to lose than love to win. Let’s try a little exercise together - would the frustration of finding a $20 parking ticket on your car be greater than the joy of finding a $20 bill on the ground?
Finding a parking ticket on your car usually goes like this - I peel off the ticket, look at it, flip it over a couple of times looking for…I don’t know what, then I look around, cursing at the phantom of the streets who left it for me.
But finding a $20? You’re probably just gonna go “ooh, nice, free lunch!” stuff it in your pocket, and you’ll have forgotten about it as soon as its spent. But the parking ticket, that frustration lingers. Unless you find the $20 on the same day and then bam, you’re just a lucky duck. But the reality is more people hate to lose than love to win and it shows.
Here’s how I see it come out most often - Us vs Them
Teams that love to win? I’ve noticed that they regularly focus on the buyer’s problem and how they can solve it and if not, they say so and usually recommend someone who can.. Teams that hate to lose? The whole pitch feels like I’m supposed to have hidden knowledge of their competitors, which actually just leaves folks confused about what it is you actually do, and then there’s some crescendo about how you compare to your competition and blah blah blah and I’ll be absolutely frank with you - it’s unappealing. It’s distasteful. Unless I ask you about how you compare, assume that I do not care and therefore you should also assume you’re wasting your time talking about it.
Frankly, when “hating to lose” comes out in a sales pitch, it does look like desperation and doesn’t create buyer confidence. Your job in sales is to transfer emotion and the emotion that buyers are looking for is confidence. Teams that love to win exhibit confidence and are contagious.
So if you know that you hate to lose and that it may be affecting the way you sell, how do you fix it?
In my opinion, it’s to find a storyteller who loves to win. This person may already be in your organization, you may be referring to them as the person who is “always glass half-full” - ask them to tell your company’s story and how they think you all fit into the marketplace.
I’m giving this feedback after having delivered thousands of pitches, closing hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, and having been the buyer on plenty of products, services, contractors, etc. And I’m talking real pitches, real demos, not firing over pdf decks and excel grids. In the trenches pitching to the c-suite for 7-figure deals.
There have been a lot of great books that shaped the way I pitch, but the most significant, by far, and if you could only read one, it should be this one, it’s called Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea and it’s by a gentleman named Oren Klaff. Oren Klaff is a partner in a $200 million private equity investment fund and one of the world's leading experts on sales, raising capital and negotiation. His first book, Pitch Anything, is required reading throughout Silicon Valley, Wall Street and the Fortune 500, with more than 1,000,000 copies in print worldwide.
That book is great too, Pitch Anything and I recommend it too, but Flip The Script is the down and dirty guide to implementing these best-practices so I’ll link to it in the show notes.
In other news this week, a lot of great meetings with very cool companies from around OOH and that’s exciting, to still be finding new and exciting companies that can deliver a ton of value. In fact, yesterday I met with Tom Cherry from POP Tracker, and if you’re not familiar with who they are or what they do, you’ll be hearing more from Tom personally in an upcoming episode but they may be one of the most important companies in our industry and have seemingly flown under the radar, so we’ll be catching up in a few weeks. Also coming up in a few weeks, we’ll be hearing from some really amazing guests, some returning guests, a bunch of new ones, just a lot of really cool folks coming on here later this quarter.