by Sam Richter
What is the essence of Sales Intelligence? Why is it a lead
generating and deal closing machine like no other? It is not the inside
secrets of effectively using search engines, mining the Invisible Web,
or leveraging social media to find information. That is the “how.” Rather, the “why”
is a mindset that differentiates one salesperson, and one organization,
from all others. Following is a modified chapter from the best-selling
book, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling about how making the other person feel important can make the difference in winning the complex sale.
If you’re over the age of 40, you remember the days before the
Internet. Most firms didn’t have email, there was no such thing as video
conferencing, and if you had a cell phone, you had to keep it in a
briefcase because it was so cumbersome. Yes … the days before broadband
and wireless technology (or said another way, the days when you could go
home and have a life).
If you were in business and especially in sales, we did something
else in those pre-Smart Phone, pre-Twitter, pre-webinar days — we took
our prospects and clients out to lunch. We didn’t have the technology to
easily communicate with our prospects and clients other than via
telephone, so we made it a practice to take them out for two-hour
lunches, four-hour golf outings, and three-hour sporting or theater
events. Remember those good old days?
In the high-pressure, high-technology, “don’t-have-enough-time” world
of today, how many of you take your prospects or clients out for
How many of you even take the time for lunch?
Why did we spend so much time with our prospects and clients? For one
reason: We wanted to build a relationship. We wanted to learn about the
other person, his or her values, and what he or she cared about in
business and in life. We wanted that person to get to know us because we
knew that if we could connect on a personal level, we could provide
value, we could ensure relevancy, and we could establish loyalty. We
wanted to show that we cared.
We wanted to make our prospect or client feel important.
probably familiar with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In his 1954
book Motivation and Personality, Maslow outlined the five levels of
human needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy is often portrayed as a pyramid, with
the largest and most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom (e.g.,
food and air), and the need for self-actualization at the top.
Some people associate self-actualization with people such as Tony
Robbins or the Dalai Lama — individuals who have maximized their
potential and are at complete peace with themselves and the world.
Whether that’s the true definition of self-actualization or not, it’s
safe to say that most of us will probably not reach the pinnacle of
What I find fascinating is what’s directly below self-actualization.
It’s the need to feel important. The need to feel appreciated. The need
to feel recognized. The need to feel loved. In fact, the need to feel
important and appreciated ranks much higher than the need to eat or
In study after study since Maslow came out with his theory, people report that they would rather die than not feel appreciated.
Think about that for a moment as it relates to your business and your sales efforts. Imagine if you could tap into that emotion?
What are you doing in every prospect and client interaction to make the other person feel important?