Did You See The Gorilla In the Room?

Recently I was reminded of any experiment done on perceptions. In the experiment, they had the participants watch a video of two teams passing a basketball around. They were told to watch the team in black and count how many times they passed the ballot each other. They were all very close, 15 -17 times.

They were then asked to watch the video with their attention opened up; “just see what else you notice.” They thought they were seeing a different video. Because in this video a man in a gorilla suit walks into the middle of the court, beats on his chest and walks off. They were so focused on the black teams passing that they did not notice the peripheral action.

How many times have we missed the deal because we didn’t see the gorilla on the court? How often have we gone into or “pre-qualified” sales presentation with a prospect that has told us they are looking for a basic accounting package. We continue our due diligence and qualify them again. We hear her say, “Yes, yes, yes,” to all of our questions and then she tells us she has one more player to meet with. Two weeks later we hear the deal went to our competitor along with an HR package!

We heard the buyer continue to tell us they were interested in our basic accounting program. We saw the deal, we were focused on that outcome and we missed it when she said, “It would be nice if we could tie that to our HR and Payroll”.

It is important to stay focused on the game. Yet it is also important to see the big picture. It’s important to have a plan for your call and to know where you want to go. It is also important to be willing to abandon that goal as soon as the buyer presents another opportunity. So how do we do this?

1. Listen and ask questions. More importantly ask questions that expand the scope of the conversation. Make sure there isn’t something more on the buyers mind.
2. Be open in every interaction to the new information that is available. Be willing to change the deal.
3. Always remember it is about the buyer, until we meet their needs there is no sale. They are not here to serve us. If we remember this, we have a better chance of meeting quota than if we are just focused on quota.

Take Good Care

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