Emotional Involvement


You may remember this post. Tom picked up the fact that neither I nor my reader exhibited any need for approval and that is correct. But, today, Rob gave up on behalf of all of you, so I’ll give you the answer.

Neither of us was emotionally involved in the conversation. I didn’t get upset that my reader wanted to pitch their stuff on my blog. If I were emotionally involved, I might have replied, “What are you crazy? A blog’s not for selling stuff. Especially, ….” Instead, I teased her by asking, “Is it ever not about you?” Now, were she emotionally involved, she might have come back with, “I was just trying to help your client. You didn’t have to make it about me.” Instead, she replied, “What are you my husband?”

Two professionals. In the moment. Having fun with each other.

Now, here’s another real live story about how emotional involvement can hold you back.

About a two weeks ago, a client agreed to provide a display for their customer. The customer was going to use the display to sell my clients stuff at a profit. The average sale was going to be about $1,500 and the display was going to cost my client’s customer $1,100. Everybody was ready to go, but then my client’s customer asked for a break on the cost of the display. My client immediately started thinking…Why couldn’t this just go smooth? I wonder how many sales their gonna make for me? If it’s only one, I need to be paid for the display. If it’s 20, they can have the display for free. What should I do? I need to call Rick. So, she told her customer that she’d get back to him.

As soon as my client was faced with a situation that they didn’t expect and didn’t know how to handle, they lost control. They started talking to themself. They stopped listening to the prospect.

My client got to a phone and called me. Told me the story and asked me what to do. My client was totally willing to give the display for free if she was going to get enough business, but wanted to be paid for the display if there was no or little future business. I asked why doesn’t she just tell the client that she’ll charge $1,100 for the display, but give $100 credit on the first eleven sales? “Brilliant!” my client said.

Now, my guess is, that most of you figured out that solution before you read it. Either we are all brilliant, or none of us are emotionally involved in my client’s sale. We don’t care.

Fast forward to today. I asked my client how it went, and they said, “My customer loved it. Why couldn’t I do that?” So, I explained about emotional involvement and told her how I might have handled it.

First, don’t stop listening to the prospect. Not only that, listen actively. When they say, that they want a break on the cost of the display, look up and go, “HMMM.” Then ask, “How would I do that? They might say, “Just do it.” I might ask, “Why would I do it? The display costs me regular price.” They might say, “We’re gonna sell a lot of your stuff.” “Really? How much do you think you’ll sell?” Them: “Probably a minimum of 10. Maybe 20!” Me: “20? That would be worth it. Let me think for a second….” “Hey, how about this? If you sell 1 or 2, I need to be paid for the display, but if you sell 20, I’d give it to you. How about if you pay me for the display, but I’ll give a $50-$100 credit on the first orders you place until the credits total $1,100?”

Emotional involvement kept my client from asking that first question, from listening to the prospect, from having the customer give them the solution. Stay in the moment. Listen. Ask.

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2 thoughts on “Emotional Involvement

  1. Great advice. Not only does your advice suggest to stop, listen, and think…it was a solution that did not diminish the value of the solution.There is no value in free, and if it your client had agreed just to give away for free, then their customer would not have perceived much value in the solution.By charging for the signs to begin with, and then doing the rebates based upon sales, it allowed both parties to achieve their goals and remain focused on a win-win solution.

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