The 5 silent questions
buyers make to sellers

Little nightly thoughts
by Business Exploration

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Buyers have a go-no-go filter on, when a seller approaches them.

This filter is made of 5 questions and as sellers we must be ready with an answer.

  1. Are you moving?
    (is it there something new, worth of my attention?)
  2. Are you safe?
    (do I need to run, or to stay? Can I trust you?)
  3. Are you of help to ME?
    (not to my company, my tribe, my family - just ME
  4. Are you worth enough?
    (you must be at least 2x worth the time I lose with you,
    and 2X the money I lose if you fail to deliver)
  5. Do you compute?
    (can you fit my beliefs, data, understanding, language...etc)

They are engrained in our DNA and lets only "value" to pass through:

We built our decision making over 3 layers of evolution

We decide thanks to our nervous systems, that has evolved from reptilian, to mammal to human.
Each stage added a layer of complexity to the problem solving ability,
to tackle the essential goal of survival.

at ground level, first

  1. Lizard learned to count on itself to survive, then
  2. Mammals learned to count on bonds to survive, finally
  3. Humans learned to count on logic to survive

Buyers first decide wheter to engage: fight or flight

The first priority for the Lizard-in-you is to survive.
It has to decide in a fraction of second wheter to flight or fight.
Engage, and accept the risk of being eaten, or escape faster than light.

Are you moving?

For this reason the Lizard brain is constantly looking for changes in the sorrounding scenario.
Its curiosity is alerted by any change in the status quo: a new scream in the jungle,
a shining tooth that shouldn't be there.

Are you safe?

Once the Lizard spotted something moving,
its priority becomes to understand if the "change" is safe.
In the case of another human: if he/she is trustable: if has

  • emphaty
    share my same values
  • integrity
    is predictable
  • emphaty
    share my same values
  • emphaty
    share my same values

To engage with the buyer, seller has to:

  1. Build curiosity about facts that change
  2. Declare your intents and the next steps
  3. Use storytelling to share your “Ethos”: the reasons why you are credibly safe

Then buyers decide if they can gain from the relationship

Mammals survived dinosauros extinction leveraging their social bonds.
The first goal of the Mammal brain's buyer is to protect and strenght those bonds.
The seller becomes of interest only if can answer positively to the question:

Are you helping me?
…reinforce my social bonds.

Buyers depend on their network to fullfill their needs.
Seller can help the buyer achieve full life potential
impacting on the bonds of the network:
how the buyer can use, leverage, reinforce those bonds
to satisfy the buyer need of safety, appreciation, appeal, success.

A gap in the level of satisfaction of these basic needs
causes an emotional stress. The stronger the gap, the stronger the emotion.
This is why Mammals decide on emotions:
decide on the seller ability to help exploit their bonds.

Ther is nothing rational here, apart the ability of the seller
to link the offer to a possible improvement of the emotional gap.
This is way storytelling is the best way to convey the message:
it makes resonante the buyers bonds, with your personal "pathos"

Need for: Impact on: Emotional driver:
Safety My existence Stay safe
Relationship My (safety) network Increase my bonds
Appreciation My social status Reinforce my bonds
Appeal My attractive skills Be the preferred bond
Health My healthy capability Use my bonds
Adventure My learning by playing Improve my bonds
Success My legacy Exploit my bonds
Freedom My freedom of choice Chose my bonds

Finaly the buyer checks if it computes

Once the Mammal brain has decided by gut feeling that there is value
in dealing with the seller, the Human brain kicks in to justify the decision taken.

The Human brain is capable to project the solution in the future
and estimate the valure of the returns, responding to the question:

Are you worth?

Are you worth at least 2 times the time I lose investing on you?
Is your solution worth at least 2 times the investment it costs?
(Our loss adversion makes us value what we have at least 2 times what we could gain)

Finally the Human brain is capable to insert the solution offered into the context
making sure that it computes - it make sense, it fits and does not contraddict it.
It's a real facts-checking to answer the question:

Do you compute?

Are you capable to pass all the objections?
And because the justifications shall be brought to the mammal brain,
our Logos - our logic - will be better transferred again via storytelling.

Objection: it's real meaning
No understand What you say
No Need Already solved
No value Already fine
Can't believe You can make it
Can't support Staff and resources
Can't afford spend the cash

(Adapted from Shari Levitin)

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