YESCALATE: Dean Minuto’s Strategies for Getting to ‘Yes’ Faster

Posted in: PSA Partnership

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While only one in nine Americans has a traditional sales job, surveys show that most of us spend about 45 percent of our day trying to influence other people. Sales coach Dean Minuto opened his October 28 PSA Partnership talk with that statistic, and then illustrated the point with an anecdote about how his teenage daughter got him to agree to let her dye her hair. Whether in our personal or professional lives, we all have someone we need to say ‘yes’,” Minuto said. He asked the audience, “Who do you need to get a ‘yes’ from in the next 90 days?”

The speaker and author of the Amazon best-selling book, “The One-Page Sales Coach,” then spent the next 90 minutes walking the audience through his signature brand of sales coaching, presenting a distilled version of his popular YESCALATE® workshop. Minuto has devised his unique set of tools and strategies from more than 26 years of studying research in brain science and behavioral psychology, which he has applied directly with more than 9,000 executives in the last 10 years.

The keys to a ‘yes’

After years of sketching his ideas on bar napkins for clients, Minuto developed a one-page sales tool that will help anyone get to ‘yes’ faster. He passed out a sample to the PSA audience, and the tool is also explained in his book. Basically, the page is divided into four boxes: Problems, Solutions, Outcomes, and Commitment. Minuto said to ask yourself how you can see your client’s problems in 3D — that is, Dollars, Data, and Delta, a Greek word meaning “change.” How will the client’s world change as a result of your solution?

Using props, audience participation, and plenty of humor, Minuto explained several key concepts.

Framing is a way you can change someone’s perception of anything based on what you give them to experience or feel beforehand. Imagine there are three buckets of water — hot, room-temperature, and ice-cold. A person’s perception of the middle bucket will change depending on which bucket they put their hand in first. If they put their hand in the hot water first, they will experience the room-temperature water as cold. But if they put their hand in the icy water first, they will experience the room-temperature water as warm.

Similarly, a 7 percent interest rate can sound high or low to a prospective client, depending on the interest rates to which you’re comparing it.

Simplify your message. Minuto went around the room and asked volunteers to explain what they do for a living in terms his 15-year-old daughter would understand. This exercise proved that it’s difficult not to use jargon or start every sentence with “I.” But you need to make your message simple enough for anyone to grasp, and most importantly also make it relevant to that person.

Make it about them, not you. We are all tuned to our own personal radio station: WIIFM, said Minuto, which stands for “What’s In It For Me?”. Answer that question and you’ll have your prospect’s interest, and hopefully their business. Don’t do what one CEO did, who knew she could save her client $9 million in 60 days — but put that information on page 37 of a 42-page proposal. The first 36 pages were all about her company.

The seven ‘magnetic strategies’ for getting to ‘yes’

Minuto gave the PSA audience a simple acronym, MAGNETS, to help them apply some of the best practices from his work. The seven strategies include:

Motion. The laws of physics state that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. The same is true for commitments. Breaking something down into a series of small commitments gets people to move forward, and smaller commitments often lead to larger commitments. Also, commitments in writing are twice as likely to get people to follow through.

Ask. Minuto’s first law of selling is, “The person who asks the questions controls the conversation.” Asking questions allows you to set the context for comparison, the key to decision making. This is where framing comes in, explained above.

Give. When we are given something, we feel pressure to give back — it’s called reciprocity. What can you give your clients? Consider starting with a compliment, suggested Minuto. Our brains release the feel-good chemicals serotonin and oxytocin when we receive a compliment.

Nice. People do business with people they like, it’s as simple as that. Again, a compliment works, as does finding something in common with the other person, and connecting with them on a personal level.

Evidence. People want proof they’re making the right decision. But numbers alone won’t do it – research shows that people don’t choose the best decision, they choose the less risky one. For example, if there are two restaurants and one has an empty parking lot and the other is packed, people will choose the crowded restaurant because they perceive it as a safer choice.

Trust. Credibility counts, and that’s why people look for diplomas, awards, and uniforms. Minuto gave the example of one of the greatest art heists in history, pulled off at the Gardner Museum by thieves dressed as Boston police officers.

Supply. Scarcity, deadlines, and penalties get people to take action. Consider what’s at risk for your client, make it clear to them, and tell them how you can eliminate that risk. Minuto’s example of this strategy was Hyundai’s hugely successful 2009 ad campaign that assured consumers, “If you lose your job, we’ll take your car back.”

Minuto wrapped up his talk by handing out copies of his book to each attendee. And he shared his favorite quote from the book: “Success in selling is not about making a commission. Success in selling is about making a difference.”

For more information about Dean Minuto, or to schedule a YESCALATE workshop for your company, visit his website. The next PSA Partnership event, “Being Intentional About Your Culture,” features Zappos “Culture Evangelist” Jon Wolske and takes place on January 27. Register today.

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