Michael Harris

Selling Change Is Hard: Status Quo Bias Locks Change In A Prison Of No...

The value to buy your product is overwhelming and yet the customer decides not to buy. At times like these, it’s important to remember that customers are not rational decision making machines. They are human beings with built in cognitive biases that make them...

Why Sales Fails at Selling Change With Success Stories & Needs Change Stories/Questions

Success stories are only effective as proof late in the sales cycle once a customer has decided to change. Early stage customers, on the other hand, aren’t interested in stories about how you helped another customer reduce the time to create a report from...

From Sewer-line to Pipeline with Insight Selling

Here’s a story about how a VP of Sales resurrects her pipeline by showing her team how to lead customers to value with insight not eyesight. As they achieve true sales wisdom, it’s like they’re using GPS while the competition is selling blind.   Instead of...

Neuroscience Confirms We Buy on Emotion & Justify with Logic & yet We Sell...

Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of our purchase decision making takes place subconsciously (aka System 1). Despite widespread agreement amongst neuroscientists that our conscious rational mind plays a minor role in decision making, why do our sales messages to buyers...

Sales Training Doesn’t Improve Bottom 80% So Invest In Best to Train Rest

The goal of every sales training program is to improve the bottom 80% of salespeople, but that’s not what happens. What happens is that the top 20% get better, and the rest stay the same. Why? The top 20% can apply it in the...

Challenge the Status Quo & Create Value With Insight-Based Directed Questions

When customers understand their problems, it’s easy for salespeople to lead them through discovery, because customers don’t need salespeople to shine the light of insight on visible problems. A salesperson can simply confirm the value of their product by asking generic questions. So these...

How Can I Deliver Insight to an Executive with 25 Years of Experience?

Today, most sales and marketing executives would agree that they should deliver insight to customers. But they question how can they deliver insight to an executive with decades of experience? The problem is that they’ve usually set the bar too high for themselves. To deliver insight,...

The Status Quo Bias: Why Customers Deviate From Rational Economic Behavior

The value to buy your product is overwhelming, and yet the customer decides not to buy. Why? The optimism and status quo bias block customers from making the rational choice to buy your product. To help customers see the value of change, sellers can...

Can your salespeople articulate value or does it sound like magic?

After nine years of working with companies on sales messaging, I have found the number one inhibitor to salespeople articulating value is they don’t create enough contrast between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of owning their product. And when salespeople fail to make the...

Neuroscience Proves We Buy On Emotion & Justify With Logic & Why Deals Get...

The expression that “People buy on emotion and justify with logic” has always made intuitively sense to me, but rationally it seemed like BS. You could say “so what, who cares.” But did you know that 95% of our purchase decisions, according to Harvard Business...

The Godfather of Insight Selling – An Interview with Geoffrey Moore

Everyone in technology knows of Geoffrey Moore as the author of “Crossing the Chasm.” His book has sold over 1 million copies, and crossing the chasm has become a metaphor that is universally used by companies with complex products to explain why they struggle...

HBR Article On When To Sell With Facts And Figures, And When To Appeal...

I just had an article published in the HBR. It’s neuroscience meets sales, and it bursts the biggest misconception is sales (click here for HBR article). The article looks at the sales expression that customers “Buy On Emotion, And Justify With Logic” and it turns...

Six Reasons Why Success Stories Fail at Selling

Success stories are effective to use as proof and reinforcement late in the buying cycle once a customer has already formed a complete buying vision that fully recognizes “why change?” and “why you?” These stories are easy to tell because you’re providing proof to a...

Example of a story that Flops vs. Pops

By recognizing the difference between an insight scenario (i.e. an insight based story) that “pops” versus one that “flops,” you can see for yourself how your own insight scenarios can be changed so that they inspire prospective customers to buy, instead of providing them...

Selling Value With Insight Storytelling

Imagine if your salespeople could shine a light of insight on today’s empowered customers so that they no longer underestimate the cost of the status quo and the benefits of change. Your salespeople would no longer have to chase these empowered buyers down the road...

Six reasons why Stories trump Verbal Persuasion

1- Puts the customer’s ego to sleep With an insight scenario, you can deliver insights that will only challenge the customer’s thinking, and not the customer. Because insight scenarios are about someone else, the customer does not feel under attack. A story simply presents a...

Whiteboard Selling – Insight Selling – Story Selling

In this whiteboard on Insight Selling, we’ll explain why we believe the following three hypotheses are true. Salespeople must deliver insight to sell value. The best way to deliver insight is through customer story. The executive buyers in Gartner’s survey said that the best for…

Why buyers push-back on insight selling & what you can do about it.

Even though insight is what buyers need, it may not be what they initially want. By the time buyers engage with a salesperson, they may already have an idea of their needs, the solution they believe they want, and what they are willing to...

It’s amazing that 10-20% of salespeople can actually sell value

While many companies complain that 80-90% of their salespeople can’t sell value, they are spraying their sales force with product presentations, and praying that their salespeople will be able to figure out why customers should buy their product. But instead of complaining, these companies...

Gartner study- buyers rate sales conversations dead last, but there’s hope- tell stories.

Imagine running a sales team where the last person that your customers want to speak with is one of your salespeople? That’s the conclusion of a recent Gartner survey where Salespeople came in last place after technical and industrial experts, services and support, and...

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