Your clients are not rational | RevThink

I’d like to start with a thank you for the nice feedback I received on my previous email. I especially enjoyed this one:

“I’ve always felt the same way about the melancholy of winning. Thanks for sharing this nugget to start my Saturday.” – Ken

Now let’s explore what I hope is another valuable nugget.

A few weeks ago I was speaking with my German friend, Juergen, a real estate agent in Naples, Florida.

Juergen was telling me of a recent deal he lost. I asked him to walk me through it, in the hopes of offering him some helpful advice.

He explained that he was competing against several other agents on a lucrative deal. He lost.

Later, he went back to the client to ask for feedback.

Smart move.

But when the client explained the rationale behind her decision, she said:

“The strategy in the winning proposal was stronger than yours.”

But here’s the catch: it wasn’t. Juergen’s strategy was clearly stronger.

So what’s going on? Is the client lying?

No. The truth is that his client was unable to tell him the truth… because she couldn’t articulate the deeper motivation driving her decision, which was:

“You felt like the riskier choice.”

The takeaway: humans are not rational beings. Rather, we are emotional beings who use rational arguments to justify our emotional decisions.

And last I checked, all your clients are – guess what – humans.

Takeaway #1: When you lose, be a gracious loser. Politely request candid feedback so you can provide greater value to that client in the future.

Takeaway #2: When your client tells you her rationale, ignore WHAT she says. Instead, listen to the emotion behind her rationale. Therein lies her WHY.



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