The horror of hearing from your customer, “I need to think about it.”  Insert Face-Palm here.

Do you ever walk away from an appointment that you were sure you nailed…you thought, “that was the best presentation…they are FOR SURE buying..” only to hear these words?

It’s very possible that the presentation seemed perfect to YOU, but not at all to your customer.  This is very likely because they don’t make decisions the same way that you do. This can have a HUGE impact on your overall sales.  

You may have heard me talk about my business coach, Heather.  She is brilliant…so brilliant that after working with 1,000s of customers/clients, she discovered that not everyone has the same decision making process.  WHAT?

But she goes even further…she breaks down what the 4 types of decision makers are and in this incredible podcast, she spells it all out for us. Discover how your decision making style may be unintentionally affecting your closing percentage:

Decision Making Type #1: Shotgun

What is a shotgun? A shotgun knows that as soon as they see their future self benefiting from a product or service, they are SOLD.  They don’t need any information on the product itself. Most often, they don’t even need the price. As long as they know that they can afford it, and they can see their future selves benefiting from that product, it’s a done deal.

You can actually talk a shotgun out of a sale if you keep talking. If you start to talk about how your product is better than other products, or if you start to talk about how your product might be a little bit more easy to use, or how the testing is better, or how you’re product is more natural than other products, you’re going to talk a shotgun right out of it.

How being a shotgun affects your sales – I’m a shotgun…and we need to be careful that we do not rush our customers into making a buying decision.  We must actually walk through a process, and we need to be sure we have some sort of process to keep us on track so that we don’t get unintentionally pushy.

Shotguns are really good at selling the value to the customer, but we can tend to place that value in the product, and we can forget about customers’ needs sometimes. So we might say, “Well, here is how this product is going to benefit you,” not knowing whether or not that customer actually needs that benefit, and whether or not that benefit is going to suit that customer.

Decision Making Type #2: Pathfinder

A pathfinder needs to see the exact path that they need to take to get from Point A all the way to where they want to be in the future to Point B. So they’re going to need to see Step 1 is to do this, Step 2 is to do this….and so on.  So for example, pathfinders, would be very interested in HOW to use your product, what are specific recipes, how long before they feel results (if it’s a health product), how much should I use and how long will this last me, etc.

How being a pathfinder affects your sales – Pathfinders can tend to get wrapped up in how they plan their presentation, and it can be overwhelming to them when people don’t follow the path. So for example, let’s say your customer comes in and you find out that they only have 15 minutes instead of your planned 30. That can be really overwhelming to a pathfinder. So what you need to do as a pathfinder is to practice being focused on going over one core issue at a time.

Now, flexibility is going to be difficult for a pathfinder at first, because remember, they really do map out their process, but you need to know that with practice, this is going to become much, much easier.

Decision Making Type #3: Builder

A builder needs to experience the quality of a product.  They need to be really comfortable that this product is of the highest quality, that they’re really getting what they’re paying for. They’re going to be really interested in things like your testing process and how it compares to your competitors.  They value beauty in the presentation and love great customer service.

How being a builder affects your sales – Now with builders, they can often get wrapped up in their own stories. So for example, they might say, “Well, I can’t sell this product, because I had two of them come back defective. That must mean all of these products are the worst.” They’re often paralyzed by the fear of what others will say, so they have a more difficult time with trying new things.

Builders will often rely on visuals and presentations, and they really love sampling, because they will often want to sample a product before using it themselves. Reality check…builders are the least common of the decision making types.  So if you are a builder and are very headstrong on sampling, just keep in mind that the majority of the world doesn’t make decisions the way that you do. You’ll want to really look into your profit and loss around those samples. A good business practice is to get at least five times the money that you are putting into something like sampling, or else, it’s not a very good marketing business decision for you.

So instead of sampling, I want you to trust that your product is valuable enough to buy on its own.  

Decision Making Type #4: Collector

The collector wants you to answer ALL of their questions. They can tend to get a little bit overwhelmed with information and with the information in their heads, so we need to be careful when we’re selling to a collector to just give them the information that they ask for. We don’t want to give them too much, or else they’re going to get overwhelmed, and they’ll never make a decision. They tend to be slower, more careful, and very well thought out decision makers.

How being a builder affects your sales – Collectors tend to oversell and overwhelm, because they’re such information collectors themselves. Because they need a lot of information to make a decision, they tend to think that everybody needs a lot of information in order to make a decision. But collectors will have a really hard time selling to shotguns and even to their pathfinders, because they will overwhelm them and bore them. It’ll kind of feel like it’s all about you and your product, even though that’s not at all your intention.

So what I want you to do if you’re a collector is to only go through products that are relevant to the customers’ needs and focus on the benefits that tie into what you discovered during this discovery process of your sales call. Don’t go into the breakdown of how your products are better than another company’s because of A, B, C, D, E, and F, or how your testing processes are better, or going into every single product ever and teaching them an entire class.  You can go over the most popular products only…that’s enough, and that is going to feel a lot better to the customer. Trust the customer that if they need more information, they’ll come back and ask. You being a collector…you’re definitely going to have the answer.

Final Thoughts:

So you may have a little bit of multiple styles, but everyone is dominant in one of these decision making styles. So I don’t want you to be like, “Oh my goodness, I’ve got a little bit of this, I’ve got a little bit of that.” Really sit back and think, “What is my most dominant process?” and that is going to be the one that you’re going to really take a look at and say, “Is this driving the way that I sell to my customers? Is this getting in the way of how I’m connecting to customers?”

A shotgun is going to have a really hard time selling to a collector or a builder, and vice versa, so how can you step back and have the self awareness? Self awareness is the name of the game. I want you to take these insights and reflect after each meeting to see how your decision making style may have projected into your presentation and how you might do it differently next time.


If you’d like to speak to an Emerge coach about your next steps with Emerge, text COACHPLEASE to 44222. 



You can learn how to sell consistently and be a solid leader, without going through grueling years of hard knocks.

You can learn how to sell consistently and be a solid leader, without going through grueling years of hard knocks.

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