The truth is - it doesn't matter how smart or how slick a presentation is, if it isn't in sync with the decision maker's mindset, then it's bound to fail. That's the conclusion drawn by Miller and Williams, who completed an exhaustive study of more than 1,700 key business executives. Their research shows that decision makers can be placed into five distinct categories: Charismatics, Thinkers, Skeptics, Followers, and Controllers. Once the category the decision maker falls into is determined, then the presentation can be tailored to their precise mindset.
Knowing one's audience is the key to making the sale and closing the deal. It's that simple, say authors Miller and Williams, executives and customer research experts at Miller-Williams Inc., with writer Hayashi. The specific nature of an idea or business opportunity is, of course, important, but more crucial is how and in what manner it is presented to the potential signer-on. By thoroughly studying the type of decision maker to be propositioned, the presenter can, in effect, get into his or her head and customize the idea to the mindset. The authors have delineated five categories of decision makers: skeptics, charismatics, thinkers, followers and controllers. By providing a detailed account of the how, what, why and why not of persuading each type, the authors' message is clear and consistent throughout the book: decode the individual and then go in with the proper tools. Some require extensive information, others just the "big picture"; some want to be coddled, others don't mind being challenged; some take their time and others make decisions on the spot. Knowing what each type is looking for makes all the difference between success and failure, the authors argue. Busy corporate types would do well to refer to this guide to figure out why they just can't make the big sale or how they could make an even bigger one the next time around.