Customers and clients meeting with a business advisor

Understanding How Perceptions Influence Behavior in the Business World

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One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it … one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.”

–Tom Robbins

Simply put, no two people see the world in the exact same way. Based on our individual differences, preconceived notions, experiences, and interests, we choose to pay attention to certain aspects of a message.

And because of this, you can’t communicate with every client or customer in the same way, and assume they will perceive your discussions in the same exact way, every time.

For this reason, Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne maintain the need for good communicators to understand exactly how to modify their words, gestures, and tone to specifically fit each unique scenario. And nobody understands the importance of good communication better than Hurson and Dunne.

Tim Hurson is the founding partner of Manifest Communications, one of North America’s leading social marketing agencies focused on social change strategy. He launched ThinkX Intellectual Capital and is the author of Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking. And Tim Dunne is a consulting partner with ThinkX, KnowInnovation, and New & Improved, firms that offer leadership, innovation, and sales training to companies across the globe.

In their book, Never Be Closing: How to Sell Better Without Screwing your Clients, Your Colleagues or Yourself, Hurson and Dunne insist it is extremely important to grasp exactly how clients think, see the world, and process information in order to develop a very strong connection.

The authors suggest that recognizing what energizes and de-energizes clients and customers can greatly improve the quality of interactions. These six major energizers include context, results, ideas, process, action and people. Let’s take a closer look:

Individuals who are energized by context need to completely grasp a situation. They want to understand all risks and rewards, as well as cause and effect. Additionally, they require a lot of detail and ask many questions. 

When working with these clients and customers, expect to cover information in a very thorough manner. Offer detailed, factual support for your material. In addition to showing how risks can be minimized, discuss contingency plans. Be prepared for your clients and customers to need time to think things over and to ask follow-up questions.

Individuals who are energized by results tend to value facts, logic, outcomes, and extremely clear goals. They are interested in direct and efficient communication. Additionally, they demand accuracy and unambiguous answers.

When meeting with these individuals, respect their time and focus on strategies that provide logical reasoning. Be clear about benefits and risks, and be prepared with supporting facts and results-focused plans.

Individuals who are energized by ideas are concerned with the big picture. They tend to value abstract thinking and feel bored by minute details. They are naturally creative and enjoy looking at new possibilities. These individuals are rule breakers—especially when it comes to new ideas.

When meeting with these individuals, focus on high-level strategies and avoid details and tactics. Use pictures and diagrams. Provide them with enough time to consider ideas.

Individuals who are energized by process like to grasp how things work and compare approaches. Detailed plans with milestones and timetables make them feel comfortable and energized. They value systems and organization. In addition, these individuals are not always able to make quick decisions due to their focus on details.

When meeting, use precise language; provide direct, detailed answers; offer concrete, measurable criteria; and allow a lot of question-and- answer time.

Individuals who are energized by action are eager to move toward a goal and can get frustrated by others who don’t move as quickly. Decisive and persistent, they are comfortable learning on the job. They are interested in leaping into action, which may make them appear pushy and impatient. Additionally, these individuals like to be in control and get things done.

Be sure to honor their need to accomplish goals; focus on tactics in place of strategies; address their need for decisiveness; ensure that you will respond quickly to any concerns and requests; and don’t keep them too long.

Individuals who are energized by people are social and outgoing. They are concerned with others and how people are affected by situations. These individuals are networkers who value feelings and fairness.

While connecting, warm them up with small talk. Use friendly, informal language. Keep in mind they make decisions based on empathy, emotion, and engagement. Offer them references and referrals from others.

When communicating with clients and customers, it can be very useful to understand exactly how others see the world and how they process information. In the words of Hurson and Dunne, “Salespeople are in a unique position to help their clients solve problems. In the end, the more skilled you are in identifying what’s important to your clients and how they take in information, the more accurate you’ll be able to diagnose their problems and offer solutions that meet their needs.”

At Nevada Corporate Headquarters, we pride ourselves in delivering an excellent client experience. We understand that our clients are unique with different business goals. That’s why we take the time to listen and learn.  Then we develop a plan that fits you, as our valued client.  Whether it’s launching your business, creating a winning business plan, or minimizing your tax liability, NCH is here to help.  When you’re ready to work with us, call 800-508-1729 or start your Nevada LLC online!

Read more about customer experience here.

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