Approach To Sales
Today's topic may seem a little "off-topic" but I
wanted to make sure that I don't get lost in my own
leadership style and forget to give you really solid
tips on making leadership work...and believe it or
not, that's through salesmanship.
While what I'm writing today appeals to all
people in any situation and more specifically people
trying to sell things to other people or influence
I designed an
OPTIMULL approach with a little help from my
friends...which creates the following model:
- Low-Hanging Fruit
You can read about the specific descriptions of
each at the
OPTIMULL website if you need more in-depth
information. But for now, let me just share why this
can help sales.
Last week, I mentioned the new book about the old
technology (even though it's not easy to do) from
Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille. [Please leave
your name and number to get direct access to the
info about the book, system, and implementation.]
Once one has a code, how does one use it?
Well, I'm going to assume you've come up with
what you think is the code that you are going to use
to unlock the key to the individual and/or cultural
Now, how do you frame it, or implement it?
If whatever you do, be it headline, sales copy,
speech, memo or letter, if you can frame it with an
OPTIMULL approach, you're going to get Low-Hanging
Fruit, or the second "L" in OPTIMULL.
Let's do an example because I'm sure this is to
theoretical for you to be practical.
Subject: Selling People on an Integral
Leadership System that Works When They Don't.
[I chose this because it's something that I'm
offering in a couple of months...it will be
those of you reading after the announcement,
although it has a limited number of participants, at
least you can see what I actually sent out.]
I'm going to implement it using the OPTIMULL
formula, so here goes:
Step 1: OPPORTUNITY
Opportunity = perception of an opportunity by
others, which means I need to know where the pain
and pleasure are, so I understand what types of
issues, problems, challenges, or "opportunity"
I think "independent professionals (IP)" (my
target market) need a constant supply of leads,
which means they need people interested in what
they do, who can self-qualify themselves and
tell the IP they want service, or select
products and services themselves and deposit
money directly into the IP's bank account, even
without the IP knowing it happened...I call this
It helps to have an idea of the CODE for
independent professional, a la Clotaire. Hmmm.
No Code, lost opportunity.
What is the imprint for an IP?
- doctor, lawyer, dentist, intelligent,
leader, smarter than everyone else,
educated, father-figure, rich, lives on the
right side of town, drives the right car,
status, high rank, never has to ask for
business, doesn't use the term money, always
has it, can charge anywhere, kids go to
This is my imprint, the only way I would know
if it were true would be to ask enough others
their imprint of Independent Professional. But
since I'm not going to do that today, I have to
come up with the CODE I can try, so I can pursue
Hmmm, what is the culture code for an IP?
Forgive me Clotaire...but here is what I
think it is...ABOVE
IPs are ABOVE everyone, we look UP to them,
they are ABOVE reproach, ABOVE low-class, ABOVE
questioning, they are experts who are ABOVE us.
I'm probably whacko, but you have to start
somewhere (you might want to read the book
before you try this without a net! no pun
Step 2: PAAR
PAAR stands for power, accountability,
authority and responsibility.
In this case, the power holds two
particularly interesting ideas: one, that IPs
have power (this fools them into thinking that
all they have to do is hang out their shingle,
another IP imprint) and IPs need to empower
others (this is done through design because IPs
are ABOVE asking for money).
Accountability is both the IP System and
required, it is usually hired help that does all
of this accountability stuff, paperwork, etc.
Authority is inherent in the IP Design,
therefore since IPs are ABOVE it all, this can
be tricky without the credibility in the minds
of IPs clients...in this case, if you don't have
a MD, JD, Ph.D., are trying to be an independent
professional, then you may need other things to
give the "authority" in the perception of the
client or customer.
Responsibility is a tough one here....
Whose responsibility is it anyway, IP or not?
At this level, the "feeling" of responsibility
MUST be transferred to the client, or customer,
and therefore it must be "felt" by the client.
In accountability, which is tangible, all the
pieces MUST be ABOVE reproach (new idea here for
me, that's for sure, but then again, I never
tried to CODE the imprint for IP).
Let's recap, as it's important here:
IP CODE = ABOVE
Opportunity = Systems that support the IP,
but must remain ABOVE
PAAR: IPs have and need to empower, are
accountable, get authority and client's and
customers feel responsible to the IP, so that
IPs remain ABOVE.
This sets up:
Step 3: Tension
The tension that exists comes from the IP
needing to remain ABOVE, but yet not having
systems in place to keep them their. If they are
not there, then they are perceived by their
clients and customers as "reproachable" which
then moves the whole issue off-code, both in the
mind of the IP and in the minds of their clients
Step 4: Importance
What's important here is that in anything we
do with and for IPs we deal with the tension
that being ABOVE brings...meaning that they
can't be put in a situation where they are not
Step 5: Motivation
In this part, what has to happen is that the
IP must be motivated and it must be motivation
that keeps them ABOVE, therefore it is likely to
be a complex web of individual and cultural code
that is able to manage the tension created by
While it may not be directly individually
necessary that the IP have ranking behavior as a
motivation, the IP CODE says ABOVE, therefore
even though the IP individually may not be
motivated to separate themselves or to work
above, their ideas of IP-dom are that IPing
remains ABOVE the common needs of the many.
Therefore, even if the IP has a money
problem, they can never acknowledge it,
especially to other IPs, but more specifically
the clients or customers can never feel this
Step 6: Urgency
What helps the opportunity here is that the
issue arising is now urgency, which means that
you have the IPs attention if you can satisfy
the other constraints of the IP CODE.
Step 7: Leverage
This becomes the operative tipping
point...what is it that will tip the IP into
action? How can they be influenced in a way that
they realize that this is going to meet a lot of
their needs to remain ABOVE (first leverage
point), but to solve the growing tension, the
urgency that might exist in losing the IP-dom
and having to return BELOW to a regular, or
common way of living..which includes having to
ask for money, or get a regular job (which
remember keeps them ABOVE the money issue, so
it's on CODE).
Step 8: Low-Hanging Fruit
Clearly, the low-hanging fruit for the IP if
it's on CODE, must allow them to remain ABOVE
the fray, the problems, the issues, the day to
day chores and allow them to concentrate their
time and attention on IPing. That's what brought
them to IPdom.
Therefore, you're not really going to teach
the IPs much, so what do you have to provide
Turn-key IPing...it must be a completely
transparent process that allows the IP to remain
ABOVE it all, yet continue the perception in the
minds of the clients and customers that the
IPing is responsible, ABOVE reproach.
This allows the greatest amount of freedom
for the IP and allows them to remain ABOVE it
Now, that's an exercise, a real one that will
influence my own ideas about influencing IPs in
leadership of IPdom. It also tells me what I need to
do to appeal to IPs and I can stop trying to help
IPs get it, but just give it to them and charge them
for the IP System.
But key here is to never forget the IP code =
ABOVE and ANYTHING that affects ABOVE has to be
handled and created in such a way as there is never
any doubt or question about whether or not it is
I hope you have enjoyed the OPTIMULL exercise.
I think the OPTIMULL system is a perfect mate for
the culture code work and if you're interested, I
hope to see you ABOVE it all.
I have written extensively about coaching and all
the items that I mentioned above. If you wish to
read more intensively about any of the topics I
mentioned, feel free to visit my personal
join us at Leadership
University for coach training.
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