Want to get to Yes? Get Fuzzy!

8th March 2013 | By Frances Pratt

Yes! Source: tatscru

A sales person’s primary job is to give the prospect the right type and amount of information to get them to say yes to move forward with the proposal.  Does it have to be correct yes!  Does it have to be precise?  No!

I know that to some that sounds manipulative and a version of lying.  It’s true, there are sales people who use this technique for those purposes.  But bear with me … there is method in my madness … let me explain to you why and how this sales technique works.

The profession of sales is about giving the person the right amount of information to answer their questions and to be able to convince them that the product or service will indeed fix their problem or meet their need.  To do this you need to know about your potential client and what problem they are interested in solving.  So done properly – this is about helping them buy, not manipulating them into something they don’t want.

I have intuitively done this in my sales career, and I was fascinated to happen upon this Harvard Business Review article called To Get Better Decisions, Get a Little Fuzzy.  It asserts that if we focus too much on precision that this wastes time and money where allowing some imprecision leads to better decision making.

When you are selling to someone it can be just like this.  If you are getting buying signals (nodding of the head, them talking about implementation plans etc) then it is time to start moving on to looking at exploring the sign up process with the client.  Do they know everything about you, your product, your company – no!  But clearly they have heard enough to start thinking about the next step.

For people not used to selling they may not be aware of the pain of analysis paralysis (or when too much information stops the whole decision making process).  Here are some sales tips to keep in mind.

  • Listen first …. You can only help someone buy if you know more about their business, what their problems are and how they think it should be solved.
  • Use stories …Stories help the person engage with what you do AND how you do it.  If they start imagining themselves in your story … you are on the right track.
  • Change your attitude … Don’t try and tell them everything about you !  You are there to help them buy. 
  • STOP selling! ... Once you have them on board, stop selling.  Get them signed up and start working through the next steps with them.


Great sales people know that they haven’t covered everything in their meetings with the client, so they ensure a full handover to the implementation team is completed so that the gaps can be found and filled.

Try these sales skills, and let me know how you get on.


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