I’ve just happened across an economist’s (perhaps Milton Friedman) view of how people approach spending money. The three variables a salesperson should consider are:
- who is doing the spending
- who’s money is it, and
- who are they spending it on
So, the first scenario is You spending Your own money on Yourself. This is where the most care in the decision is made. Everything’s downhill from here! So, the theory goes, the circumstance under which the least care is taken is when someone else spends money that isn’t theirs on a third-party.
You can create quite a neat matrix to show the declining attention paid to a purchase decision in this framework.
The repercussions of this are interesting. Compare the diligence of decision making in a public sector context (like in rank 6 above) with that which you conduct (like in rank 1).
Perhaps a salesperson would be torn from this insight. How much do you want your prospect to care about the decision? Maybe if you believe that they are coming to the wrong conclusion (by choosing a competitor over you) you could open things up by asking them what they’d do if it was their hard-earned that they were spending on themselves. If their decision remains the same, you could be sunk, but if it swings in your favour, then you’ve something to work on…