Rule #22: People Don’t Argue With Their Own Data
Rule number 22. Hey, people don’t argue with their own data. Use self-discovery to break through performance barriers. I learned this a long time ago. People remember 20% of what they see, 30% of what they hear, but 90% of what they say and do. Think about that for a second. That’s true in your personal life, isn’t it? When you have an argument with anybody, why is it that you remember exactly what you said, even if it’s three years ago, but you have no recollection of what they said? Because you only remember 20% of what they said, but I remember everything that I say. That’s why each side has such confidence and conviction when they’re telling each other their side of the story, but it doesn’t resonate with the other side because the other side didn’t even pay attention.
Your job as a sales leader is to get people to self-discover. When you tell people what the problem is and you tell people what the solution is, they deny it. They resist it. By the way, even if they took it and embraced it, when it didn’t work, it’s your fault. So, here’s the rule. If people don’t argue with their own data, you have two jobs as a sales leader. Number one is to have them self-discover what their problem is. Number two, have them self-discover what the solution is. You can do that in many ways. The way that I’ve found the easiest is through great questions.
Create a list of questions for yourself that you know is based on your personality type and fits the environment by which you’ve set for your team and create a playbook. The playbook has those questions there. I have 25 questions in my playbook that I would ask people so they can self-discover what the problem is, much like a doctor who is trying to figure out what’s wrong with your back. They don’t tell, we self-discover. So, I ask those questions. Once I’ve got that, then I say, “Well, let’s talk about how we would solve that. Now that we think that’s the problem, how would we solve that problem?” “Well, I’m not sure.” “Well, if you had to guess and I wasn’t here, but you had to solve it quickly, what would you do?”
Now, I’m resisting every urge in my body to give them the answer, which I want to do because my ego wants to do it because I know the answer and I can get on with my day. But if I do that, all this is for naught. So, I have to say things like, “Well, if I wasn’t here, how would you solve it? Well, how would you do that? And what happens if that didn’t work here? How would you overcome this?” I’d create artificial roadblocks of things that could happen and probably will happen. By doing that, now they’re armed and ready with their solutions on the what-ifs. Once that’s done, people are self-sufficient. So, leave your ego in the car. Don’t tell people the solution, even though that you know it, because they will deny it. Use human psychology to your advantage and always remember, if people can hear what their mouth said, they will retain 90% of it. That’s the reason why role-play works, and that’s the reason why self-discovery works. Good luck.