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Please Sir, I want some more… greens

For a while now I’ve wanted to eat more vegetarian food. I’ve already got a nutritious diet and aim to eat food that is seasonal, organic and local but I felt I wanted to eat fewer animals. Be less of a caveman.

Whenever I’ve mentioned it, casually in passing, to my carnivorous wife she’s looked horror-stricken – as if I’ve asked her to run around the supermarket naked without a life-belt. To say she was resistant would be an understatement.

Her argument is that she does most of the cooking and to get really tasty, inspiring, interesting veggie grub requires much more effort and time than simply pan frying an amazingly fresh fillet of fish, for instance. Good point.

However, after a high cholesterol test a few months back and on the advice of a nutritionist friend she was determined to reduce this by taking natural supplements and tweaking the diet to eating less animal protein – maximum of five portions a week. Music to my ears.

So, with eating out and socialising curtailed over the last few months we both dived headlong into the recipe books for new and interesting veggie ideas.

I’ve done loads more cooking and really enjoyed it. I think we’ve both been a bit surprised by the amazing stuff we’ve eaten and what fun it’s been. Yes, often the recipes are more involved, but we’ve got the time. Everyone’s happy.

It’s a classic example of a coaching principle that applies to selling: “no shared goal, no commitment”.

Imagine this scenario – a salesperson does a great job using a customer success story to get a meeting with another prospect. The meeting goes well and the signals all point toward an opportunity. Then the customer says: “this looks good, can you build us a business case?” What the salesperson does next is critical.

The naive salesperson thinks great, we have a solid next step. They build what looks like a solid business case and forecast the opportunity. But then there’s a nasty surprise coming – there’s no shared goal and the customer does nothing.

The savvy salesperson thinks great, this is an opportunity to establish if there’s a shared goal with a question like “how high on the priority list is this for you right now?” or “if the business case looks solid, how quickly would you want to move on this?”

The conversation that ensues enables the salesperson to establish how committed the customer is, agree a joint plan with a shared end goal and work with them on a business case. No guarantee of a successful outcome but a lot more likely.


PS. Shared Goals feature in my Shortest Sales Manual Ever (only eight pages). Email me if you’d like a copy.

PPS. That clip from “Oliver Twist”. The Beadle’s face – that was my wife.