Apply 80/20 to Successfully Close the Deal

    Recently we were driving through a local neighborhood to drop our daughter off at a friend’s house.  As we came to an intersection with a stop sign, we came upon a cute little boy about 6 or 7 who had erected a makeshift lemonade stand.  He was waving his arms enthusiastically and as we got closer we could hear him shouting “Stop for a Lemonade – 50 cents”.

    Now I don’t know about you, but there was no way I could just look the other way, act like I did not see him and drive on by!  So, I stopped the car, rolled down my window and asked for his sales pitch.  He excitedly told me about his 2 flavors of lemonade, made from a packet and served ice cold.  50 cents per glass was the “deal of the day”.

    Needless to say, I was an “Easy Sale” for him.  “Two glasses please – one of each flavor” was my order.  A whopping $1.00.  And I gave him a $1.00 tip to boot!  As he took my money he yelled out to his dad who was sitting in a car nearby “Dad, he gave me two dollars!  That’s my biggest sale yet today!”  He was on cloud nine and I had two glasses of not so good tasting lemonade that I really did not need.

    So why do I tell you this story?  Because just about every business owner I meet wants to know the key to making an “Easy Sale” like the boy with the lemonade stand.

    So why did I (and others) buy from the cute little boy with the lemonade stand on the corner?  Was it because we really needed his product?  Was it because his glass of lemonade was “super-sized”?  Was it because he was offering a money-back guarantee?  Was it because he had chosen the best corner on which to open his business?

    None of the above.  The reason we opened our wallet and bought his product was because he played to our Emotions!  That little boy with the lemonade stand on the corner was doing what most savvy, experienced business owners are not.  He is selling his product based heavily on Emotion rather than on Logic.  In fact, to be specific, he demonstrates that selling any product or service is based 80% on Emotion and only 20% on Logic!

    Think about the last time you made a large purchase – a car, a house, a flat screen TV, whatever comes to mind.  I’ll bet that the final decision you made came down to an emotional decision rather than a purely financial one.  Because you don’t want to appear foolish, you disguise your decision by doing some research, comparing models, and asking about the extended warranty.  But deep down inside, you made the ultimate decision based emotional factors – how you felt about the buying experience, how you connected with the sales person and how excited they were with you to name a few.

    Then why is it you spend 80% of your time talking about the Logical reasons to buy your product?  Why are all of your “facts” and “details” lined up to compare your product with that of the competition?  Why are you stuffy and down-right grumpy rather than happy and excited when a prospective customer comes to your “street corner”?  When was the last time you jumped up and down waving your arms when your ideal customer came into view?

    You see, maybe you are just thinking too hard about how to make a sale.  Maybe you should just lighten up, have a little fun, enjoy finding the excitement with your customers and let your enthusiasm do the selling!  Something tells me you will not only have more fun in your business, but you will sell more as a result!

    80% Emotion, 20% Logic.  Write it down.  Put it near your cash register.  Share it with your team.  Make sure everyone knows the math.  Selling is about making an emotional connection with your prospects.  It is less about “convincing” them that you have a better deal than your competition.  Don’t fall into the trap of making it all about the ROI.  ROI matters, but not as much as making a personal, emotional connection first!

    Try it and you’ll find yourself shouting “Dad, he gave me lots of dollars!  That’s my biggest sale yet!”

    Your Dad will be proud of you!

    Rich Allen helps create businesses with solid foundations, unique marketplace positions, reputable processes, high-performance team, and a visionary leader. Prior to becoming an advisor, Rich was VP HR with Texas Instruments then Division President/COO with Pella Corporation. Rich is a proud Rotarian and serves on several boards. He holds an MS in International Business from the University of Texas and hosts a weekly radio show. His iOS App is titled “Ultimate Business Tune Up.” His new book is The Ultimate Business Tune Up: A Simple Yet Powerful Business Model That Will Transform the Lives of Small Business Owners. You can contact Rich Allen, at for more information.


    • Tom La Vecchia

      Founder of New Theory & X Factor Media

      Founder and Publisher of New Theory Magazine and Podcast. Serial Entrepreneur who loves wine, cigars and anything that allows to people to connect and share experiences.

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