When it comes to larger more sophisticated sales, your status often supersedes expertise.
In other words, if you don't seem like an insider or on an equal/greater footing than the person who you are pitching, then it is physiologically impossible for them to listen to you.
Not psychologically but physiologically impossible.
Literally, the part of the brain that controls decision-making has zero capacity for language and it is driven by subconscious emotions.
So, before I can get to the emotional decision-making core of my prospect's brain, I have to first bypass the initial subconscious brain, which is sizing me up and searching for trust cues.
It seems counterintuitive, but here are 4 ways we kill our status during a pitch, Followed by 5 ways to improve your status.
- Thank them for making the time
- Letting tardiness slide, and hanging on to meet even when they are late
- Making it easy to reschedule. Busy people are successful people and people want to work with successful people.
- Not owning the meeting. It's your meeting, act accordingly.
Introducing The Status Tip-off
The status tip-off is all about understanding the perceived status of the person you’re pitching to, and then subtly shifting their perception in order to increase your own status. This allows you to establish yourself as the expert in your field and create a dynamic where the prospect is eager to impress you. By doing this, you’re able to control the conversation and the outcome of the pitch. To execute the status tip-off effectively, you need to have a good understanding of your prospect’s values, motivations, and most importantly, their perceived status.
Make Them Work for It
One effective way to use the status tip-off is to make the prospect work for your attention. Instead of immediately engaging them in conversation, make them wait a bit before addressing them. This may seem counterintuitive, but it works because it shows that you’re busy and in demand. This subtle shift in the frame can increase your perceived value and make the prospect more eager to hear what you have to say.
The Power of Disqualifying
Another way to use the status tip-off is to disqualify the prospect. By subtly suggesting that you might not be the right fit for them, you can create a dynamic where they’re now trying to impress you and prove themselves worthy of your time and attention. This can be a powerful way to shift the power dynamic in a pitch and increase your chances of success.
Establish Your Expertise
Another way to use the status tip-off is to establish yourself as an expert in your field. One way to do this is to ask questions that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. By showing that you know what you’re talking about, you can establish your authority and control the conversation. This is a subtle way to shift the power dynamic and increase your perceived status.
Use the “Takeaway”
Finally, the “takeaway” technique is a powerful way to use the status tip-off. By threatening to take away an offer or opportunity, you can create a sense of urgency and desire in the prospect. This again shifts the dynamic so that they’re now trying to impress you and win your approval. The key is to make the offer or opportunity seem scarce so that the prospect feels like they need to act quickly before it’s too late.
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At the end of the day, you still need to know your stuff and be an expert in your field. But the status tip-off is a powerful tool that you can use to increase your perceived status and influence when pitching to potential clients.
It's all about reframing the way in which we think about them, and recognizing that it's just a game. not Life or death. But a simple game.
And we understand our prospect’s perceived status, we can subtly shift the dynamic, and you can establish yourself as the expert in your field in order to increase the chances of success.
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