By Christopher Zoukis


At this point, the author introduces information about how people receive and transmit information, using it to demonstrate the difference between big-picture buyers and detail-buyers.  The difference resides in what is called chunking.  People who chunk up see the big picture.  People who chunk down perceive detail.  Big picture buyers want to know what impact the sales person’s product will have on the company.  Detail buyers want to see the separate steps to the solution. Image courtesy

Seidman does not provide a specific question to aid sellers in identifying between the two types.  Instead, he suggests sales people come right to the point:  “Would you prefer a big picture or do you want all the details?”  Big-picture buyers want to hear general descriptions of the product and its cost, along with an overview of how it will benefit the company.  Detail buyers want to hear the specifications of the product and how it will integrate into the company.  The seller then provides information pertinent to the buyer’s inclination, either a summary or a vast amount of detailed information.

Playing It Safe

Subsequent to ascertaining which type of buyer the seller is dealing with comes an important step:  landing the sale.  The author suggests using the buyer’s decision making process “to create conviction.”  Creating conviction involves three steps:  match the buyer’s “dialect;” match their “certainty” pattern; and match their “criteria” for making the decision. 

Seidman explains that matching the buyer’s dialect involves pinpointing how they process information.  There are four processing systems:  visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and through reading.  Discovery occurs through asking “How do you know?” questions.  Visual buyers answer with phrases such as “looks good to me” or “I don’t see it.”  Auditory responses include “sounds good to me” or “that rings a bell.”  Kinesthetic replies consist of “get a grip” or “that’s a solid explanation.”  Those who process through reading say, “I read a review of it.” 

Fifty-five percent of people process visually; thirty percent auditory; twelve percent through reading; and only three percent by means of kinesthetic. 

The buyer’s certainty pattern is how much and how often the buyer needs to receive information to be convinced the right decision is being made.  In other words, the buyer needs to feel safe.  Safety comes from certainty.  And certainty occurs over a period of time, depending on the individual.  The seller’s job is to determine how much time a particular buyer requires to be convinced.  At one end of the spectrum are buyers who need very little time to decide, while at the other end are those who require a longer period of time.

The third step is to match the buyer’s criteria, which means knowing precisely what they want, what the “buyer needs to say yes.”  At this point, the seller asks questions designed to elicit whether the buyer is an Away buyer or a To buyer.  Once this baseline is established, the seller can gain insight into exactly what the buyer wants.