• It helps you get to your clients’ real motivations – fear and greed

Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” – Albert Einstein

When discussing what motivates people to act, the common wisdom is that the fundamental drivers of human behaviour are fear and greed. I’m not saying people are running around terrified or planning to rob a bank, but irrespective of what someone is doing, or even their stated reasons for doing it, it is usually because they want something positive or because they are trying to avoid something negative. Often it is both, moving away from the negative towards the positive.

When it comes to marketing this is very true and is usually the underlying reason as to why they contacted you in the first place.

If a family moves to an area with better schools, they are saying they were afraid their child wouldn’t get as good an education in their old school. They may be moving or renovating because they want a bigger and better house. They may be investing in property because they are afraid they won’t have enough money to retire on, and by investing they expect to have more money and a better retirement lifestyle. They may be downsizing because they are afraid they can’t meet their mortgage commitments, or keep up the larger home they have, or maybe they just want more spending money. Either way, it comes back to a combination of fear and greed.

When we get to the sales point with a client, we want to try and understand what is really motivating our client as part of becoming their Trusted Advisor. I’m not talking about having a psychotherapy session, just that the more you can acknowledge what is driving them the more you can guide them in the right direction and build a more meaningful relationship that solves their actual needs and builds the foundation of a lifetime client.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

This is why I say sales starts with getting to the truth of your client’s situation. It may not be easy, but it’s what you don’t know that is going to lose the client and waste a lot of your time. Overall, I have always found that the best thing you can do in the initial stages of meeting a new client is to spend as little time talking as possible, and more time listening.


  • You will discover ways to improve your service

“It is so much easier to be nice, to be respectful, to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them before they ask for help, than it is to try to mend a broken customer relationship.” – Mark Cuban

Listening to your clients is admitting to yourself that you don’t immediately know what is best for them. The more they talk the more you will see opportunities to improve how you do things. If you are open to hearing the good and bad about what you do you have the possibility of identifying areas for improvement.