Business leaders weigh many factors before making decisions. They balance the practical dollars-and-cents costs of taking an action - whether to invest in a product or enter a partnership, for example - with more esoteric concerns.
Those concerns may be boiled down into a simple question executives pose to themselves and others: "Well, does it feel right?"
The idea that feeling, or intuition, plays an important, even decisive, role in decision making may be underappreciated. If all the facts and figures line up for a particular deal, but something about it doesn't feel right, do you nix the deal based on that?
It is a hard call to make. But whatever the ultimate decision may be, intuition should not be discounted. It is a form of intelligence that exists outside of the conscious mind. Indeed, intuition seems to be a check or balance against the mind, which can sometimes lead us astray.
The choices we make every day are influenced by these two forces - the brain that is hardwired in a certain way and intuition, which is a different kind of perceptive tool that may be experienced as that "small voice" or a "gut instinct."
We have a constant internal dialogue going on between rational thoughts and intuitive hunches, whether we're deciding what to eat, when to cross the street or choosing what to say at a meeting. Sometimes irrational compulsions (which aren't the same as intuition) are added to the mix, making the process even more complex.
It seems, however, we get into trouble when we don't "listen" to our intuition or when it's completely turned off. How many times have you heard such remarks as, "I knew there was something fishy about that deal," or "He kept coming to mind, but I was busy and put off calling; now, it's too late," or "I knew better than to have that third drink"?
The best sellers of financial services tap into their intuition. A merchant level salesperson (MLS) may close a deal with a merchant after deciding in a split second to lead with a product feature normally not highlighted in the pitch. Or a seller might take a different route home from work based on an impulse, and notice a new business has just opened up.
Successful ISOs and MLSs may not even be aware of how often they use intuition on the job. They say they just have a knack for how to approach clients. Or they choose a certain niche market to explore because it just feels right.
Maybe that's the true secret to successful selling, knowing how to tap into that brilliant part of yourself that "knows" better than you do.
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