Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma August 2018 - Page 24

BUSINESS MATTERS MIKE CRANDALL P ROFESSIONAL G ROWTH S OLUTIONS The Slight Edge T hink about the phrase – “there was just something about them.” It sounds crazy when you say it out loud; however, it is the key reason so many things happen in the business world, or don’t happen. Winning versus losing is seldom a dramatic or large thing. Most of the time, especially in business it is a tiny thing. And often we never know what that tiny thing is. Recently I was visiting with an Executive Director of a Non-Profit Organization. During the conversation I learned that they recently changed who they did some significant work with. When I probed the details of why and how they changed it was interesting. They shared with me that the supplier they had been using, for several years, kept changing things and making it more difficult to do business and communicate with them. The quality of what they were getting from the supplier was great; however, the process of doing business was not. As they decided to switch and explore other possible suppliers (which they had never done before) they put out an inquiry, then let several people come in and meet with them. They used these conversations to decide who they wanted to give the business to. 24 August 2018 | The Business Times Here is where it got very interesting. Once they shared this info. with me, I asked several questions about the meetings and why or how they made the choice they did. They could not really tell me — it basically boiled down to “there was just something about them.” This was not a tiny interaction, or insignificant thing. Outside of payroll and building expenses it was the largest line item on their budget each year. The details of this story are way more common than you might realize. We make decisions on things we don’t understand all the time. And we seldom take the time to fully learn from the interaction, the win, or the loss. It is highly likely you have been on both sides of this equation successfully and unsuccessfully. You have won and lost business you do not fully understand; and you have chosen/not chosen to give business to others on reasons you do not fully understand. If this bothers you, and it should, you would want to focus on truly understanding that the differences are a very slight edge — we do not win or lose by huge obvious things, but small (often unseen) things. To get better at this, we have to pay attention to the little things, we have to focus on interactions differently, and we have to pre-brief/de-brief differently. If we focus on generic things like price, features, benefits, etc. — we will never fully understand what drove the win or the loss. We have to pay attention to the little things that really create that slight edge. These things include comfort, tonality, body language, expectations, communication, primary sensory dominance, etc. Now let me ask: how often does your team win or lose and if not 100 percent do you know why? How much time, energy, and money could you save if you really knew and could fix it? If you do not know with 100-percent certainty — think about how much it is costing you? If you don’t know or don’t like the answers find a Business Growth Consultant who can help. MIKE CRANDALL lives in Edmond. He is a consultant, coach, trainer, speaker and author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. His firm specializes in sales, management and leadership development for proactive business growth. Mike is based in Oklahoma and serves visionary clients across the United States. He can be reached at or 405-844-1700. For more information, go online to