I’ve been doing my best to keep up with the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, BC. This past week featured a stirring upset by American figure skater Evan Lysacek over many great skaters, including Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. Plushenko had come out of retirement to try for his second consecutive Olympic Gold Medal. His signature move was the quadruple jump. “You can’t be considered a true men’s champion without a quad,” the 27-year-old told worldwide sports reporters. But win it without one you can.
Why? The quad wasn’t what the judges looked for alone. They used ALL of the skaters’ moves to make their decision and Lysacek “sold” them what they were “buying.” Lysacek did not attempt a quadruple jump, instead wowing the judges with artistry and flawless footwork.
What can you take away from this? As in sales and business, knowing what the client/customer is buying is what determines the Gold Medal of success. Not what you think they want. You don’t get the opportunity to determine what people are buying. They buy what they buy. You get to determine what you sell them. Sell them what they are buying and you are successful. Sell something else and you are a footnote in history.
The Olympic judges were buying a artistry and great footwork, not quad jumps. What are your customers/clients buying? Are you selling that to them? Don’t get in their heads. Get in their hearts.