One Huge Way To Tailor Your Next Sales Pitch

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Salespeople are always looking for a meaningful way to connect with a prospect as quickly as possible.  If they knew more about the prospect, especially their personality type, they could tailor their pitch in a style better designed to reach them.  

Fortunately, Myers-Briggs has given salespeople a huge leg up in this arena.  Research has shown that 75% of all people are Sensors.  

* Sensors are concrete, detailed-oriented people who are focused on the here and now.  

* They are drawn to physical realities--what they can see, hear, touch, taste and smell.  

* Sensors like facts. They are practical; they learn best when someone shows them how they can use the information they are being taught.  

* Sensors will do things according to how experience has taught them to do it rather than try a new, unproven solution.  To Sensors, talk is cheap.  They want evidence.  

* As a group, Sensors are greatly concerned with the bottom line.

* When delivering facts, Sensors will move sequentially through them.  

So what does that mean for those of you in sales?

When you don’t know a prospect’s personality type, assume they are a Sensor. Until they show you that they want the big picture, talk in metaphors or generalities, or talk about the meaning behind the facts you are sharing.  If they seem bored with details, they are part of the 25% of us who are Intuitives.  

To best reach Sensors with your pitch:

  • Focus on concrete facts

  • Discuss the steps involved in the correct sequence

  • Emphasize immediate or short-term benefits

  • Build credibility by emphasizing relevant experience

  • When outlining an idea, state when the details will be sorted out and who will do it.

You will want to over-prepare for the meeting as they may want to dive deep into details.  Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know, but assure them you will get back to them with the answer to their detailed questions.  Make sure you follow through thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

If you are pitching to someone higher up in an organization, you don't want to waste their time. Even the leader is a Sensor, they may be able to put together the details through a bullet point.  So you will need to anticipate that: adjust the pitch by saying you will give the high level bullet points, and then will dive in deep to the bullet points they want details on.

As a side note, if you discover early on in your pitch that the leader is not a Sensor, be sure to adjust the presentation to a more Intuitive style.  Our next blog will discuss how to create a presentation for them.

Chew On This:

  • Which of your prospects are you sure are Sensors?  What do they have in common

Ryan C. Bailey is President and CEO of an organizational effectiveness company that supports leaders in developing in-demand high performing teams

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.

25 Questions To Consider Before Starting A New Project

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You receive an email where you read that you've been put in charge of a project. Your boss wants to sit down with you to talk through the details tomorrow.

What questions should you ask that will help set you up for success?

Consider these:

  1. Is there a clear, tangible objective to this project? If so, what is it?  If not, how can we make it clear and tangible?

  2. What is the most essential part of this project?

  3. How will we know we've succeeded?

  4. What happens if this project is not successful?

  5. How is this project tied to the greater organization?

  6. When is this project due?

  7. What are the key milestones that must be met?

  8. What is it about me that led you to choose me to lead this project?

  9. What are your expectations of me?  The team?

  10. May I share how I work best?  May we talk about how my workstyle lines up with your expectations?

  11. Who is the actual client?

  12. Who is the point of contact?

  13. Who is RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted & Informed)?

  14. How does each RACI want to be communicated with, to what level of detail, and when?

  15. How will I be held accountable for this project?  

  16. Has this project been done before?

  17. What things should I do immediately to set this project up for success?

  18. What obstacles should I expect to find in completing this project?

  19. How high does the project compare with the other projects I'm working on?

  20. What support will I have in completing this project?

  21. What skills are necessary to complete this project successfully?

  22. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the team who will be working with me on this?

  23. How can I gain each team member’s commitment to see the project through to successful completion?

  24. How will this project be delivered?

  25. What should I have asked you that I didn't ask you?

Chew On This:

  • Which questions above especially stand out to you?

Ryan C. Bailey is President and CEO of an organizational effectiveness company that supports leaders in developing in-demand high performing teams

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.

Stay in the Strike Zone by Discovering Your Bent

discovering-your-bent-to-stay-in-theEveryone has something that they are especially gifted in.  It is something that is really them, something they can use to effect the greatest good for the greatest number. Do you know what yours is?

Or, to put it another way, do you know what your “thing” is?

Your thing, or your bent, is something you could apply anywhere in life.  Typically, it transcends arena, but you would especially use it at work, since you spend so many hours there.

Clients have shared things like:

  • “I innovate”
  • “I refine”
  • “I make things right”
  • “I bring order out of chaos”

Do you see how any of those things could apply anywhere in life?  Do you see how someone could be innovative at work but also at home--planning meals, parenting, etc?

That is what you are looking for.

Is there something stirring in you now that you think may be your thing?  Maybe you are still not sure.

I ask my clients three different questions to help them discover their thing:


  • What have your greatest accomplishments had in common?  What have you been known for?


If you can’t think of what to list as your greatest accomplishments, then start by telling yourself your own story and see what stands out as the greatest accomplishments or something you were known for. Let me tell you a little bit of my story to help you see how I discovered what my thing is, and maybe that will help you discover yours.

I was the little kid who knew everyone’s secrets.  Two friends would be at odds with each other, and both would talk to me without ever knowing that the other was doing the same thing.

I went to the second largest high school in the country, Brooklyn Tech.  There were so many students that when we walked the stage to get our diplomas at graduation, some of my friends and I remarked that we had never seen some of the people on stage before.

Somehow at school my name got around as the guy you talk to if you are having girlfriend/boyfriend problems or “parent issues."

My mother, who is a surgeon but goes by her last name Paoli, used to jokingly answer our home telephone line by saying, “Dr. Bailey’s line," then hand me the phone.

Everyone knew that I was going to be a therapist (no one knew what coaching was back then).

When I started heading in the therapy direction, my parents encouraged me to go into business. I did.

Throughout my time working for a stockbroker (who eventually became a venture capitalist), writing business plans, and being a financial consultant, clients would say things like, “You know you sound like a therapist”;  “You ask questions like a therapist”; “Are you sure you are not a therapist?”

Eventually I became a therapist, but despite really enjoying therapy, I missed the business world.  My wife started saying things like, “It’s a shame you have this expensive business degree but use it only for your business."

Then she read an article on coaching and exclaimed, “Ryan this is you!!!  This is so you!!!  You’ve got to read it!”

Since a lot of my therapist friends at that time pooh-poohed the idea of coaching, I did not read it.

But my wife persisted over the next few days until I finally relented and read it.

I’m glad I did, because she was right again.  It was me.

I immediately bought a book on coaching, then hired my own coach, got trained, and began calling counseling clients whom I had not seen in years.  Since many of them were executives, I added executive coaching to my list of services.

When I looked at my biggest successes in counseling and executive coaching, what they had in common was that I “got to the heart” and worked at that level.


  • What have others told you that you did to achieve the greatest home runs?


To gain confirmation on the “getting to the heart” thing, I contacted clients who had experienced home runs and asked them, “What did I do that most helped you to have the home run you experienced during our time together?”

The vast majority said some version of, “You got to the heart.”

I could have just started with this step if I would have thought of it.  But the home runs were in seemingly different areas (i.e. porn addiction recovery, marriage counseling, leadership development, high performance team formation, etc.).

What about you?  What’s your story?  What does it reveal about what your “thing” is?


  • What natural gifts do you have that have always been better than average and make you feel alive when you use them?


A third way you can discover your "thing" is to ask, “What have I always done at a better than average level?”  See if any of those gifts can be applied across your life.

With some of them you may have to look deeper.

For example, I had a client who was in his 50’s, who said, among other things, that he was always able to hit a great forehand.  When we analyzed what he did to hit that great forehand consistently, and what he experienced while hitting the best forehands, he described how he would get into a zone where the court would look huge so it felt like he could not miss.

We then worked on ways for him to get in that zone more often.

The more he got into the flow of that zone in any area of life, the better he did.

So he became intentional about “getting into the zone”.

Once you discover what your thing is, use it intentionally in any and every area of life.  The more you do that, the more you stay in your strike zone.

The more you stay in your strike zone, the more you will see your “thing” as a gift.

The humility that comes from seeing that brings real contentment and a desire to use your gift as much as possible for the greatest ends.

You will also experience more confidence, more meaning, and even taste joy.

Finally, you will also notice that your gift can be improved and grown.  Making small incremental progress brings a sense of true enjoyment.

When team members discover what their thing is and directly apply it to their role, their engagement goes up, camaraderie increases, and they become much more helpful to their fellow team members.

As a final thought, make sure you can explain what your “thing” is in less than seven words (preferably four or less).  You will love the clarity that comes from that exercise.

Chew On This:


  • What would be different about your life if you discovered what your “thing” is and constantly used it at work?


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.