I saw that my last post showed up on a search of “what is decision strategy”. So, I wanted to talk about “STRATEGY”. What it means to you, not Corporate America. Merriam-Webster defines “STRATEGY” as: “a careful plan or method”.

We have strategies that is, careful plans or methods for everything we do in life from getting up, showering, putting our clothes on, to making decisions, making a change, and even for falling in love. Yes, you have a strategy for falling in love. Our strategies come from our life experiences and we rely on them religiously. For the most part these strategies are outside of our awareness and operate at an unconscious level. As an example: How often do you think about how you go about driving your car or for that matter, falling in love? I mean the actually mental process you use. The vast amount of the time you just do it! Your strategies for the most part are predictable patterns of behavior and you will always use a strategy until it fails you; then and only then you might change it.

Try this. Fold your arms. Now fold them in the opposite manner. Did you have to think about it? How did it feel?

You can identify some customer’s strategies by observation and others by the words they choose to use when talking with them.

For example:

Decision Strategy can be identified by observing the pattern that the eyes move (accessing cues) when thinking about a decision they have made. Typically, it happens fast, in a matter of seconds. So, you have to pay close attention and that pattern will keep repeating itself as they discuss the decision.

If you ask a young child to decide between two items, their eyes go everywhere (it’s fun to do and watch) and usually the child ends up saying, “I can’t decide.” They have no strategy for making a decision yet. Whereas, if you ask an adult to recall a recent purchase they made, typically the eyes will start to track in a particular pattern.

On the other hand, Change Strategy is identified through word choice. Did they say achieve or prevent? Each one of those words indicates a different change strategy in play. Again, you have to pay close attention to the other person’s word choice. Remember, the words you and others use happen by design and not by accident. Words are a peek into our perceptual world. That’s why it is said that “every word has meaning.

Typically, Decision Strategy has to be directly elicited by asking a decision process probe. Whereas Change Strategy can come out at any time when discussing a prospect’s wants, needs, desires, problems, or dissatisfactions as well as when asked a decision process probe. I typically use decision process probes to determine both strategies since the prospect’s Decision Strategy will be revealed very quickly when thinking about the question I asked and their Change Strategy will be revealed when actually answering the question.

Remember, a person’s strategy is their strategy and they will always rely on it until it starts to fail them.