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Decision-making Shortcuts with Jeff Shore [Episode 676]

Jeff Shore, Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. joins me on this episode.


  • The topic is decision-making. Decisions take a lot of brain power. We constantly rely on heuristics (mental shortcuts). Research from Duke shows that about 50% of our actions are habit-based. That saves much energy.
  • When we consider buying, we run a mental simulation of what it would be like to own and use and we decide quickly, based on how we feel in the simulation.
  • Jeff gives the example of a purchasing manager dealing with a salesperson. When they ask themselves, ‘How do I feel?’, the answer comes from the gut, not from the conscious brain. This is true for all decisions.
  • A study by Antonio Damasio tested persons with brain damage in the emotion control center. The persons struggled to make decisions. Jeff notes the case of Phineas Gage. Emotions guide everything.
  • Andy presents a case study of a large important sale of his. Emotion closed the deal. Logical selling does not reach out to trust and confidence. Andy refers to the research of Paul C. Nutt on two-step decisions.
  • When prospects make the ‘go/no-go’ decision, they have a leader in mind. You want to be that leader. A key decision shortcut is easy equals right. The easier something is to grasp, the righter it feels. Complex equals wrong.
  • Jeff’s next shortcut is likability. How much I like you leads to how much I trust you. More so if I think you like me. That’s how con men succeed.
  • Relationships are extremely important. The customer wants to like us before trusting us and buying from us. Andy wants there to be more education in these soft skills. A relationship is won or lost in the first interaction.
  • Another shortcut is price equals quality. Connect your value to your price. It is hard to be vested emotionally when you don’t know the price. Introduce price and value early and show why. Andy qualifies prospects on value.
  • If you don’t defend your price, you’re not defending your quality. Another shortcut is discount equals distress. Discounting is a manager’s fault. Don’t allow a discount. You are not a commodity.
  • Value purity means people make a decision when they believe the price is both fair and final. If you quickly offer discounts, the price isn’t final and probably isn’t fair.
  • The last shortcut is speed equals caring. It means you are handling the request and that you care about that customer. Andy advances speed into responsiveness. It locks people into doing business with you.