MintonDickes on Beginning With the End in Mind.


Bruce Dickes & Dennis Minton 

Minton Dickes
(Bruce DickesDennis Minton are Organizational Consultants. Enjoy the Monday Morning Minute.)

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening.” – Doug Larson 


Everyone, in every situation has a big issue, the most important thing that drives their decisions. Whether you are a sales person, a manager, a negotiator, a spouse, or a parent, when you find out what this issue is, you are on your way to a successful interaction.

We call the big issue a person’s Dominant Buying Motive or DBM. It is their pain, their motivator, the key factor in getting them totake action. Although it is a central tenet to sales success, digging deeper to uncover someone’s DBM is a valuable method to accomplish goals in any number of situations in a variety of careers.

Guesswork is for amateurs. Without a thorough knowledge of the DBM, we are lost and any solution or course of action that we suggest is just a shot-in-the-dark.

Here is a 7-step method on how to effectively identify the DBM:

1. Find out about facts and feelings
People’s innermost thoughts and feelings are far more important than any facts by themselves. A salesperson or manager who knows how someone feels has control of the process. If he doesn’t, he may find himself on the outside looking in.

2. Make sure to probe
A sure-fire way to find out the big issue is by following up on their comments and digging deeper by using probing questions. The results will be more satisfying and a better fit. When someone swells with pride about their business or their family, or waxes eloquently about their dreams or an accomplishment, the DBM detector should be clanging in our heads.

3. Practice active listening
All of us have two ears and one mouth for a reason – we are designed to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking. If we want to be successful in a selling situation, a negotiation, or a supervisory interaction, we would be wise to spend two-thirds of our time focused on the other person’s comments and feelings. Let them talk – nobody ever learned anything listening to their own voice. The best advice is to ask a lot of questions and shut up. Most of us like to hear ourselves speak, but the most important information in sales or anything else comes from the other guy.

4. Watch for non-verbal cues and clues
It’s not always what they say that actually counts. It might be how they say it, how they sit and act, or the look on their face when they say it. Be alert!

5. Restate their more important concerns for better understanding
Given a chance, most prospects, clients, employees, kids (in short everyone) will open up and share what they want to see happen. The on-the-ball professional will give them the opportunity to go into detail about their hopes and dreams. The best strategy is to ask open-ended questions and then be quiet and listen. When we feel like they have expressed fully what it is they want to accomplish, a solid approach is to restate what they shared and then ask them to verify that this is the direction they want to go. There is power in rephrasing their concerns and asking them to verify them. Then they will have said it themselves, heard us repeat it, and have agreed one more time that it is true.

6. Fit follow-up actions to the DBM
It is more likely that the sales solution (or suggested course of action) that we present will be accepted and acted upon if it fits the DBM, and everyone’s chances of lasting success will be much greater.

7. Keep records
When following up with a client or other person, if there are good records (mental or preferably written down), vital information will be at our fingertips for use in real-time. We won’t have to rack our brain trying to recall a conversation from last February. A little homework enhances every interaction – a quick review will pay huge dividends.

The sales person (or manager, spouse, parent, leader, etc.) who is sincerely interested in what is on another person’s mind and what is important to them, will be well-served to develop a strategy to uncover the DBM.

– Dennis S. Minton and Bruce E. Dickes

About MintonDickes

MintonDickes Consulting offers organizations decades of experience to deliver improved results more quickly, more successfully and more affordably in the long-run.
Not a one-size-fits-all or cookie-cutter approach. We help clients challenge conventional wisdom to achieve order of magnitude improvements.
Our job is to provide the opportunity to out-think the competition, implement the critical solutions for meaningful and lasting impact


Dennis S. Minton
Bruce E Dickes

Minton Dickes Consulting