There are going to be times when you sell when you have to make quick decisions. Of course you have two ways to decide. You could very carefully analyze the information you have and make a thorough, logical decision. That might take you time. It also might not be the best way to decide. You could also pay attention to your gut and make a gut decision.
How do you know when to go with your gut and when to conduct a careful analysis? The careful analysis is not always the best way to decide.
Why? Because sometimes there is simply too much information to analyze quickly. Your logical brain (prefrontal cortex) gets overwhelmed with information and basically gets immobilized. What good is it if you can’t make a decision?
I’m a student of the brain. I know. It sounds a little odd. Learning about thinking is something I enjoy. I just finished reading this blog about the brain and decisions. The point I took away from reading the blog is that it is clear when you should use your gut to make a decision and when you should use logic.
Here’s the answer:
How do you know when to use your gut? Roughly speaking, if you are making comparisons based on few features, you should use your rational thinking abilities. You should analyze the available data. If there are many features, you are better off using your gut.
Where is the cutoff? Think about telephone numbers. The local ones are seven digits. There is a reason for that. It’s the same reason for when you should go with your gut. Here’s what is in the blog:
Seven plus or minus two “items” has been proposed by psychologist George Miller. When we have to deal with more items, we take shortcuts. We count in “scoops” instead of counting the pieces of candy. These shortcuts are the source of many thinking errors. These are for another day. For now, a rule of thumb: if you are dealing with more than seven variables, browse through, relax, do something else for a little while, then go with your gut.
So the next time you have to make a decision in sales, count the variables. More than 7–go with your gut!