The Pendulum Theory is based on Newton's First Law of Motion, which states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed, and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Let's create a visual so you can better understand this concept. Start by drawing a circle and put the numbers around the circle like you see on a clock.
Now draw a thick unbroken line from the 9 o'clock to the 3 o'clock. On the middle of the line, we will place a pendulum; the pendulum can swing back and forth from 9 to 3 and from 3 to 9.
This represents how your prospect feels about your opportunity. At any given time in the sales process, a prospect can sense positive, negative, or indifferent towards what you are selling.
You could be talking about raising money for a particular investment opportunity or about getting your offer accepted by a seller. For today's purpose, you will be referred to as the “salesperson,” and your seller / private money partner / financial friend will be referred to as the “prospect”. I am intentionally using this term because the sale has not closed yet; thus no “buying” has taken place (yet).
Next, I will cover how your prospect feels toward your offering, relative to the pendulum:
First, think of a clock (you know the round thing we used to use to tell time)
Nine – The prospect is not interested in any way whatsoever (It's over)
Eight – The prospect is hostile
Seven – The prospect is negative
Six – The prospect is neutral (Indifferent)
Five- The prospect is open to looking
Four- The prospect is excited about your offering
Three- The prospect has decided to buy (Done deal)
The pendulum will move back and forth. Your job is to keep it swinging until it reaches 3 or 9 because that will be the only time at which a prospect will make a committed decision either way.
The neutral prospect is the hardest to sell because it takes a lot of energy to get them moving. And, without stimuli that will keep the prospect engaged, they will most likely lose momentum and come to rest at 6 o'clock (neutral).
The First Rule
The first rule states that you have to supply the energy to keep the prospect moving. You can never depend upon the prospect to do this alone.
The Second Rule
The second rule states that you can't count on your marketing alone. Rarely will a website or single marketing effort alone will get a prospect to 3 o'clock.
The Third Rule
The third rule states that it doesn't matter if a prospect is positive or negative on the pendulum; the most important thing is that the prospect is moving. An indifferent prospect will never make a decision (unless it is a decision not to make a decision).
The Fourth Rule
The fourth rule states that you should always stay slightly to the left of the prospect. In other words, remain somewhat more negative than your prospect.
Let's take a look at how the typical investor would respond to an enthusiastic prospect who is at 4 o'clock on the pendulum (which means excited about your offer).
Prospect: “I like your product.”
When the typical investor hears this, he or she moves to 3 o'clock on the pendulum and says, “Great! Let me write this up right now.”
The problem is, the prospect is at 4 o'clock and is not yet sold, and won't be until they reach 3 o'clock (and stay there). This is where financial friends and sellers get cold feet…
So how does the prospect respond to the excited salesperson? He moves back to 5 o'clock.
The prospect says, “Well, I'm not sure I'm that interested.”
Have you ever felt you had one on the hook, and they were surprised that they never bought? You would have bet the farm that this person was going to buy. This happens all the time when you use traditional selling methods.
So, why does the prospect react this way? Is it too much pressure or fear? This phenomenon occurs in the early stages of the selling process because a certain level of trust and rapport has not been established between the buyer and you. When you respond too enthusiastically, the prospect moves to the protected position of neutral.
The typical salesperson then panics as he or she sees the potential new customer slipping away. The salesperson becomes even more enthusiastic and begins to pressure the prospect. The typical salesperson does this by going into their features and benefits song and dance. Let's throw the kitchen sink at this prospect, and hope something sticks. The problem here is that the longer the salesperson continues down this path; the likelihood that the prospect will buy diminishes.
How does the prospect respond to this display of emotion from the salesperson? He senses that something is not right, and begins moving toward seven on the pendulum…moving right past neutral into the negative zone. Soon the prospect will move to 9 o'clock, set up camp there, and the sale will be lost.
How could this situation be handled to create the expected positive outcome?
When the prospect was at 4 o'clock the designer should move to safe ground, let's say 5 or maybe even 6. By moving to 3 and trying to sell too early, you run the danger of getting between the prospect's location on the pendulum, and the point to which we want the prospect to move.
Most designers get in their way and thus become the reason the prospect did not buy. They frighten the prospect and kill the sale. All the hard work done to move the prospect to 4 o'clock on the pendulum is wiped out in a few seconds.
When a prospect is at 4 o'clock and says, “I like your product,” your safest response would be: “Thanks. However, are you sure you've given this enough thought?” This gentle reply will get the prospect moving without feeling pressure.
This statement does two things:
1. It offers reassurance to the prospect and begins to establish rapport. The prospect will feel that you are concerned about their best interests.
2. If there is a hidden objection, it brings it to the surface early so that you can handle it. Unstated misgivings are a significant reason why most salespeople lose prospects they should have had. It separates the genuinely successful investors from those who struggle.
Let's get back to the example.
The prospect moves to 5 and begins asking questions. These are the hidden objections that could have killed the deal. Now you know what they are and can deal with them on your terms. No surprises. You are making this move to bring these objections out when you are prepared for them.
Always remember Newton's Law of Motion: An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force, and that unbalanced force is you.
In Mailbox Money Mastermind, the student learns to effectively use questions to get the prospect moving along the pendulum. It doesn't matter which direction they move; we want them moving. Now that the prospect is in motion, he or she will stay in motion.
By using questions, we will eventually lead (rather than drag) the prospect back to three o'clock, the deal is done, and the prospect thinks he got there all by himself. As long as we continue to ask questions, the prospect – sooner or later – will swing up to 3 o'clock. It's the law of physics in action!
Now let's talk about a prospect who is sitting at 6 (indifferent to your offering). What does the typical investor do? We believe all the stuff we hear on sales and thinks if we are enthusiastic about our offering, that enthusiasm will get transferred to the prospect and he or she will buy. So we run up to 3 o'clock and show the prospect how excited we are about our product (makes sense, doesn't it?).
But the more pitch the features and benefits, the more suspicious the prospect becomes. And very quickly, the prospect moves from seven to eight to nine o'clock, and the deal is lost.
How should we handle this situation? A prospect at 6 is the most difficult to deal with; because he is an object at rest (remember the law?). You have to create enough force (so to speak), to get the prospect moving. Whenever a prospect is sitting at 6, you should move to 9. Work from a point that won't frighten or threaten the prospect.
By moving to 9 o'clock and gently asking questions, you build rapport and give the prospect space. The prospect feels secure, comfortable, and most of all, in control. Only then will he begin to move. The prospect may start to move toward 9 o'clock, but that's okay at this point because he is moving.
Practicing this technique you are doing something that no other investor has done…you are openly discussing your demise. And it's entirely okay with you if the prospect moves to 9 o'clock at 6 o'clock. Why? Because as long as the prospect is moving, once he goes from 9 o'clock on the pendulum, there is only one direction for him to go, and that is to swing back down. But instead of stopping at 6 o'clock, his momentum will take him to five, four, even three o'clock. The key is the gentle use asking questions. The best part of this is the prospect thinks he got to three o'clock all by himself.
Now let's look at the prospect that starts at 9. How do we respond to the negative prospect? First, we fear this prospect more than any other. Since this prospect won't budge, the typical salesperson runs up to 3 o'clock and plants himself firmly up there. Then he begins to jump up and down, yell and scream, all in an attempt to get the prospect's attention. The negative prospect is so far away that he cannot hear the typical salesperson. All he sees is this crazy person, jumping up and down.
How does the salesperson respond to the negative prospect? We get behind the prospect at 9 or even 10. We need to be even more negative then the prospect to get the prospect moving. At this point, there is nothing to lose. Once the prospect begins moving, there's a good chance he will swing past 6 and all the way up to 3. How did we get him there?
Here's an example of dealing with a negative prospect:
“Jimmy based on what you have told me so far, my feeling is that you have absolutely no interest in my product or service. So, before I leave, can I ask you one last question? Is it over?”
That's calling the game, and you got there first. But wait a second. Prospects don't want things to be over. If anyone is going to call the game, they want to do it. They want to be in control. Let's see what usually happens…
Negative Prospect: “Well, I never said it was over.”
You (carefully and patiently): “Oh. I guess I misunderstood you. What are you saying?”
At this point, it doesn't matter what the negative prospect says. He feels as if he is back in control, and never saw it coming. We have kept the prospect moving, and now he is moving to the other side of the pendulum.
But what about the prospect who says: “Yes, it's over!” It does happen but on rare occasions. In the event that it does occur, your next move would sound something like this: “Before we say goodbye, can I ask you one final question?”
The prospect almost always says yes. The next question starts the selling process all over again, with an opportunity to get the prospect moving.
How about the prospect that starts out at 3 o'clock? Finally, an easy one, the typical salesperson thinks. There is a god. Good things come to those who wait. My ship has finally arrived. Not so fast!
What got the prospect to 3 o'clock? Was it your website, an email that you sent or an email that you sent? Possibly, but before we explain how to handle this situation, let's try this:
Stick your arm out to the 3 o'clock position. Notice how it got there? You had to swing it out, didn't you? How long can you hold it there? Eventually, you will have to lower your arm. Remember Newton's Law. An object in motion will stay in motion. Sooner, or later, your arm will fall – we don't know when.
That's precisely the danger of meeting with a prospect who is at the 3 o'clock position. A prospect that is too sold, too early, is dangerous. You will relax, and take you out of your game.
So, what should you do? Move to the 6 o'clock position and gently ask questions to get the prospect in motion. After a couple of these moves, the prospect will no longer be oversold. But don't worry, the prospect will swing back to the positive (if they are truly sold, they always do). At that point, it's a done deal.