October 17, 2018
Updated: September 30, 2019

At Showtime18, Eddie Obeng shows how decision-making results from emotions, not logic

What is innovation?

To Eddie Obeng, it’s something that companies say they want but are often most fearful of implementing.

“You want innovation, you think it is important, and it’s nowhere to be found. Isn’t that weird?” he asked.

At Showtime18 Wednesday, Obeng, an acclaimed British organizational theorist, educator, and author, spoke about “Revolutionizing Buying-Selling Experiences With Innovation.” Through brief interactive sessions with the audience, he showed how decision-making is not driven by logic, but instead are deeply moving emotional experiences — even though we more often than not insist the opposite.

Our rational side often submerges our subconscious inclinations, which ultimately is not healthy for selling. Take innovation, he said. Most often the topic is perceived as merely a technical novelty — Faster pizza delivery via drones, for example. But in practice, he said, no one really cares enough to buy it. Instead, companies should think of innovation in more practical terms: “The process of taking new ideas and turning them into money.”

Obeng championed the idea that our behavior often contradicts logic and he stressed that sellers would benefit from focusing on relationships build via emotional bonds than strict logic.

He repeatedly used the image of a saber-toothed tiger. Primitive man didn’t think his way out of an attack; instead, man survived over centuries because of his innate instinct to shut logic down in favor of fear followed by adrenaline. “Does logic beat emotion?” he asked. “Never.”

Companies that seek true innovation need to understand that they need engagement skills that are beyond simply transactional. Successful selling can result from making a prospect feel valued while making the buying experience pleasurable.

“You try to connect with the people. You laugh. You try to dialogue. Then you pass ownership to them. You start to talk about future,” he said.

“That is the metaphor for buyer-led journeys,” he added. “It’s not about you. It’s about you engaging, relaxing, and listening to them, getting them to laugh, giving them a great experience, and then delivering.”

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