Sell How People Buy

Sell how people buy through transactional analysis - the slow pitch sales podcast - ep 83
Sales Podcast, The Slow Pitch
The Slow Pitch Sales Podcast
Sell How People Buy


Sell How People Buy Using Transactional Analysis

This is another insightful episode where we attempt to unravel the secrets of how to sell how people buy through understanding how Transactional Analysis fits into the buyers buying decisions. Learn how people buy so you can sell more. We dive into Transactional Analysis (TA) and explore how understanding the Parent, Adult, and Child ego states will change the way you sell.

We break down the psychological dynamics at play during a sales meeting and guide you through identifying and engaging with each ego state. We provide some strategies  to navigate conversations effectively in future episodes, but we’ll start that conversation now.

Sell How People Buy: The Parent Ego State

The first state is the Parent ego state and your potential buyer will be in this state before making any decision. Where does this Parent ego state come from, how to help them use this state to make their decision and how you can use your own Parent ego state to guide them in the process.

The Parent ego state also helps build rapport and trust by using the Parent state that nurtures the buyer along the way.

The Rational Adult

The rational Adult ego state will make logical decisions and is inherent in their buying decisions. We explore how to appeal to their analytical mind at the right time will bring about a sale sooner. We also share when NOT use it.

Speaking to the Adult ego state correctly can make or break a sales. In this episode we begin to talk about how to talk to the Adult ego state in the buyer and how to use your Adult ego state, when it’s time.

The Most Powerful Ego State: The Child

The Child ego state, believe it or not, is the most important ego state to bring into the sales process. This is to sell how people buy. This is where pain discussions happen, this is where we guide them through the buyer’s fears, desires, and insecurities and reassure them we’re here to help them.

The process of understanding their issues, their pains, and their problems are directly aimed at speaking to their child ego state. This can be a highly emotional state, so treat this area of conversation with respect.

Three Ego States Help You Sell How People Buy

We talk, high-level, about how these three ego states work together to make buying decisions, how things like “crossed transactions” can hurt your sales call and are highly unproductive in the sales process. Learn how you can become emotionally involved and mess up the sale.

This episode will likely be a pillar to our podcast because Transactional Analysis affects every buying decision we make. This episode will help you sell how people buy.


Summary Created By Otter.Ai: 

  • Transactional analysis in sales with examples. 0:00
    • Transactional analysis is a psychological theory that helps understand how people communicate and interact with each other, and its applications in sales.
  • Ego states in sales and decision-making. 1:26
    • Rob explains the three ego states: parent, adult, and child, each with their own functions and influences on decision-making.
    • The child ego state is the emotional, feelings-based voice that drives desires and wants, often leading to impulsive or irrational decisions in sales.
    • Rob explains the concept of ego states, including the adult, child, and parent ego states, and how they influence communication and decision-making.
    • He provides examples of how recognizing someone’s ego state can help in sales, such as using a nurturing parent attitude towards a customer.
  • Sales techniques and emotional states. 5:41
    • Rob explains the importance of understanding a prospect’s emotional state during a sale, particularly the child state, where emotions and feelings reside.
    • He highlights the importance of avoiding critical or parental language, as it can trigger a prospect’s defensive mode and make them less likely to make a purchase.
  • Using NLP to analyze audio transcripts and make sales. 7:56
    • Rob explains that by asking questions, he helps his clients transition from their “child state” to their “adult state,” where they can make better decisions.
    • Rob nurtures his clients by asking if they’re sure they want to take a particular action, encouraging them to think logically and make informed decisions.
    • Rob explains how to navigate sales calls by accessing the child ego state, then transitioning to the adult state and involving additional decision makers.
  • Sales techniques and decision-making. 11:29
    • Rob emphasizes the importance of understanding the customer’s decision-making process and providing them with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
    • He encourages listeners to slow down and close more deals by being mindful of the customer’s needs and providing them with a clear and confident approval at the end of the sale.



Related Articles:

Know When They’re Not Buying What You’re Selling

What is Transactional Analysis (TA)


Podcast Recorded on

NOTE: Some links may be affiliate links, which means we get paid a commission when you purchase, but it the cost remains the same for you.

Music: “Clydesdale Funk” by Cast of Characters, written by: Dustin Ransom.

The Episode

Rob  00:00

This episode is going to be really interesting. It’s a little more cerebral. However, it’s worth the time. If you start to use these tactics in these skills, you will find a lot of helpful pieces that come out of this episode. And we’re going to talk about some of these as we go forward in future episodes, but I want you to understand the basics of what transactional analysis is, and how that applies to sales. Let’s get started.

Rob  00:27

All right, welcome back, everybody to The Slow Pitch. And today we’re talking a little bit about transactional analysis. This is a very, very complex topic that relates to sales. And I’m gonna get into a couple different areas here. But really what I want to talk about our high level and how this applies a little bit, so let’s get into it.

V/O  00:48

This is The Slow Pitch Podcast.

Rob  00:50

So first of all, what is transactional analysis? And why is this even important in sales? Well, if I was to explain transactional analysis, just on a relatively basic level transactional analysis, sometimes it’s kind of referred to as T.A., but what it is, is kind of a psychological theory that really helps people understand how, how to communicate and interact with each other.

Rob  01:14

So this is based on somebody named Eric Bern, he was a psychologist in the 1950s or so. And he was analyzing how people interact with each other and how that impacts and interacts with our own behaviors. Long story short, he came up with the idea that there are three ego states, and kind of like Freud, where he has these ego states, these are a little different.

Rob  01:34

So the idea behind the ego state is that this is the part of your mind that helps you make decisions and interact with the rest of the world. So he talked about having three ego states, one was the parent ego state, one was an adult ego state, and one was the child ego state. And within each one of those, there’s a little bit of variation.

Rob  01:57

But the parent, ego state, is kind of like the part of your mind that has learned rules and beliefs. And these typically come from your parents or other authoritative figures, it’s the voice that says you should do this, or you should not do that.

Rob  02:10

If you think about being able to tell what’s between right and wrong. Typically, that’s the Parent state. It’s the, it’s the voice in your head, that kind of keeps you on the straight and narrow, because you go, I shouldn’t do that. Because that’s just not right, or whatever that might be, right?

Rob  02:25

The adult ego state is kind of like Rational logic thinking. It’s the thinking side of your brain, it plans out stuff, it starts to make decisions, but uses only facts and information. It’s the voice that says, now let me think about this piece. Let me think about that thing. And then let me make a decision.

Rob  02:44

This is where the sales component comes in. Because think about when people make decisions, you want them to make the decisions on the information and facts. However, they don’t always do that. Why is that? That’s because of the third ego state.

Rob  02:56

The third ego state is the child ego state. This is the part of the brain that says basically, I’m all emotional, I’m all feelings. It’s like the little kid and you, it’s, it’s all the things you were happy about the joys, the fears, the insecurities, all the things that you had inside of you. It’s the voice that also says I’m scared, or I’m happy, or any of those types of things.

Rob  03:16

Or more importantly, as it relates to sales, the child ego state is the voice in their head that says, I want this, I want this more than anything I’ve ever wanted. Herein lies where some of the sales tactics that we talk about come to play. And the other thing to know is that this gets into a little bit more complicated. But there are a couple different kinds of transactions.

Rob  03:37

One type of transaction is the complimentary transaction. These are just healthy conversations interactions, where both people are in sync. In other words, you know, if you have a friend of yours that needed some help with something, they’re in their child, he goes, Hey, I need help. And you say, Okay, I’ll go help you. It’s complimentary. They help each other right, they fit together really naturally.

Rob  03:56

The next one is cross transaction, which is where people don’t match in their ego state. And basically, that leads to miscommunication. For example, if your parents scolds you, because you’re not doing something you’re supposed to be doing, and you respond, basically by sulking and saying, woe is me, right? That is a cross transaction, you try to avoid those, particularly in sales.

Rob  04:17

And then there’s the ulterior transactions where these transactions are have a little bit of a hidden agenda. Because they have a hidden agenda. It’s you’re not sure what’s going on, right. And these are not good transaction either.

Rob  04:28

A good example is when somebody gives you a compliment, this is when they give you a compliment, that’s the they’re speaking from the adult ego. But they’re also secretly trying to get you to do something for them, which might be the parent ego. That’s the ulterior transaction. That’s where you’re not sure. Is this coming from the adult? Or is this coming from the parent? Are you trying to manipulate me? Are you trying to do something differently? And that kind of thing.

Rob  04:52

So that’s the high level of what the parent, adult and child ego state is, and it’s really important in se else to recognize which ego state that somebody is in. So if they’re in the parent ego state, that is influenced by what you’ve learned from authority figures, like parents, teachers, anything in society, the what the group has told you, whatever, it can be both nurturing, and it can be critical, nurturing is more positive, right?

Rob  05:19

Nurturing is one of those things that that can be helpful. And that actually is helpful in sales. If you’re in a sales situation where you’re talking to somebody, and they’re making some good decisions, or they’re talking through some good decisions, your job is to have a nurturing parent kind of attitude towards them. That’s a really good thought. Tell me more about that. Why would you say that you’re making the right decisions, or you’re making the right comments.

Rob  05:47

Now you reinforce that with statements for for them to understand, and nurture them along that pathway. On the other hand, if they’re having conversations with you, and responding, and you become critical of them, that is a mistake. You never want to be critical of a potential buyer. And the reason is, it makes them slip into a child state where they become a little bit more rebellious, or they start to fight with you.

Rob  06:13

And that’s when you know you’re in the wrong wrong position. Once you get into that critical mode, which is a very easy thing to do, if you’re not used to be paying attention to that we’ve all been there where somebody says something and it just triggers you where you say, well, they’re not they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Rob  06:27

And your job is to start to convince them and say things and guess what, you’re you’re being more critical, you will very rarely ever win that sale, if you become a critical parent, the adult ego state is about logic, reason information. That’s the problem solver and decision maker in that person’s mind. That’s the person you need to talk to as you wrap up your sales process.

Rob  06:50

And you start to get closer to the decision making process. The next piece is the child’s state, which is where all their emotions and feelings reside as a prospect. And this is where you want to be very much in tune with making sure that they bring out their child and make sure that they have their emotions come out, you tap into and helping them understand their emotion, so that they feel very connected to making the decision to buy remind you it can be both positive and negative when you put them in the child state.

Rob  07:16

And when I say put them in the child state, there’s a couple of ways to do that, we’ll get into that. But the way that you think about a child, it can be both positive or negative. The positive side is they’re kind of playful, they’re having fun, they’re enjoying it, they’re really and then there’s the negative side, which is very rebellious, and they’re pushing back.

Rob  07:31

And I’m not doing that that’s a state you don’t want them in because when you’re speaking to somebody about a sale, your job is to get them to explain all the pains that they’re having all the problems that they’re having. That’s the that’s the emotional child state that you want them to talk to you in during the early process of the sale.

Rob  07:49

So as you’re talking through, you’re going to ask questions about what it is that’s causing them problems? Well, how does that make them feel? That’s why when we talk about pain, in previous episodes, we talked about pain, it’s really about getting them to explain their feelings, their problems, the things that they’re trying to solve. Because by doing that, you’re putting them into the child state.

Rob  08:12

And when you put them into the child state, they start to look for solutions naturally. And when they get emotionally connected to your your product or service or what have you. Now they need to make some decisions. Do I want to fix this? Or do I not want to fix this? And simply by asking a couple of questions, and and kind of transitioning them into the adult state from their child state, they will then make better decisions.

Rob  08:36

So now they’re emotional about their problem. And by asking a couple more questions, you might ask the question. Alright, so we’ve talked about this, we’ve talked about that. These are the issues and problems that is causing you hit the pain points, you talk about the pain, pain, pain is costing you this much money, you seem to be wasting time trying to fix this.

Rob  08:52

You’ve tried X, Y, and Z and only lost more money by doing that, whatever those things are, what are you looking to do with this? What do you what do you want to what are you hoping we can do? And what that’s doing is making them flip over a little bit to the logical side. And when they start flipping over the logical side, they start telling themselves all of the facts, figures, information, all the things that they need to make a decision.

Rob  09:14

They’re telling them themselves that right and behind that what you need to do next is you need to talk to them, as if they’re making all these comments about the facts and figures a logic at that point, they’ve already started to make their decision on what they want to do. But they have not asked their parent state if it’s okay. And so your job when they start making those comments about what do we need to do? Like there’s talking logically, what do we need to do next?

Rob  09:40

I just want to get started. You need to stop and say, Are you sure that’s what you want to do? Here comes the nurturing, very nurturing, but also very much like, Are you sure this is what you want to do? It’s a it’s a way of getting an approval from the parent inside their head. And when you do that, if they say, Yeah, this is totally okay, I’ve already thought about and then they start telling you why.

Rob  10:04

And they’re telling themselves the in their parent voice, so to speak, that it’s okay. Now you know, you’re going to make the sale, it’s highly likely, and the only thing that’s going to mess it up is you, you will mess that up by not saying the right thing.

Rob  10:18

And by saying the right thing, the right thing, it’s just by staying out of their way, you just need to make sure that you then help them through the next process. So that’s all going to tie into the pain section of trying to talk to people in your sales calls in your sales meetings, your job is to bring out the child ego state, then bring them to the adult, and ask the parent, if it’s okay, once they get to the logic side.

Rob  10:42

Once you get there, you can start talking about, well, how do you guys make decisions so that you can get them to walk you through what the decision making process is. And you’ll start to find out, maybe there’s other people involved, or maybe that there’s another decision maker that you didn’t know about.

Rob  10:55

And at that point, you need to back it up and bring that other person in and walk him through that same conversation, even if it’s a little faster than you did before. But you need to make sure that that person who’s the outsider who has not been involved in your sale, can start to go into that child ego state, ask all those questions, feel the emotions, bring them to the adult state, ask the parent, all that stuff.

Rob  11:15

And by doing that, you now have that outside person making that same decision. And if you don’t do that, you you have a chance that you may not get that sale. And of course, once you get past all of that you start talking about the budget and how the money is going to flow. These are all logical conversations.

Rob  11:31

But you know what, you’ve gone through all the other stuff, they’ve pretty much made their decision, it makes closing the sale, so much simpler that you will be absolutely surprised. You will almost be one of those situations where you’re gonna go, Oh, we’re already there. Oh, we’re done. Oh, they’re already making a decision.

Rob  11:47

And if they’ve made their decision and they’ve said it’s okay, run with it. Like don’t don’t don’t slow it down too much. Right? You want to slow it down enough to make sure that they have enough and that their final pen stroke moment, you’re gonna make sure is this okay? Is this okay? Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Are we are you sure this is what you want to do? Are you sure bla bla bla, right?

Rob  12:05

I hope this helps. If you found this to be helpful and you didn’t even realize this stuff’s going on in the backside of the sale or this is something that’s new and that you found to be very informative, would you mind sharing this with one other person who is in the same position that you are who may not have known this or might find this useful in their sales process? Until next time, don’t forget everybody. Slow down and close more?

Rob  12:05

That’s the stuff you need to do at the very last minute, because it makes sure that they’re making the right decision. It also prevents people from having buyer’s remorse. This is a high level episode about transactional analysis and the parent, adult and child ego states and how we work through sales, to get people to understand that they’re making a good decision, and that they’re working themselves through their decision making process. And then they’re getting an approval from their own head.

V/O  12:52

Thank you for listening to The Slow Pitch. Do you have a question about sales? Call or text your question at (608) 708-SLOW. That’s (608) 708-7569. Or you can email them to Slow Down and Close More?

Rob  13:42

Thanks, as always, for listening today. If you’d like this podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review. We really appreciate it. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at The Slow Pitch. We were mixed today as always by Johnny Polakis. We were produced by High Gravity Studios. Music credits and other notes are in the show notes section on And we’ll be back with another episode soon.

Leave a Comment