Absolute Value and the Buying Experience w/ Bridget Gleason [Episode 326]

On this week’s episode, Bridget and I discuss, among other topics, two books on absolute value and the impact of Big Data. We talk about the impacts of Big Data on society at large, the question of whether Big Data helps us or hurts our sales efforts, and new research about absolute value and how the buying experience takes shape before a sales professional enters the conversation. Join Bridget and me for this episode of Accelerate! to learn our thoughts on the future of the buying experience in the face of Big Data.

Welcome to another Front Line Friday with my remarkable guest, Bridget Gleason.


This episode’s topic — two books Andy read recently. Book #1 is Absolute Value: What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information, by Itamar Simonson and Emanuel Rosen.

The explosion of information has had definite effects on buyers and the buying decision, but the effects are different, and have happened more quickly, than what was predicted.

The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, by Barry Schwartz presented the thesis that the sudden availability of mass information actually makes it harder to choose. Why new research shows this probably isn’t true.

Why sellers need to understand what ‘absolute value’ means to a buyer.

Buyers are not overwhelmed by data and don’t take forever to sift through all the data, to find the optimum solution.

Sellers needs to find where they fit into the equation to help the buyer make a decision.

Buyers engage in the process personally, long before they engage with sellers, in almost all cases.

An aware sales team knows that if a contact finds them first, there is urgency; the contact goes to the top of the list.

Book #2 is Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, by Cathy O’Neil, written after the crash, and presenting the shortcomings of an algorithm-driven world.

The impact of the algorithms that drive Big Data, which typically are fed by human assumptions, which can be biased and inaccurate.

How unthinkingly applying algorithms to sales processes can negatively impact productivity.