Thinking Like a Spy - Part 1

Thinking Like a Spy May Keep Your Sale Together.  Spy Tips – Part 1

Hello and welcome to theBlunt

Trained spies can teach us a lot about business decisions.

No, seriously.

Here’s why.

Spies are trained to use a very structured system of thinking. 

We’ll call it the DADA loop for short.

What is that?

It refers to DATA gathering.  Which then feeds into ANAYSIS of that data.  Which then feeds into a DECISION.  Which then drives the ACTION.



This system is based on a similar loop by a famous military strategist and it’s a way to stay focused and slow down a stressful situation so you can really see what’s happening.

For each simple action, you go through the DADA loop, then repeat.  That’s it, but it works wonders for your business, personal life, and when you are in a life-threatening situation.

Let’s look at a simple example.

John is a trained spy.  He gets on a plane and hears a man say “show me your phone.”  Of course, it’s not in English, because John is in an undisclosed country where if he told us where he was, then he’d have to kill us… but regardless of the location, he knows that “show me your phone” really means “give me your phone.”

Now, John must decide is this man another spy trying to assassinate him or is it some drugged up random mugger on a train?

First, John collects data.  He scans the train quickly to check out the surroundings.  First, he spots a security camera.  Now, as a trained spy, he knows that all spies hate to be on camera.  Second, he notices this guy’s eyes are dancing around a lot.  This guy is clearly not focused or ready for this moment, liked a trained spy would be, so odds are he’s just a random mugger.

Data and Analysis done.  Now Decision Time.

Now, John must decide how to handle this situation.  As a trained spy, the last thing he wants is to be caught on tape fighting like James Bond or Jason Bourne or something.  But, he still needs to get out of the situation, and can’t afford to lose his cell phone to a random mugger since it has his valuable data on it.  John keeps in mind that whatever his next move is, can’t disrupt the bigger game he is playing as a spy in real life.

What does our Spy John decide?  He decides not to take the attacker out or knock him down or pull out some secret gadget that would be noticed on camera.  Instead, he decides to put his phone in his pocket and stand up.  That’s it.  He was sitting, and then he was standing. 

After that decision, does standing up really count as an action?

Yes, it does.

It changed the dynamic of the situation, and now they are face-to-face. 

Now, the loop repeats.  DADA all over again.

The mugger is not phased by John’s action of standing up, so he knows that will not intimidate the guy. Now, it’s time for another action.

John moves to the side.  The mugger moves to the side to block him.  DADA again.

Clearly, the mugger is committed to the conflict at hand and doesn’t want to back down.

After a few moves side to side, the mugger then head butts John, laughs like the crazy drugged up mugger that he is, and walks away. 

Now, John didn’t chose to get head butted, but he also didn’t choose to escalate the situation to something that wasn’t necessary. What is did was choose NOT to overreact.

In this instance, John get’s head butted and the mugger ended up walking away without the phone. 

But, in real life, this is what winning looks like. 

It’s not some big act of courage.  It’s not a bunch of threatening and posturing.  It’s not making unnecessary demands. 

Winning is keeping an eye on the big game, and taking a few hits along the way that really don’t hurt that much.

Spy Tip of the Day.  DADA, then repeat. 

When something unexpected happens, do the loop, then do it again.

The next time your partner starts in with crazy stories or the buyer makes unreasonable demands that are outside of your control, do the loop. 

Take a deep breath.  Collect your data.  Analyze it carefully.  Make a decision.  And then take Action.

Don’t overreact.  Don’t make threats you won’t follow through on.  Don’t make rash decisions. 

Remember, we are all in this for the same end game.  Partners want to succeed together.  Buyers want to buy.  Sellers want to sell.  It’s that simple.

Use your head, and do the loop.

Tired of having the same conversations over and over with different buyers?  We can help with our consulting services.  Give us a call at (206) 466-4020 or to discuss your situation and figure out the best way to the end.

Jennifer Hudson