Bernie Mitchell recently asked on the LinkedIn NRG group, “Do people buy what you do or why you do it?”
I don’t think they buy either.
I think they buy a solution to their problem.
I think it is tendentious, at best, to suggest that they will be convinced that you can supply just the right size and shape of widget that they need just because you have told them how passionate you are about widgets.
Yes, the decision to buy services is an emotional one, not a rational one. That’s only because all decisions are made emotionally, not rationally.
But it is a mistake to believe that, if I ask you how you are feeling, and you tell me, that is a conversation at a feelings level, at the level of emotions. It is a rational, “thinking” conversation. It is a request designed to elicit information, data, which is responded to with factual information about how you’re feeling.
A description, a presentation of how passionate you are about widgets is, in itself, not an emotional experience for the listener. It is a factual monologue, which will have the inevitable consequence of keeping them in their thinking mode, NOT getting them into their feelings – in other words it precisely does what you don’t want it to do!
The way out of this impasse is indicated by Ann Hawkins’s observation “The other important element is oratory. Sinek is able to express himself in a way that hooks people in emotionally but most people can’t/don’t do that” [Actually, I don’t believe that most can’t do it – they don’t do it because they choose not to, and you don’t need to go on a training course to make a different decision – but that’s another story.]
In other words, you convey your passion by how you talk. How you are.
I sat in front of a partner of a large financial consultancy and accountancy firm yesterday discussing the needs of one of his senior people. It would have been outrageous for me to talk about why I am passionate about emotional intelligence! He didn’t call me in to listen to me grandstanding about myself! The conversation was about his colleague whom I might coach, if she is agreeable.
But the way that I talked about how my approach might help her (whilst continually checking I was getting confirmation from him that I was on the right track, yielded time again little reinforcements from him – “I so agree with you about that”, “You’ve put your finger on it”, and so on) clearly did the trick. After 40 minutes he had become a client (subject to his colleague’s agreement to be coached – I never coach anyone who hasn’t asked me to).
I seemed to have successfully communicated my conviction that the stuff I do works.
And conviction is a much better word than passion because passion is about me, whereas conviction opens a channel towards the listener: the idea that, if this were true, it would be valuable to you.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2013 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 4 march 2013 . image: Free images
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