Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Glue That Binds

Do you have a competitor who consistently gives you trouble even though you know that youre better? Whats your sales pitch? How do you package your offerings to set them apart?

Theres a new book available that could help you develop the kind of bold sales techniques or marketing concepts that will fill in the gaps that have been holding you back. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, builds on a concept from Malcolm Gladwells book The Tipping Point, exploring how ideas and behaviors catch on in society. Gladwell, whom the Heath brothers reference, wrote about the stickiness factor but never fully explored the idea. Thats where Chip, a psychologist, and Dan, an education consultant, come in. Finding insight in fields as varied as psychology, politics, screenwriting, economics, folklore, and epidemiology, they deconstruct sticky ideas. Together they found that the key to creating traction is to take your idea, whatever it may be, and present it as a simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional story (SUCCESS).

According to the book, psychology research shows that choice can hinder decision making. For example, in one experiment college students were given the option of studying or attending a lecture by an author they admired. Only 21 percent opted to study. Yet when a third optionwatching a moviewas thrown in, 40 percent chose studying. The need to pick between two fun outings made students twice as likely to have no fun at all.

An example cited as simple is Southwest Airlines focus on being the low-fare airline. By keeping their focus single-minded and uncluttered, Southwest, the Heath brothers contend, helps its employees make decisions that are core to their companys mission statement.

As an example of the perfect combination of SUCCESS, the book presents Jared from the Subway advertising campaign. Jared, the authors point out, has it all. His idea is simple (weight loss), unexpected (weight loss by eating fast food), concrete (weight loss by eating fast-food subs), credible (his own account of weight loss by eating fast-food subs), and an emotional story (his own triumphant account of weight loss by eating fast-food subs).

What story do you tell your clients? Does it factor in all of these facets? Your story should describe more than how much fun a home theater can be or how your home network design can simplify a home by consolidating family photos, and music collections. Instead, give your clients something that really resonates.

Tell them a story about someone very much like them whose life was changed in a dramatic way by the work that you did for them. Do you remember that couple whose marriage was on the rocks and who never seemed to see their kids anymore? That was before you built an amazing media room with HDTV, a PlayStation 3, and surround sound. Now the whole family gets together at least once a week for Arcade Night, which saved the couples marriage and kept the kids at home more and out of trouble.

Find your story of success, embellish it, fill in the details, but keep it simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, and emotional. See how many clients start to stick to you like glue.