Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Your People, New Information, Sell More NOW

A Motivational Speaker is often thought of as "someone who pumps up an audience. "

That's square one.

Square two is that the speaker actually leaves the group with easy to apply NOW strategies. Stuff that works, NOW. Here's why a lot of people consider Kevin Hogan, America's number one motivational speaker.

Imagine at your next meeting that everyone walked away with stuff like this....what would sales look like then?!?!

How to Influence People...It's Not How You Ask, But WHEN!

Imagine: A July 2006 meeting for 2007 benefits plan....

"OK everyone, a show of many of you are going to want to be part of our new benefits program? Corporate is matching up to 50% of your contributions to your 401K. That means if you put $15,000 in your 401K, the company will put in $7,500."

"Sure thing, I'll make a contribution to my 401K plan!"

From a simply rational perspective, this is a no-brainer. Every person should say "yes," contribute the maximum that the company allows and chalk up a tidy 50% return on investment. (Read that as "I'm smart enough to take all the free money I can get.")
Of course they will!

Now...move to six months in the future. In fact, research shows that when you ask people if they intend to do just about anything *next year*, they will affirm that they are going to participate...and then...

...they don't.

They get to December when it's time to fill out the paper work which amounts to a signature that affirms that the employee wants FREE MONEY and........they just can't pull the trigger and watch all that money "taken" from their pay check. They opt out...or only ask for a little free money from their company.

But remember, people don't think rationally. They will refuse to take FREE MONEY which is why they are working in the first place!!! Or worse, they realize the value of getting FREE MONEY and refuse to take all of it! Why? What is wrong with this picture?
Let's look at another example of how the mind works as far as time in concerned.

A friend asks you to do something next week that you only marginally want to do. It would be OK but it would be just as OK not to do it. You say "Yes."

As the time approaches you feel more and more like you would rather get something done around the house or go shopping. It now seems like work to do what you previously said "yes" to.

"My kids are sick and I've got to stay home and take care of them."

And you stay home or go shopping.

Or your wife has this experience:

She's at a Tupperware party and she knows the moment is coming...

"Now, if you want to receive a bunch of free gifts like this container that an elephant can stand on and still not break. (She demonstrates.) can host a party at your house...but I'm really booked for the next 60 days so it would have to be in March. Jane, do you want to do one?"


"March 7?"

"Sure, that's fine."

"Great Honey. How about you Jessica? I can do one on the 4th of April."

"Sure, I'll do that."

And so on and so forth.

Now, having a Tupperware Party isn't a bad thing. It's a very good thing. With a good hostess, the women will have fun and everyone will spend a little money. But you do sometimes have to obligate your friends and family to come, which is a bit uncomfortable for just about anyone. But hey, it's three months out.

As the party approaches she feels torn as she prepare to send out the invitations. She wonders why she said "yes," in the first place. She still hasn't SENT the invitations. It's probably going to be fine but part of her doesn't want to do the party. Life is busy and this really wasn't necessary. But she said she'd do front of a lot of her friends...and she's going to have a Tupperware Party.

When Jane was asked it didn't seem like that big of a deal, certainly not an obligation that entails a bit of work. As she approaches the date, though, it does seem as though this is an all day project....

I was watching TV the other night and an annoying commercial came on for Wickes Furniture.

"2007," the young suburban housewife says as she sits in her new couch.

"This week only you have no payments til 2007," the young husband parrots.

"Wickes has no payments and no INTEREST til 2007!"

"Wow, no interest?!" the husband feeds the line back and so the commercial goes.

Is the commercial effective?

You bet.

The furniture store isn't selling a recliner or sofa, they are selling free furniture...for 2005 at least. 2007 is 13 months away and that means that you can have new furniture for free! You look around your house and you think, "you know we DO need new furniture."

And you probably do. This is not only an effective promotion, it's also ethical.

When an event is a long way off it's easy to say yes.

In fact, the further an event is in the future, the easier it is to say, "yes."

In each of the above examples you discover how easy it is to say, "yes" today.

In the case of the retirement account, the funny thing is that people consistently have regret as they approach the new year that they have agreed to participate in something that is completely in their best interest without exception. Unfortunately, people perceive the 401K as an expense(!), when of course, it is a crucial asset. But it does represent money that the person doesn't get to use today. And that "feeling" of loss of freedom plays a role in the person's "feeling" that they now don't feel as certain about the program. (Remember when feelings come into play, rational thinking often departs.)

In the case of the Tupperware Party, the person says yes today, partially because they feel obligated to do so because they are asked in front of a group. It's not unethical, but there is a "feeling" of pressure involved. Who wants to look bad in front of the group? In this real-life scenario a person's future isn't on the line. It's a Tupperware Party and it is helping this woman earn a living. It's a good thing to do. Nevertheless, as the day approaches, the desire to participate dramatically reduces because it takes away the freedom of choice for the party day.

In part, because you are obligating your friends and family to do something that will be fun but uncomfortable for some.

The furniture store is the easiest to say "yes" to today because getting new furniture and spending no money (for at least one year) is more than tempting, it's downright delicious. You MUST do this. The company puts off the payment so far into the future that most people can't even get "there" in their mind.

Now, you think this is pretty amazing stuff? Obviously it's easy to get people to say "yes" to something that is going to happen far in the future. Now...Just wait til you learn how to utilize this powerful information in your business and your practice and your life.

And speaking of time...what happens when you ask for an answer at different points in a conversation (early on, in the middle, at the end)? Does it matter when you ask for agreement?

Does it matter when you ask for the date?

And when you do ask for something, should the event happen quickly (do you take her out tomorrow night or in two weeks?) or do you put it off?

It all makes a BIG difference and I'll be showing you in person just how big of a difference...and specifically how to handle all the variables.

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