Win the Pitch: Tips from MasterCard’s “Priceless” Pitchman

MasterCard-Logo-Font-400x220Understanding your customers motivation to buy is tricky.  Kevin Allen does a great job making it easier to understand by looking at a commercial we all know – the MasterCard “Priceless” ad.

He says winning pitches need three things:

  1. You need to understand that behind every decision lies a hidden agenda.
  2. Your need to do your emotional homework to find the hidden agenda.
  3. You need to connect yourself to the hidden agenda.
    1. Real Ambition: our intention to create something good where nothing existed before.
    2. Your Core Abilities: the special abilities you possess at the core of your being that separate you from others.
    3. Your Credo: the values and belief system to which you subscribe, and/or a shared behaviour or code of ethics that you’re working within.

Now you know what to say, now Deliver like a litigator: You can create your argument, gathering all your facts and supporting evidence around the hidden agenda, which should be placed squarely at the centre of your “case.”  Then, you can create an exciting tale where your audiences attains their deepest desire, not via business-speak, but with good old-fashioned storytelling to convincingly convey your pitch.

Kevin does a great job explaining the process of understanding why your customers buy from you and it is not because you twisted someone’s arm. People want to be understood,  and with that understanding you can tap in “their heart’s desire.”

Read the entire article, Win the Pitch: Tips from MasterCard’s “Priceless” Pitchman – Kevin Allen – Harvard Business Review.

Change Anything? Yes You Can

There are many roads you can take when making a change but which one?  Here are some actionable ideas to kick of your new year’s change effort – either personally or professionally – and you can start today.  See the video below.

Your ability to change is influenced by your skills more than what you normally think of as willpower.  Willpower is a skill that you can learn and it can be strengthen.  Making change is about developing skills, executing your customized change plan, and engaging all six sources of influence. sixsourcesInfluence_v1

For example, source of influence one – Personal Motivation – deals with the idea of “do you want to do it.”  Make the undesirable desirable is the idea to increase your personal motivation and escape the willpower trap.

I will create posts about each of the six sources of influence in the coming weeks.  For a larger view just click on the image.

According to the research by the authors, if you can use four or more of the six areas of influence on your change challenge, your probability of success increases 10 fold.

One of the best ideas from the book is to invite to “turn a bad day into good data” by you becoming the scientist and subject.

The authors of ‘Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success’ have summed it up in an easy read of 239 pages or a few hours on CD.  I recommend reading it cover to cover.  If you prefer to hear examples showing how to apply the ideas go to part III. The examples are:

  1. Weight Loss: How to Lose Weight and Get Fit – and Stay That Way, page 151
  2. Financial Fitness: How to Get – and Live – Out o Debt, page 173
  3. Addiction: How to Take Back Your Life, page 192
  4. Relationships: How to Change Us by Changing Me, page 213

You will see how identifying your vital behaviours and using all six sources of influence enable you to create your customized change plan.

Start today and tell me how it works for you.

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do

In this video Tony Robbins challenges us to think about why we do what we do.  Decisions shape destiny.  Great section where Mr. Robbins, in a respectful and honest way, challenges former Vice President Al Gore on what are the defining factors in achievement.  You will feel challenged to be different and start now.

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do | Video on TED.com.

Ten Strategies To Change Behaviour

Most of us want to change a behaviour in ourselves or people in our sphere of influence.  We have all talked about change and often do not take enough action to make it real.  Morten T. Hansen’s article in the Harvard Business Review list 10 approaches that work according to his research.

1. Embrace the power of one. One company I worked with posted 8 values and 12 competencies they wanted employees to practice. The result: Nothing changed. When you have 20 priorities, you have none. Research on multi-tasking reveals that we’re not good at it. Focus on one behavior to change at a time. Sequence the change of more than one behavior.

2. Make it sticky.

3. Paint a vivid picture. When celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wanted to change the eating habits of kids at a U.S. school, he got their attention with a single, disgusting image: A truckload of pure animal fat (see photo).

Jamie Oliver, fat - HBR

When Oliver taught an obese kid to cook, he showed how cooking can be “cool” — walking with head up, shoulders back, and a swagger while preparing food. This gave the boy a positive image he could relate to. As Herminia Ibarra outlines in her book Working Identity, imagining new selves can be a powerful force for change. Use stories, metaphors, pictures, and physical objects to paint an ugly image of “where we are now” and a better vision of a glorious new state. This taps into people’s emotions, a forceful lever for (or against) change.

4. Activate peer pressure.

5. Mobilize the crowd.

6. Tweak the situation.

7. Subtract, not just add.

8. Dare to link to carrots and sticks (and follow through). 

9. Teach and coach well.

10. Hire and fire based on behaviors.

Read the full article “Ten Ways to Get People to Change -” by  Morten T. Hansen in the Harvard Business Review.