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Irresistible Persuasion: The Secret Way To Get to Yes Every Time by Geoff Burch

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183
CHAPTER 16
MEASURING SUCCESS
In which we discover how, in a small
decision, a simple “Yes” is all we need for
success, but in more complicated decisions
it is very hard to know exactly where we are
A
ll through this journey together the analogy of the map
pops up, because on any expedition, if you dont know
where you are, you are lost. In a major persuasion situation
it is extremely difficult to know where you are. I love the
Road Runner cartoons where the fanatical Wile E. Coyote
pursues the Road Runner. In an interview, the cartoons
creator said that the coyote represented the perfect fanatic
because he had been pursuing his quarry for so long that he
had forgotten why he was doing it. This can happen to us.
If our persuasion project goes on for too long we can some-
times forget why we are doing it and where we are. It is
absolutely vital that we use the correct techniques to locate
our exact position on the path between where we started
and where we need to get to or we will just be tearing about
lost in a desert, pursuing some mad chicken with absolutely
no hope of success. What we need to know, therefore, is
how we measure successful progress on our journey.
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IRRESISTIBLE PERSUASION
184
If you sell carrots and someone asks, “How much are
your carrots?” you reply, “Two pence each”, they then say,
“Good! I will have one please.” We could have a debrief and
I would ask, “How is the carrot business? Successful?”
“I sold a carrot!”
Thats good, you were successful.”
But if you say the subject did not buy a carrot, I could
then say,Then you have failed.” Pretty cut and dried.
I Can See My House from Here
That is like very a short journey from, say, the refrigerator
to the stove. You can see the destination from the start-
ing point and you would have to be a bit dumb to get lost
and end up at the dishwasher. On medium journeys, like
from the fridge to the bedroom, it is familiar, well-trodden
territory; you can usually see either the start or the finish
rather than both at the same time, but you still know where
you are. The problem is, with longer journeys on unknown
routes, you get to a point where you can see neither start
nor finish and in some cases you wouldnt actually recognize
the finish if you got there. So how on earth do you know
where you are, how far you have come and how far you have
to go? With a major persuasion project, if we cant measure
progress things start to drift alarmingly.
“How did you get on selling the multi-million pound
road-building project to the Brazilians?”
“Great. They bought it and I have got the money in full!”
That is a success, so we can tick that one off.
Awful. They threw me out and told me never to darken
their door again.”
That may be a failure – it could be saved, but all the
clues point to a distinct lack of success. But what happens if
things are less black and white…
“How did you get on selling the multi-million pound
road-building project to the Brazilians?”
“Great! We showed them the models and plans and they
were very impressed.”
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