Woo Power

In their book, The Art of Woo, Shell and Moussa go through a balanced diet of approaches for relationship-based persuasion (strategies to increase your “woo game”).

In chapter five (“Respect their Beliefs: A Common Language”), the writers stress the need to have a keen self & audience-awareness while making your “pitch,” being flexible for adjustments along the way. They state, “By monitoring your audience and adjusting your pitch, you can keep everyone’s attention and stay in the game. When you fail to adjust, you end up speaking in what amounts to a ‘foreign’ language” (117).

Along with the ability to listen to your audience’s language, you had better speak their language too (taking it to a personal level). The key here is to “research the specific words, frameworks, or metaphors your audience is most likely to respond to” (119). (NOTE: some obvious parallels to “persuasive preaching” here).

Shell and Moussa then highlight what I believe to be a very key skill: to link your “sales pitch” to the organization’s or culture’s values. Personally, I find this to be the most powerful tool in persuading those in upper management to “buy into” an idea (this doesn’t always work in selling your ideas with your peers or “subordinates” as they sometimes have a more cynical view of the corporation’s values).

When it comes to the senior leaders of the corporation they tend to be the source of the values (either through organizational input or a top-down memo). I have found that high-level leaders hate to be seen as hypocrites or outwardly unaligned with their corporation’s values. So, to show how your idea aligns with, and better actualizes the company’s values, positions you with a great opportunity to have a listening ear and hopeful steps towards execution.


~ by Dave Smith on January 28, 2009.

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