Fire, Ready, Aim!

When Pablo Casals, the cellist, was 91 years old,
he was approached by a student who asked,
“Master, why do you continue to practice?”

Casals replied,
“Because I am making progress!”

Do you need to Persuade Faster?

Before confronting someone you want to persuade to take a different view of the world whether it’s your parents, or a key customer or supplier: take a deep breath. Most people have fallen into the speed trap when wanting to influence someone else and jumped in too quickly without really preparing their message.

We saw the speed trap recently while working with a major client who was under threat from a key competitor. Their competitor dropped their price by 30% on one of their critical product lines, and a group of senior managers wanted to match the price. It was almost a case of fire, ready, then aim!

This client was under pressure to produce more results: higher sales and higher margins. They were expected to deliver better results in less time.

The outcome after many internal meetings was thankfully that our client did not drop their price. They quickly went to their major accounts with a persuasive presentation around their value proposition and why the competitors’ price reduction would hurt their account’s business. With this presentation they reached an agreement with their major account and kept the price steady.

Our client’s initial reaction to match price was wrong, but we needed the senior team to come to that decision not us.

At the same time I was approached by my youngest daughter’s school to be involved in a business simulation and deliver a presentation to 400 Year 10 students.

So like my clients I needed to think carefully about the message that I would deliver. I met with a few students and parents to discover how the students try to persuade their parents to do something different. Their feedback helped me develop the talk and presentation.

The students like a lot of business people would jump in too quickly without really preparing their message. The key to success is ready, aim, fire!

The talk became How to persuade your parents or guardians in a productive way!and became an article too.

The talk was a great success. More parents and teachers wanted a copy of the article than the kids, so attached is the article for you to use wherever!