Recession Headwinds. Can you find a tailwind?

Headwinds. That’s what you are up against. It stresses you and your people. It would be great if in the midst of all this chaos you could find a tailwind.

Many motivational speakers encourage you to have a positive attitude, get rid of your negative attitude. Not a bad idea, but will attitude positive or negative change your business results or generate income?
I was at a Las Vegas craps table, you’ll understand why they call it craps in a second. The guy rolling the dice was making lots of money. Whooping and hollering encouraging his luck. Everyone was getting in the mood, the good feeling of being on a roll. Like having the wind at your back. Intoxicating in itself. The gambler looks at everyone and says out loud, “Let’s have some good positive thinking here. Good positive thinking.” We all smile until…
The table croupier (the dealer working for the casino, running the craps table) says, “Positive thinking?” Yeah these casinos are all built with that positive thinking!” A nervous knowing laugh erupts at the table, and we keep encouraging the shooter. Stay positive we whisper to ourselves. Some operate like this in every situation. Pathological optimism? Eventually everyone loses at the craps table if you stay too long. Crapping out is not something we can actually control. If you can heed the message you take your winnings and leave early.
Positive thinking is betting on a wish. Nothing wrong with having a good attitude. It sure beats a negative attitude.
Let’s talk about those negative attitudes everyone is trying to talk you out of, including me. Some folks no matter what you say take on the devil’s advocate role, or Eyore in the Whinny the Pooh storybooks. Nothing will every work out, they shoot down all suggestions. Woe is me. Woe is you. Woe is the world.
I call this kind of negative thinking ‘Swiss cheese thinking’ (my apologies to the Swiss). Swiss cheese thinkers only notice the holes in the cheese, not the cheese. A pretty empty experience. Neither ‘pathological optimism, positive thinking’ nor ‘Swiss cheese, negative thinking’ will actually bring in more revenue, improve performance or do more with less. They probably will make you miss opportunity.
What will? Strategic Influence.
Some people consistently know what to say, when to say it and how to say it to get people to say yes to their request. Their influence is unquestionable, I call them Advantage-Makers. They are masters at influencing perception. When you are up against a headwind and the disadvantages we are all facing, influence becomes a huge advantage if you know how. The ROI on influence is dramatic.
At one company a simple, easy, quick psychological contrast positioned the product inside the customers mind so vividly that it increased sales by 546% almost overnight. They compared the inexpensive cost of ownership of the product to a much larger potential purchase. This single move dramatically increased sales. In this case they didn’t have to lower price, change the spec’s on the product, switch out sales employees or do a major reorganization. But without an influence strategist showing them the specific words sales had been flat.
Imagine the time you needed to influence – your boss, employees, peers, vendors, customers or position your products and services for customers to reduce resistance and increase desirability. Strategic influence is the key to helping yourself with a tailwind.
Do you have the magic to get people to say yes to your requests, your point of view more often? The key is the decision triggers in the brain. For example, during times of uncertainty the power of the herd mentality in non-arguable. Do you employ it? Or consider how powerful it is to tap the unconscious motivations of being consistent with the image you have of yourself. If you strongly value being a ‘provider’ for your family, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen. Knowing the psychology of Yes is worth millions.
Is it more important for your argument to be valid or vivid? Many engineers I work with argue that it must be valid. I ask them how their valid arguments are working for them. Not well is the usual response. They fall on deaf ears. It actually isn’t deaf ears it’s a bungled influence moment. A more useful strategy you can use is to ‘to make your valid arguments vivid’ We then get to work on making their valid argument vivid, with a 75% improvement in their influence ability. This isn’t some theory, this is based upon real results. Wouldn’t that make a difference in your bottom line. In fact, wouldn’t it make a difference in your top line. And it begins by saying ‘No’ to silly attitudes, like always having positive attitudes or always avoiding negative attitudes as the key to your success.
Do you know the magic? It’s actually not magic at all when you know the influence strategies. A set of 9 specific decision triggers in the brain that ethically gets people to say yes willingly.