To Persuade, First Understand.

A while ago, I decided it was time to deal with my right knee. It had been a problem for years, and I reached out to a specialist who repaired the damaged knees of professional athletes. I was poked and prodded and x-rayed and MRI-ed. The doctor let me know I was a good candidate for surgery and could quickly resume normal activity.

The surgery happened and the doctor proclaimed it to be an unqualified success. I thought it was a disaster. How could that be?

We never discussed my daughter’s wedding.

I mentioned she was engaged, but that was it. It was a typical guy interaction; no questions about where or when for the wedding. Oh, wait, he did say “Congratulations! When can we schedule the procedure?” but that was it. So, I had the surgery anticipating a quick return to normal activity. My mistake was not asking what he meant by “quick return to normal activity.” I figured a quick return normal activity for a professional athlete meant I could do whatever I wanted to do within a few weeks. I was good to go if it meant limping around in pain for those weeks.

The fact is, if the doctor had asked a couple of questions about the wedding, we could have avoided the disaster. You see, the reason WHY I wanted my knee fixed after all this time is that I wanted to walk my daughter down the aisle and to dance with her at the reception. The last piece of important information was the wedding was four weeks out when I had the knee surgery and the real recovery time for dancing was closer to 6 weeks. I limped down the aisle and couldn’t dance at all.

This happens to our Clients all the time. We hear the keywords…cloud…cyber…apps… then we jump to persuade them to do something and they end up dissatisfied and unhappy.

A wise man once said, “To persuade, first understand.”

It is very hard to get the specific benefits and outcomes from our clients and why the capabilities you provide really matter to them. We can’t skip that step. We need the specifics to craft messages and presentations that persuade. To persuade you must truly understand your client as an individual and you must understand their business.

This article was originally published by Vic Romita in Jan 2020. Vic is the President and CEO of Romita Solutions LLC. Romita Solutions LLC helps your company build trusted business relationships with your clients by developing sellers and sales leaders capable of solving critical client business problems yielding better business results. Follow him on Twitter @VicRomita.
©2020 Romita Solutions LLC