Unleashed Case Study #3 – Can You Make the Chair Turn?

Shakira
Shakira

I enjoy watching NBC’s The Voice on television. I like it better than American Idol for several reasons (including that they boast my Colombian paisana, Shakira as a judge, but I digress)….

The four judges (also including Adam Levine, Usher, and Blake Shelton) listen to just the voice of the singer in the blind trials. That singer can only impress with their voice. Their looks, their dress, their dance skills, won’t help them. Just their voice. The judges that want to coach them then turn their chairs around within the 90 seconds allotted. If there is more than one, they “fight” to influence the singer to choose them as a coach.

Two important things that you need to know based on this show becasue it can make you better in whatever profession you are in…

1. These singers get 90 seconds to make a BIG impression. That’s it, that’s all. They need to be supremely influential and an object of interest with their most powerful gift (or “value”). Think about your business. You also need to be influential and become an object of interest to your audience quickly. While you may have more than 90 seconds, you don’t have long to engage and capture their attention. Whether you’re speaking publicly to a large group or having a first meeting with a prospective client, your “voice” needs to be more than just heard in those first few minutes. You need to turn a chair.

2. Coaches often duke it out in trying to influence a young artist to choose them as the coach. Even though much of it is based in good humor, there is always a strong plea based on the talents and how they align with a coach. If I was an aspiring country artist, why wouldn’t I choose Blake Shelton? If I was a young R&B artist, Usher would make the most sense. Shakira is skilled in not only music, but choreography and building a global base. Adam Levine would attract the eclectic and rock side. From whom do you seek advice from? Is it from people that are where you currently are (peers), or is it from people that have achieved what you want to achieve and can quickly guide you there? Mastermind groups are fine for what they are – accountability and support. Everyone needs a “coach” that will take them to their desired state rapidly. That’s what these young artists on The Voice want, and that’s what these judges deliver.

Look, if you want to accelerate your ability to be influential and grow your business, you’d better get really good at the first 90 seconds. The best way to do that is to get coaching from someone that can help you maximize your talent.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Next Dance?

Donald Driver on Dancing with the Stars

I love watching Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. Just like with the food channel reality shows, I get a lot of entertainment value and I pick up a lot of tips. I also am constantly amazed at the business lessons that come out from them.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver took home the Mirror Ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars. He had been good all season, but probably not technically the best dancer. The two other finalists, Katherine Jenkins and William Levy were probably better technically. That being said, it’s hard to out-poll a dude who plays for the Packers and is getting promos from his pals Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews. Similarly, on American Idol, Phillip Phillips was probably the leader in the clubhouse all year, but Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet may have been better. When Ledet got bumped, Phillips probably scored the teenage girl to twenty-something vote to get him the title. People get mad. They thinks it’s not a real contest; just a popularity contest. Really? You’re just figuring this out now?

Of course it’s a popularity contest. When you ask the world to phone, text, or go online to vote (multiple times mind you), it’s basically stuffing the ballot box for your favorite. These aren’t truly “competitions.” They are popularity contests and to the victors go the spoils.

Think about how this relates to acquiring business.

You may be the smartest person when it comes to your product or industry. You can spout off methodology, process, and product knowledge while falling out of bed at 2 AM. You’re a walking encyclopedia of facts and any client would be fortunate to have your knowledge on their team.

But, if you have no personality; no selling skills; no ability to persuade; can’t deal with objections or rejection; and no ambition to market yourself – then you’re not going to get the business. Sales isn’t about who has the most technical “smarts.” It’s not about who has the broadest markets, the fanciest graphics; or the most credentials behind their name. It’s about who the prospect likes; who they trust the most; and who can be the most persuasive and influential. It’s about how popular trumps brains only. You need to have both. And if one is stronger than the other, if you’re in sales it’s about your ability to persuade people to “vote” for you!

Don’t get me wrong. Product knowledge is important. You have to be credible. However, I’ve met plenty of credible sales people who couldn’t convince a starving man to eat. There are roles for everyone and finding those is one of the most important things an owner or executive can do.

Final thoughts. If you are in sales and want to increase your business through professional development, invest more time and money into professional sales skills rather than methodology and process. Spend time improving your language skills, presentation prowess, marketing skills, networking strategy, and writing skills. In the end, your innate ability to persuade and inspire will earn you more business and reap greater rewards for your business.

Time for the next dance…

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved