Persuade with Purpose
Personal development pioneer Jim Rohn once said, “The bigger the why, they easier the how.”
If you’re ever had to take massive action to make a big change in your life, you know how important it is to set an inspiring vision. There’s nothing like wanting to look drop-dead gorgeous at your high school reunion to get you up for pre-dawn spinning classes three times a week. Or getting a warning from your doctor about dangerously high cholesterol levels to force you away from bacon-and-egg breakfasts.
If a big purpose can motivate us to take actions we otherwise wouldn’t, or would rather not, couldn’t it also help motivate others to join us as well?
It’s difficult to gain a foothold in someone’s brain by leading with what you want them to do. You must first communicate why it’s important. Great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Walt Disney always communicated their “why”—the reasons they acted, why they cared and their future hopes. Great business leaders follow suit.
Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, believed air travel should be fun and accessible to everyone. Wal-Mart’s Sam Walton believed all people should have access to low-cost goods. Starbucks’ Howard Schultz wanted to create social experiences in cafés resembling those in Italy.
When you share your greater cause and higher purpose for your business, listeners filter the message and decide to trust you (or not). When listeners’ values and purpose resonate with your own, they are primed to become followers who will favorably perceive subsequent messages.
Here are three things you can do to build that bridge:
1) Think long and hard about both your personal sense of purpose and your organization’s purpose. Do you see ways of aligning them?
2) Articulate why you love what you do. Adding just this one sentence to your elevator pitch can make a difference between generating a yawn to generating a “yes!”
3) Identify ways can you make a difference with your company products and services. While your need to make money may be of vital importance to you, it’s really no one else’s dream to make you rich. Strive to be like the leaders who never lose sight of why they do what they do and why people should care. Only then can you get their attention and interest. And when your bigger goals are aligned with theirs, you’ll get their energy and investment too.
© 2009-2013, Liz Lynch International LLC
Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online, works with 6-figure professionals who have great expertise but suffer from “promo-phobia.” To learn how to get better known and attract the opportunities you deserve,