18 May 2015

The Two-Step Formula For Convincing Anyone Of Anything

Here's a simple yet powerful trick to convince and persuade people to embrace your idea. I’ve learnt it from Marco Montemagno, digital entrepreneur, public speaker, broadcaster and founder of Super Summit

Premise: if you’re not following Marco Montemagno yet, do start now! He constantly shares great business advice on his social media channels. He is a must-follow especially if you speak Italian, but he also shares content in English. 

A few days ago he posted a video about how to convince anyone to do anything. Because it’s in Italian, I’m going to translate the key points for you.   
  


First day of school for one of his sons. 600 wild kids who don’t want to go into their classrooms. The situation is uncontrollable, so much so that all the parents ask themselves how the Head teacher can possibly manage to get the attention of 600 kids. Here’s what she does: she rings a bell until all kids stop doing what they are doing and then says, “do you want to stay here and get bored with your parents (thumbs-down) or do you want to come in your classroom to read wonderful books and get the best sweets of the school (thumbs-up)?”

In a nanosecond, all the kids went to the classrooms. 

The communication lesson Marco Montemagno drew from his experience is this: in order to convince someone to embrace your idea, you need to do these two things:
  1. Link frustration to the existing situation, the one you want to change
  2. Link pleasure, desire, advantage to the new situation, the one you want to be in
Think about it, this is exactly what the teacher did. 
  1. “Do you want to stay here and get bored with your parents?”. She associated boredom with the situation she wanted to change
  2. “Or do you want to come in your classrooms to read wonderful books and get the best sweets of the school?”. Huge pleasure associated with the situation she wanted to be in
Associate frustration with the situation you want to change and pleasure with the situation 
you want to be in.

Let me give you a business example. Do you remember how Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in 2007? Have a look at this (from 4:37 to 7:40).



When he introduced the Apple’s “revolutionary” user interface, he put two messages across:
  1. The key problem with the then smartphones was that their buttons and controls couldn’t change. They all had keyboards and control buttons fixed in plastic whether you needed them or not
  2. Because every application needs a slightly different user interface, Apple invented a new technology called Multi-Touch, “which is phenomenal. It works like magic.” 
Doesn’t that sound familiar? Steve Jobs—Apple's Head teacher—first linked frustration to the existing smartphones by highlighting their main problem; then he linked huge desire to the upcoming iPhone by listing all the reasons why its new user interface was phenomenal. 
  
This simple trick can be used in a myriad of situations. For instance, in a presentation where you introduce your next big thing, or in a chat with your boss where you need her approval to get your project funded. As Marco Montemagno pointed out, even politicians often use this formula to get more votes.    

Next time you want to convince anyone of anything, associate a lot of dissatisfaction with the situation you want to change and a lot of pleasure with the situation you want to be in. 

If you liked these ideas, say thanks to Marco Montemagno.