No One Want’s to Buy Your S#!?

Our brain’s have 2 primary jobs. To keep from being eaten by bears and to save energy. Everything else is secondary.


Sales, on it’s face, is in direct contradiction to these two jobs. First, making a new or different decision involves risk of looking stupid, making a mistake, etc. and second it requires the brain to use more energy…because staying with the same old is just so much easier.


When you understand this, you know that no one is out there right now looking to buy what you are selling. They just don’t want to buy your stuff. In fact, their brains are more likely coming up with reasons why they should avoid your call, not come to the meeting, or click delete on your email…and that’s all before they have even gotten to the really threatening (brain threatening, that is) part where they have to meet you (especially threatening to the introverts of the group).


There is a mechanism, however, whereby the brain can find both safety from bears and the energy it needs to make new decisions. It comes from our brain’s natural desire be part of something. It is constantly wondering if it is in the pack or not, accepted or not, acknowledged or not. It does this because the pack MEANS safety from the bear, being a part of something or connecting to something meaningful can convince the brain to burn energy it would otherwise conserve.


The question is, how are you working to get people to be part of your pack? Are you finding out about who they are and what they want? Creating connections with them and understanding, really understanding, their pain? Are you listening to them or are you just trying to sell them stuff?


No one want’s to buy your stuff. But everyone wants to be included. What are you inviting them to be a part of? Answer that, and you just might convince their brain you’re not a threat. Answer that, and they just might be open to buying your stuff.


Stop Saying Sorry — A note to United and other Airlines.

First of all, for what happened to the dragged off passenger, you’ll likely be saying “I’m Sorry” for a long time. What you probably haven’t realized, however, is that one of the main ingredients that lead to this might have been because you have been saying sorry, or some other form of apology, for way to long.

When I went to check in for my flight this morning, I got a notification that asked me if I would be willing to take a later flight with an offer of flight credits for an “inconvenience.” I know, it’s your way of apologizing for an over-sold flight and compensating me for my trouble.

But here’s what I know. Your policy of over-booking makes you lots of money. In addition, though I can’t really verify it, it likely makes my frequent flights a bit cheaper. Assuming that you would have to charge for un-utilized seats to maintain the profit margin. I get that. It’s how the whole thing works.

The problem is, in apologizing, you are creating an adversarial relationship between me and the people responsible for getting me on the plane (gate agents etc.). When they believe they are inconveniencing the customer, and just following policy, they begin to look at me as someone they must convince to do something I don’t want. Equally, when I hear or see the words inconvenience, we’re sorry, or we “have to find x amount of people” I begin to feel like you messed up, I can’t trust you, and that I might ultimately have no choice in the matter.

From a brain perspective, both the choice placed on me and on the employee are, by design, going to trigger a threat response. I’m protecting my turf and your employee is protecting theirs (they would hate to get fired for not following policy).

But, in the midst of all of this, there is huge opportunity to use this whole situation to trigger the reward response in both me and your employee from the moment you know about an over-sold situation. In fact, I think it is something I could look forward to and your employees could celebrate.

What if, when you learn of the oversold situation, your first correspondence with me was about an opportunity? About, how we have all helped create a cost-effective flying situation and, now that we have reached capacity, a few lucky people are going to have the opportunity to make a little money, maybe even more… Roll out the oversold for what it is, a benefit, potentially, to both parties. And the first person that has a bit of flexibility to make it to the counter wins.

Personally, I’ve made money on this. A few flights home on short weekends have earned me added vacations, free business development trips to see new clients, and even tickets for friends and family on special occasions. All of these were benefits that I was not considering when someone told me that I would be compensated for my imposition. All of them are opportunities for you to change the way we view our two person relationship.

The potential for this could be a huge change in the way both the passenger and your employees view your current policies. What if this was something that people looked forward to hearing? What if, in addition to your change in tone, you put everyone that voluntarily took a bump in a drawing for more free flights, flight status for frequent flyers, or other awards that make the incentive for volunteering something people want to be the first in line to receive?

The options are endless. But it is difficult to achieve if you don’t stop saying sorry and start letting your passengers be part of the solution. Trigger the parts of our brain that make us want to be a part of your success, knowing that it ultimately helps create our own, and you might find your customers want you to be successful as much as you do.


Melissa – Jill of All Trades

When I saw the Facebook post about someone that started a gym out of their garage, and were still in operation over a year and a half later, I had to interview them. Turns out, Melissa did not start it out of her garage, and it wasn’t her first business, and I was in for a wonderful conversation about confidence, determination, and a woman that loves proving the doubters wrong.

Starting as a server, Melissa learned to approach all customers as potential future clients. Learning early on from her mother that she can do anything she sets her mind to, and believing it, gave her the mindset that all clients were her clients, it would just be a matter of time.

Her focus to treat all people well has allowed her to be successful in a number of different businesses, from owning a coffee shop to a property management company and beyond. She sees change as the spice of life and listening to her positive energy as she talks makes you want to believe the same.

Ultimately, Melissa’s confidence that she will make it through with hard work and determination seem to inform everything she does. Which is good, because that confidence is the very thing her clients are looking for, and the very type of people she surrounds herself with in all of her endeavors.

Wyatt – Learning What to Pay Attention to

Can a $1000 funding constraint, a lot of rain, and a philosophy degree be the recipe for success? For Wyatt Warner and Boise Classic Movies, it turns out the answer can be yes. If you know what to look for in failure.

I started interviewing Wyatt because I was interested in learning how he came up with the idea to have a crowd-sourced theatre experience. Along the way, however, I realized he wasn’t creating another reason to go to the movies as much as creating a much more important opportunity for community, re-engaging our childhoods, and letting go of the past.

In many ways, Boise Classic Movies was born not so much of necessity, but of honesty. Coming back from a “colossal” failure is difficult for anyone yet, for Wyatt, it helped him create the perspective that allowed his next idea; acknowledge failure is possible, create the confines through which you can accept it, and push through to that point.

Interestingly enough, it was this focus, and the combination of loving movies, knowing a bit about crowd-sourcing, and separating his idea from his ego (the philosophy degree kicking in) that allowed BCM to be the success it is today. And it’s that leveraging of strengths, of focusing on what is working, that informs his movements forward, from Boise, to Idaho Falls, Portland and beyond.

While he might not “feel” successful, the impact on the communities he is having, gives the benefits of his success to all of us. And that’s worth paying attention to.




Podcast #3: Emma Arnold – A Comedian Who Gives a Damn?

Do you think a comedian can change the world? Emma Arnold does. Or at least she knows it can be a source of connection and change for the people she gets to entertain.

In this weeks pod-cast, I talk with Emma about how she started in comedy, when she tried to quit comedy, and how she completely changed her approach to comedy to better align with her true value. A decision that gave her a kidney stone.

During our short conversation, we discuss what it means to pay our dues, how she got over some pretty big roadblocks, and the importance of trusting yourself…or at least selling enough t-shirts that you can’t back down from a decision.