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There’s been a strong theme in our client work this week about how to cut through. How do you stand out in the age of data overload? How do you get the time and attention of people who are busy and overwhelmed with more stimulus each day than they can possibly respond to?
The key is to provoke. To stir them up and arouse interest. Whether encouraging someone to open (and read!) your email, getting a potential client’s attention at the start of a call or shaking people out of apathy into action, provocation is crucial.
Think of provocation as a hook, inspiring an emotional response and getting time and attention. Three ways to provoke interest:
- Create curiosity – throw out a crumb to demonstrate you have something they will find interesting. This may be about an opportunity or insights into a relevant issue. Just don’t give them the whole cookie up front or they won’t want dinner!
- Incite surprise or shock – The unexpected always catches people’s attention. Open with a surprising statistic or a true but little-known fact which sets up the problem you want to solve.
- Appeal to their ego – acknowledging someone’s experience, knowledge or sound judgement, and asking for their help, is a surprisingly effective way to get their engagement. It’s human nature to want to be useful. Another way to do this is to open with something they said previously. There’s no surer way to get someone to sit up and listen than to say ‘you once said…’ or something similar.
This is a place for us to share the best things we’ve read/watched/listened to, giving you access to the best of the web and beyond without having to spend time wading through the less brilliant stuff. And let’s face it, there’s a lot of that.
So, if you…
…do one thing: Check your LinkedIn summary isn’t boring, smug, irrelevant, self-indulgent or corny. For more on this read this great AFR article How not to write a LinkedIn profile critiquing the summaries of Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington and Jack Welch among others (who all fall into one of these traps or another).
…download one app: have a look at Culture Compass™, a really practical tool for anyone working in culturally diverse teams or doing business on a global level. This excellent app helps navigate cultural differences, with country to country comparison with more than 100 countries. And it’s free.
…read one thing: This LinkedIn post give five ways to say ‘I disagree’ effectively but tactfully. We all need help with that sometimes.
Til next time, thanks for reading.
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