Instant Translate

15 Jan 2014

How the Government Can SELL the MCE Away

It was reported that the Government spent S$2.8 million to promote the S$4.3 billion MCE, Singapore's most expensive and newest expressway.  But it seems like most people are not convinced that the MCE is good for them, and many people are wondering if this is a design issue or a communication issue.  In other words, can the Government better persuade us that the MCE is good?  I think the government should SELL the MCE away; SELL is our newest method of persuasion: Suffering, Empathy, Lead and Let them enjoy the benefits.

As a manager, executive or salesperson, you cannot don't persuade people.  For today no one wants to be forced into accepting another person's view, and everyone wants to have his say.  It doesn't matter who is right or wrong, what it matters is people want to be heard.  That is why social media like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are so popular today, as they allow people to share their views freely and without censorship.

From studying the most persuasive speakers to the most followed people on social media, I realized that they follow a certain structure go get people to follow them.  I called this the SELL Way:
S: Suffering
E: Empathy
L: Lead them the way
L: Let them enjoy fruits now

1st step: Suffering
This word "Suffering" is used here in a very wide context and does not just mean negative feelings of suffering.  Suffering means anything that is unsatisfactory, i.e. not satisfactory or short of happy feelings, but not to the extent of dissatisfaction.   Like we all want our income to be higher no matter how much we earn, and such an unsatisfactory feeling will always be there unless we are totally contented or are dead.

So the first step in leading people is to Identify the Suffering they are having right now. You can do so by talking to them or observing their behaviour.  But don't stop here, or you will be just a spectator, to get people to follow you, go to the next step: Empathy.

2nd Step: Empathy
When you know people are suffering, you must show them your empathy or you will be seen as unconcerned and cold. We know that empathy is not the same as sympathy, for  sympathy is feeling sorry for them whereas empathy is feeling sorry with them. You can empathize with people by letting them know that you are aware of their suffering and want to help.  The best help is to help them to take action to reduce or eliminate their suffering, which leads us to the 3rd step.

3rd Step: Lead them the way to end or reduce suffering
Here you show people the solution so that they can end or reduce their suffering. You have to walk the path and most importantly, let them come onto this path of improvement.  But this is not enough to attract them, people may hesitate or procrastinate as they fear failure, that's why we need the 4th and final step.

4th Step: Let them Enjoy the Benefits of the path
Here you let people enjoy the fruits of the path that you have led them NOW.  Results speak for themselves, so you must let people enjoy some early success to give them validation that the path that you have asked them to walk is the right one.

A simple case will wrap up this SELL way easily: suppose you want me to come to your concert. First you must identify any shortcoming of my feelings right now, like I am feeling bored. Then you must empathize with me by letting me know that you are aware of my boredom and would want to help me, which is to show me how your concert will solve my boredom. But to really spring me into action you must let me enjoy some benefits of your solution NOW, like showing me the nice pictures of the concert.  If you follow these 4 steps, I would be jumping to join you.  Isn't this a very simple but effective way to persuade people?  (By the way, this question itself is a persuasion).

By Andy Ng, Chief Trainer Coach at Asia Trainers, details of our courses are at here.

No comments :

Post a Comment