Is “Getting-to-Yes” Important to You?

Is “Getting-to-Yes” Important to You?

Would it help with your internal communications, Prospecting, Sales,  Marketing programs?

Then start with the answer to: SO WHAT?


Do you have a major reason to “Get to Yes” with a client or prospect? Something like make the sale, or authorize an agreement?

What would it mean to you to have the “ok” from an investor or banker to fund your project? Could it put you on the road to success?

How would it make you feel if you could gather 100% support for your plan from your team?

The answer to these and other questions is apparent when we begin our communication by addressing the audience’s question…”SO WHAT”. What is in it for them? This is where we appeal to their emotions vs. trying to convince them with logic, facts or charts.

From the book, “So What?” by Mark Magnacca we are reminded that “the people you are trying to communicate with, sell to, or reach don’t really care about you, or what you have to offer, until they know how what you have can benefit them.”   “If you help enough people get what they want, by showing or explaining how what you have can benefit them, you can have anything you want.”

The corollary to that is the one we’ve heard before: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Most of us believe that “I” have to communicate “my” message because it is “important.” It’s all about us. When, in fact, it’s all about them.

We are told it’s all about what we say, how we look, the quality of our collateral materials, how smart we are……

So, we tell people about “my product, my service, my idea…..”

And that worked well for a long time. Now, we can ask Mr. Google anything we want to know about your product, who else sells it, where I can get it on-line, and more.

We have to give people the SO WHAT answer first.

A guest of a high rise hotel in Manhattan, calls the front desk and the clerk answers, “May I help you?”

The excited man says, “Yes, I’m in room 5858. You need to send someone to my room immediately. I’m having an argument with my wife and she says she’s going to jump out the window.” 

The desk clerk says, “I’m sorry sir, but that’s a personal matter.” 

The man replies, “Listen you idiot.. The window won’t open… and that’s a damned maintenance matter.”

So, communication is important!

What do we want to accomplish in every aspect of our communications? What end results do we hope to gain?

Do we want to persuade, to inform, to sell, to gain consensus, to push our agendas (goals) forward, to influence, to decide, to disseminate information, to establish sides/boundaries, what else?

And this is where the So What factor that Magnacca writes about becomes so important. We must ask WHY (So What) the audience wants to hear our message. And my suggestion to you is to have that answer well before you begin any form of communication about sales, goals, plans, loan requests, etc. When you have it before hand, you will successfully communicate it.

Here’s the deal,… this is true regardless of whether we are selling something or not. But it is absolutely critical when we are “Seeking Yes.” And to get Yes we must deliver the SO WHAT.

This is where we learn to identify the emotion of the audience that will move them to take an action. We have to get away from what we think our words, facts, logic and pictures should say and show someone.

We have to ask ourselves “what is the purpose of my presentation or message?”

“Why should they care?”

“What benefits will they receive?”

We may have to grind down and down and down to be sure we are answering the WHY at the most basic and desired level of our audience.

Focus on what your audience needs to hear vs. what you want to say.

“People don’t go to the hardware store to buy a quarter-inch drill. They go because they want to make quarter-inch holes.” (Harvard professor, Ted Levitt) Deliver the end result.

How we deliver our information and how it is received is critical. In an article by Marissa Levin she says there is  1 Thing That Will Get People to Listen to You Instantly. There is 1 thing you can do to make sure your message cuts through the noise and makes an impact:   Practice responsible communication. Communication is all about what the receiver experiences and perceives, not what the sender intends.

“Most people define communication as messages they send to other people. Effective communication is defined by the receiver. If your receiver fails to understand your message, it is your fault, not theirs.” The quality of your communication completely depends on how your receiver receives it.

Successful people frequently assess the effectiveness of their message. Whether it’s in the selling process or trying to get your team to accept your goals and plan, communicating to others is an daily focus.

When we are truly heard and understood, we open the door to deeper connection, greater trust, and lasting transformation for ourselves and our relationships. That total understanding starts with you, when you think before you speak.

There are other practices you can incorporate into your daily communication to help ensure a positive outcome. Working on your emotional intelligence, asking the right questions to frame the right conversation, and being fully present in a dialogue are additional ways to meaningfully connect.

And one more thing, not all communication is verbal:

His name is Tim. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.  He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

 Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church.. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not sure how to go about it. One day Tim decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Tim   starts down the aisle looking for a seat. 

The church is completely packed and he can’t find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Tim gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. 

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick. 

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Tim. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can’t blame him for what he’s going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? 

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. 

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man’s cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can’t even hear anyone breathing. The minister can’t even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. 

And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Tim  and worships with him so he won’t be alone. 

Everyone chokes up with emotion… When the minister gains control, he says,   

‘What I’m about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.’    

‘Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read!’ 

The ability to communicate what we need and want is critical to our business survival …and survival in our other forms of existence.

Understanding the So What factor for all of our messages Gets Us to Yes and helps us complete the cycle of What We Want to the end of What We Get.


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