“Why is it SO HARD to get my folks to do things the way I want and need them to do it?”
It’s a common question asked by many a business owner. In fact, just this past week, a client of mine asked this very question of me. And once we got into the details of the discussion, it was clear to me why this was happening.
So, while this thought is fresh in my mind, I thought I would share the answer with you in this week’s Profit Tip.
You might be thinking, so why would qualify as a “Profit Tip”? Well, all you have to do is think about how much time you spend trying to convince other people to do things you want them to do – your team members, your prospects, your customers, your kids – the list goes on and on.
If you knew the SECRET to getting folks to do what you want them to do, would you consider that worthy of being called a Profit Tip?
Here’s the reality. Any time we are asking someone to do something our way, or to try our product or service, or do their homework before they play video games, we are asking them to make a change in their current behavior or current way of doing something.
And you know how difficult it is to get someone to make a change – in some cases is seems almost impossible!
But it’s not impossible at all. In fact, it’s simply a math equation!
That’s right. Getting someone to do what you need or want them to do is ALL about getting the math right. You get the math right, and the other person will do what you want, without exception, every time – like magic!
The problem is you don’t know the math equation – which is why you don’t get it right every time. It’s why you sometimes get lucky and they do exactly what you ask of them while other times they just look at you with a puzzled look on their face or worse yet, just go on about doing things the same old way, even after you have explained to them what you expect.
If you’re like most people, this can be the most infuriating and frustrating situation. It seems clear to you that it needs to be done differently, but everyone around you seems to be blind – or else they don’t really care!
So, what should you do? I’d suggest you start by going back to school and get out your math book. The answer is right there – very clearly. It’s a simple formula, and it goes like this:
(D x V) + F > R
There you have it – the only formula you’ll ever need to get anyone to do EXACTLY what you need and want them to do. How cool is that!
Now, go out there and make things happen!
What, wait a minute you say! That doesn’t help? Really? What else do you need? The entire answer is right there – in the formula! Can’t you see it?
Come on. It can’t be that hard. You remember back to your high school math days. It’s a simple equation. You get the equation right, and it works like butter! All you need to do is make sure that the value on the left side of the GREATER THAN sign is in fact GREATER THAN the right side. No big deal – easy, simple, a snap.
Would it help for you to know what the letters stand for? Sure, that might just be the missing piece of the puzzle. OK, never fear. Here you are – the definitions of the letters in the equation:
D stands for Dissatisfaction
V stands for Vision
F stands for First Steps
R stands for Resistance
See, I told you it was simple!
This works with absolutely everything. Let me go into a bit more detail. And while I’m sharing the detail, you can be thinking about how this would apply to something you’re trying to change in your business right now.
If we want someone to do something differently or make a change from something they are doing today, we’ve got to know what it is that’s causing them pain, frustration or dissatisfaction the way they are doing it today. This is the “D” in the equation.
We’ve got to get inside their head and think about the things they DON’T like about how they are doing it today. It may be that when they do something it takes a long time, or it doesn’t always work right or it is expensive or it causes pain somewhere else. In many cases, there are multiple points of dissatisfaction. List them all.
Next we need to paint a picture of the way things COULD be if they were to do things differently. This needs to be a very pretty picture – something that is significantly different than what they are experiencing today.
If the V, the Vision, is not much different than what is happening today, then it is not going to be worth the time and effort to make the change. It’s got to be clear, compelling and inspiring. (I find that most people spend little time on this and as a result, those around them have no real idea of that things could look like AFTER making the change that is being requested or proposed).
In most cases, the “Vision” is very, very different than today’s reality, so most people are skeptical that the change will every happen. It seems like it’s too big a leap of faith – and often times it is.
So you need to break the transition (from where you are today to where you will be in the future) into smaller, more reasonable bite-sized steps. Then take the time to spell out just the FIRST STEP that won’t look as daunting as the big leap to the ultimate vision.
A good way to think about this is to consider saving for your retirement. If you need $1 million to retire and today you have $50,000 in the bank, it seems too far to even be real – your mind thinks it could never happen.
But if you explain it that if you simply put aside $500 into your saving each month for the next 30 years and invest the savings in a relatively safe investment that will give you a 7% annual return, you’ll end up with over $1 million in your savings.
The $500 per month savings is a FIRST STEP.
The reality is that most people do not like to change what they are currently doing. There is comfort in what they know. They have built habits and become very familiar with the way things are done today.
But if you want your new idea, your new way to stick, you’ve got to know EXACTLY why they prefer the way it is today. You’ve got to list everything that is keeping them from being open to the change. This is never just one thing. It’s usually several specific things that are holding people back from making the change. You’ve got to think about this one completely until you have them all identified.
THIS IS CRITICAL! If the resistance is high, then the actions on the other side of the equation must be even higher. If the resistance is low, then it will take less effort on the other side of the equation.
So, there you have it:
(Dissatisfaction X Vision) + First Steps > Resistance
If you master this equation, you can get anyone to do anything! It is like knowing a magic trick.
Give it a try on something simple just to prove that it works. Then move up to something more significant. Soon you’ll be moving mountains and changing people’s minds on a regular basis!
Give me some feedback on how it is going. I’d love to hear some of your success stories. I’ll bet you can find ways to use this formula in every aspect of your business and your life.
Share this with anyone you think could use it. I hope this is helpful!