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The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas Mario Moussa, Ph.D., MBA Co-Director, Wharton Strategic Persuasion Workshop Senior Fellow,

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Presentation on theme: "The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas Mario Moussa, Ph.D., MBA Co-Director, Wharton Strategic Persuasion Workshop Senior Fellow,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas Mario Moussa, Ph.D., MBA Co-Director, Wharton Strategic Persuasion Workshop Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, The University of Pennsylvania

2 2 Why Woo? Even experts constantly focus on improving their game Woo is a relationship-based selling process. Now more than ever, it is important to hone your relationship-building skills by reflecting on the assumptions that drive your work-related behavior.

3 3  Self-Awareness  Situational Awareness Two success factors.

4 4 “Some of my most challenging negotiations involve the people I work with.”

5 5 The Five Barriers: You and your idea. R elationships C hannels and Language B eliefs and Values I nterests You Your Idea C redibility W Why should I pay attention to you or your idea?

6 6 Professionals who have the skills to build “social capital” are top performers. Higher social capital (measured as more connections outside their division) = Average of 15% more earning power than those with lower social capital. Seen as having better ideas. Enhanced performance: 31% more were evaluated as “Far Exceed Expectations” 43% more were promoted to a higher rank 51% less left the company Source: Ronchi, D., Cross, R., & Burt, R. Unpublished studies and consulting work.

7 7 EQ or IQ? Earn as much as five times more. More effective than the disciplined technical expert. IQ? Sources: Harvard Professor Lawrence Katz, quoted in “The Populist Myths on Income Inequality,” David Brooks, New York Times, 9/7/06; Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind. Not ImportantVery ImportantImportant

8 8 Collaboration involves “cross-cultural” communication. Source: Deborah Dougherty

9 9 Based on Schein, Edgar H. The Corporate Culture Survival Guide. Jossey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco, 1999. Behaviors Language Beliefs How the company is organized, how people do their work, what norms govern behavior Strategies, goals, vision and mission statements Taken-for-granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and feelings about how to run a successful business What is corporate culture?

10 10 * Sources: “How Frequent is Organizational Political Behavior,” Wickenberg & Kylen; “Political Skill at Work” Organizations are political.  95% of all organizations are political to “some” extent. Nearly half are political to a “very great” or “fair” extent.*  Political skills: strongest predictor of performance ratings, outstripping by far both intelligence and personality traits. Politics = the ability to sell ideas

11 11 Source: Jeff Immelt quoted in Joe Nocera, “Running G.E., Comfortable In His Skin,” NYT, C1, 6/9/07. Especially on boards, formal authority has limits. “When you run General Electric, there are 7 to 12 times a year when you have to say, ‘you’re doing it my way.’ If you do it 18 times, the good people will leave. If you do it three times, the company falls apart.” Big decisions require, on average, consultation with twenty people. Little decisions require consultation with eight.

12 12 What language do you speak? Adapted from influence research conducted by David Kipnis and Gary Yukl, and other sources. A. Authority (emphasis on using formal position or rules) B. Rationality (emphasis on using reasons) C. Vision (emphasis on organizational goals, purposes, and aspirations) D. Relationship (emphasis on liking, similarity, and reciprocity) E. Interests/Incentives (emphasis on using trades and compromises) F. Politics (emphasis on managing perceptions and building consensus)

13 13 SelfOrganization

14 14 NEGOTIATION Your toolbox. Influence Persuasion Negotiation

15 Bono

16 16 Wooing is a four-step process. 1.Survey your situation: What is my idea, and how is it better than the alternatives? Who are the decision makers and influencers? What is my “stepping stone” strategy? 2.Remove the BRICCs: Beliefs, Relationships, Interests, Credibility, Channels. 3.Make your pitch: Use PCAN (because meaning matters). Make your pitch memorable. 4.Secure your commitments: Target key individuals. Manage the politics. Create a “snowball effect.”

17 Survey Your Situation and Remove Barriers

18 18 Influence the influencers.

19 19 Target people who live in different “cultures.” Source: Rob Cross  A restructured group at a bank included three practices: business process reengineering, information technology, and database management.  Conflicting assumptions about the work:  Business process -- highly defined 6-step engagement methodology  IT: one-off, flexible, and customized approaches  Value differences becomes labels for the “other” group: inflexible vs. inattentive to deadlines.  Solution: Find “Tom,” who works with both groups and understands how to bridge differences.

20 20 Practice strategic relationship-building.  Prepare  Build trust  Apologize if you break it  Ask for favors – reciprocity  Ben Franklin  Match styles – similarity  Trump and his lawyer  Make an effort to be friendly  “Slight attentions often bring back reward as great as it is unlooked for.”  Meet face to face when the stakes are high  Parsons and Icahn

21 21 Set your goals carefully. Types of goals: Idea-polishing—Asking for input: no agreement required! Access—Requesting an introduction to an influencer. Attitude—Looking for the “Hmm, good idea!” response. Authorization—Getting approval and even resources to take the next step. Endorsement—Seeking active support in public or behind the scenes. Decision—Securing formal sign-off. Implementation—Embedding your idea in policies and procedures.

22 22 Credibility: It depends on your context.  Expertise  Competence  Trustworthiness

23 23 Listen.

24 24 Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler It takes time to change beliefs.

25 25 Driving change at Newell Rubbermaid. Newell needed: A sharp marketing focus. (Galli was a top sales person at Black&Decker, rising to lead its global power tools unit.) Strong cost cutting measures executed swiftly in order to absorb Rubbermaid. (He had cut costs aggressively at Amazon.) Executive drive (He was known as a hard-charging type.) “I felt speed was essential.” - Joseph Galli Image from: Wall Street Journal

26 26 Career advice about organizational culture & politics.  Work with it when you can: “You need to look for the informal power of the corporation, not necessarily the way the organization looks.”  Think politically: “Establish allies with the real movers and shakers in the organization because that’s the way you will be the most successful.”  Pay attention to beliefs and values: “You can never succeed on your own. Make things in a way that’s acceptable to the norms and values of the corporation that you work in.” Source: NYT, 9/20/09, “Corner Office”: interview with Linda Hudson, President of land and armaments group at BAE. Linda Hudson, BAE Systems

27 27 Cognitive perspective-taking.  “If there is any secret to success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.” —Henry Ford  Historical studies: Lenin vs. Trotsky, Castro vs. Che Guevara, Robert E. Lee vs. Ulysses S. Grant. “People make their decisions based on what the facts mean to them, not on the facts themselves.”

28 Communicate Simply and Memorably

29 29 What is this person trying to say? “Forgetting the business logic and the price, there will be options down the road there, I would answer your question about capable and that we weren't really quite capable yet because our army was doing all the other stuff we had to do, particularly the systems conversions. The army will be capable to do other stuff sometime next year, which is reasonable. Doesn't mean we will.” Here’s how a well-known executive answered a question about his plans for a potential merger:

30 30 Are you tapping? Source: Made to Stick—Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

31 31 Simplicity. “If you have a simple problem, you can offer a simple solution. But most organizational problems are complex. So you either simplify the problem and offer a solution, or embrace the complexity and do nothing” -- adapted from Dan Ariely Source: NYT, October 17, 2010, Week in Review

32 Define the problem: “Eat a healthier diet.”  Chronic and preventable health conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, account for the vast majority of U.S. medical costs.  One-third of the U.S. population is obese, and two- thirds are overweight. In terms of dollars and cents, the price tag for this problem is enormous. According to one study, the annual direct health care costs associated with obesity in the United States are $80 billion.  Goal: Motivate your staff to eat a healthier diet.  Define “eat a healthier diet.” 32 Sources: Population Health: Creating a Culture of Wellness; Switch

33 33  18%  35% You are what you buy.

34 34 Source: Ch. 7, The Art of Woo Think PCAN +. Problem – A short, concise statement that defines the problem your idea solves (or the need it addresses). Cause – An explanation of the cause of this problem or need. Answer – Your solution (or answer) for the situation. Net benefits – A summary of why your answer is the best available, all options considered.

35 35 Align your evidence with the situation.  Data-based statistics  Should Yahoo run ads next to news stories?  Specific examples  Abraham Lincoln: “Never ask an argument to do what an illustration can do more easily.”  Direct experience: demonstrations and tangible objects.  Should Intel invest in a new semiconductor chip?  Personal testimony  Should you take the medicine recommended by your doctor?  Social consensus  “Everybody knows...”

36 36 Source: Ch. 8, The Art of Woo Make your message memorable.  Make it vivid – Use physical and mental pictures.  Use demonstrations and symbolic actions.  Put your heart into it.  Tell a story.  Personalize it – Use your own experience.  Make it a puzzle.  Build bridges with analogies and metaphors. ?

37 37 More Self-Oriented Higher More Other-Oriented Lower DRIVER CHESS PLAYER COMMANDER PROMOTER Self vs. Other Volume Persuasion Styles

38 Secure Commitments

39 39 The Psychology of Commitment. Sources: Cialdini; C.A. Kiesler  Cognitive Dissonance.  Consistency Principle.

40 40 Mind and Body: What you say vs. what you do  Planning Fallacy/Bias.  Neuroeconomics: Planner (“Cold”) vs. Doer (“Hot”).  Will power: Radishes and Cookies.  Self control is a limited resource.  Can you force behavior change? Sources: Nudge; Switch; Wansik

41 41 Change the situation = behavior change.  How do you get people to eat less?  What lies behind “resistance”:  Situation  Lack of clarity  Exhaustion Source: Brian Wansik, Mindless Eating; Switch

42 42 Be a “choice architect.”  “Prime” commitment by walking through next steps.  The “flu shot lecture”  Make the “ask.”  “You’re going to ask him for the order, right?” (consistency principle)  If the answer is no, then explore what lies behind the answers: conflicting beliefs or interests, lack of similarity, etc.  Have another credible person hear the commitment (social pro pressure).  Exploit the “mere-measurement” effect.  Promote easy-to-repeat habits. Habits are the “enormous fly-wheel of society.”  “Look right!” Source: Nudge

43 43 Take advantage of “positive deviance.” “I enter a patient's room to take care of her trach (breathing tube) and to provide suctioning. Her son states, "Watch Miss Denise." Of course I feel like I am on camera. When I am finished, he comments to his mother:” Did you notice what she does that the nursing home personnel is not doing? She is washing, using gel, gloves and she uses gel again when completed He states to me that everyone who has been involved in his mom's care from ICU to GMF, on 2 different admissions, are the best and that ALL employees wash, gel and have gloved EVERY TIME and that maybe people from our team should go to the affiliated Nursing Home and teach them.” Source: Sternin, Jerry and Robert Choo. “ The Power of Positive Deviancy, ” Harvard Business Review, 2005. "Once you find deviant behaviors, don't tell people about them. It's not a transfer of knowledge. It's about changing behavior. You enable people to practice a new behavior, not to sit in a class learning about it.” -- Jerry Sternin

44 44 Create pull by focusing on the interests of the right people. Handwashing in hospitals — triangulating to create pull Source: LDI Issue Brief, Volume 7, No. 3, Nov. 2001 The problem. Failure of hospital workers to wash their hands between patients is by far the biggest cause of infections that patients pick up in hospitals. The intervention. Patients were taught the risks and instructed to ask doctors, nurses and others: “Did you wash your hands?” They received stickers and buttons as prompting aids. The result. 57% asked caregivers (90% asked nurses; 32% physicians.) Soap use rose 34%.

45 45 Source: Ch. 9, The Art of Woo Securing commitment to your ideas: the action-oriented approach  Using “priming”: Express your idea in the simplest terms that describe highly specific behaviors. (Buy 2% milk vs. eat a healthier diet.)  Shape the context: Make it easy for others to take a small step and become develop new habits. Over time, habits become commitments. (Use smaller popcorn containers.)  Align your idea with ongoing activities and interests: Use “pull” rather than “push.” (For example, ask patients rather than physicians to promote hand-washing. When you can, highlight “positive deviant” behaviors in which people are already engaging.)  Build momentum: Create a “political base” for your idea. (Ressler and Thompson built support among managers and employees.) Produce a “band wagon” effect so that it is hard to say no.  Win support before using formal authority: “Lock in” agreements only after you have secured commitments.

46 46 Start with small steps.

47 47 Use woo. 1.Survey your situation: What is my idea, and how is it better than the alternatives? Who are the decision makers and influencers? What is my “stepping stone” strategy? 2.Remove the BRICCs: Beliefs, Relationships, Interests, Credibility, Channels. 3.Make your pitch: Use PCAN (because meaning matters). Make your pitch memorable. 4.Secure your commitments: Target key individuals. Manage the politics. Create a “snowball effect.” Raise your perspective- taking IQ. Which barriers are the biggest? What is your pitch? How do you create momentum?

48 48 Is this rocket science?

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