Several years ago I was helping a client in Chicago craft their message for a new product initiative they were launching. Their hope was to land a compelling sales message that would be easily repeated by their sales force and significantly grow their business.

The cross-functional team had wallpapered the conference room with dozens of flipcharts that represented the best of their collective brainstorming. The goal now was to crystallize it down to something compelling to their buyer and unique to their solution.

We began entering the “valley of despair” on day two; a painful but necessary step to the clients “owning” the message they create. We wrapped up the day with a bit of consternation. Then on the morning of the third day, one team member reported a “light bulb” moment she had in the shower. “You know,” she said, “when it comes right down to it, what we do is SEE-ACT-WIN.” She went on, “we enable our clients to SEE what their buyers think of their product, ACT accordingly to adjust the product, and then WIN more business.” It was simply beautiful, and beautifully simple.

I worked with their sales force in helping rollout this new message, and training them in how to tell it. The sales teams appreciated the simplicity, and were able to differentiate themselves in each of the three areas.

Years later, I now look upon this experience as a bigger lesson for life, SEE-ACT-WIN. SEE where you want to go, ACT accordingly and WIN the object of your desire. When we SEE, we have a vision of where we want to go. When the vision is strong enough, it becomes a faith that is the driving force of one’s ACTion. We know that WINning is no accident; we have to do something for a real win.

The key I’ve learned is that you become what you focus on. If your vision (what you SEE) is gloomy and scarcity-minded, your ACTions will emulate that, and your WINs will be as scarce as hen teeth, and empty when you do get them.

So how can you get others to SEE your vision to the point that they want to ACT and WIN with you? Well, that is the nature and purpose of real sales, not to mention motivational speakers, counselors, coaches and parents, to name just a few. Some tips for “inspiring” others should include:

  1. IMAGINE: The word “imagine” enables the other person to paint a picture in their own mind of what you want them to see. For example, “Imagine being able to run faster than anyone else in your track meet. (Pause for emphasis) That’s what interval training will help you do.”
  2. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROBLEM: Asking the other person to better describe a problem might just give them a better insight to a problem they’ve ignored or not even noticed. For example, “Are any of your clients return-customers? If not, why not? What would it mean to you to have customers that are happy with your service? How would it impact your sales if you could count on repeat customers every month?”
  3. SHARE SIMILAR STORIES: The other day my 15-year-old and I were riding bikes together. He didn’t want to wear his bike helmet. Dad scoured the mental attic for every story of a brain injury I could find to help persuade my son. Even then it wasn’t until I personalized it to him that he put it on… “Son, I don’t want to have to spend the rest of your life feeding you with a straw.” That seemed to work.

So remember the great message that helped WIN millions in new business for a company in Chicago. Then remember, “You are what you eat” (physically and mentally). SEE where you want to go, ACT accordingly and WIN the object of your desire.

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