July 29, 2010

1 Million Dollars

In one of my seminars in Bucharest a participant of approximately 35 years of age was sitting in the middle of the room and directly in front of me. Each time I looked at his face during my presentation, I got the feeling that he was not enjoying my seminar. Gradually, I understood that I would be facing some trouble but I didn’t know how and when it would hit me.

It was a good seminar. After thanking the participants for attending the seminar, I proceeded to the questions and answers part of my program concerning the issues that they were interested in, just like I do at the end of all my seminars. Immediately I saw the gentleman that I previously mentioned raising his hand for placing a question. Now I had learned the ‘when’ of the trouble and it was time to learn about the content of the problem.

He reminded me on my explanation during the seminar about the ways that we communicate with the upper management of hundreds of companies as prospective acquirers for our clients who seek a partner for their company. He went on to say that we could only talk with a couple of such upper level managers. He said that he didn’t believe that we could talk with hundreds of such people. In a way he was accusing me of lying. I had to be very careful in my answer. A wrong answer would endanger the trust of all the participants who had been listening to me for the last 3 hours and moreover it would also endanger our respected position in Romania.

I walked to where he was sitting and extended him the little finger of my right hand, hoping this gesture meant the same in Romania as in Turkey, and asked him “Would you accept a bet of 1 million Dollars on that?” I don’t know whether my hand sign was correct but I know that the effect of my question was the way I wanted it to be. He looked at me with confusion and couldn’t say a word. I turned to the other participants and took the next question.

Some of our clients use wordings like “We are the best in the world in this sector” when they give information about their company to us. In such cases, we ask them to supply us with supporting information and documents proving this claim. Generally, we find ourselves  in a situation where we need to change their claim to ‘one of the best’.

Strong claims are effective… They increase your strength.. However, only if you can prove them.

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