Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Chuggers get choked

Sales and influence are often considered synonymous but often they are not.  I love the subtlety of influence but chuggers play on good nature

Chugging is when someone from a charity approaches you in the street to ask for a donation.  A chugger is the person who stops you in the street.  Actually it's more likely a company has bought a contract from a charity - and the more donations they get the more the secondary company profit.  In the Independent today it said charities pay an average of £100 for every signature obtained by face-to-face fundraising firms.  http://tinyurl.com/cwwahdl This is then split between the 'chuggers' and their employees.

Here are the reasons I'm so against them:
1. they greet you as if they're genuinely interested and then try to make you buy - it's not authentic
2. they use influence tactics in a manipulative way e.g. asking only for your name - part of the Law of Commitment and consistency.  If you get an oral or written commitment people are more likely to follow through and honour that commitment. it's not transparent.
3. they play on your good will.  Again using another law of influence - the Law of Social Proof - people will do something they see others do.  So if you feel other likeminded people are doing it you feel more pressure to do it too.  it plays on society values rather than the person's true values. It puts on pressure.
4. they threaten you - so many of us cross the road to avoid them, change our shopping route and put on our defences.  I don't get to go shopping much so I'd rather it was a relaxing enjoyable experience rather than feeling like an A star celebrity getting attacked by paparazzi.
5. they make you defensive. Luckily the lovely visitors who've been here and are coming for the Olympics and Paralympics have not been affected but I've found myself put on my chugger defence armour only to realise it was a tourist.  I no longer trust people who come up to me with a lovely smile. As a Glaswegian I find this offends my cultural heritage!

I've had a chugger shout at me down the road  "I save children's lives what do you do".  This is without any provocation.  My standard answer is "I'm sorry I don't do this kind of marketing".  It's amazing how offended they get. It's also insulting that they assume because you don't do that kind of marketing you don't subscribe to a charity.  So if they now walk more than 3 paces after me we can tell the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. I may never do that but it's good to know I can.

So influential techniques can be used effectively or non-effectively.  The fascinating thing is chugging works so well because they use these powerful laws of influence.  Just think what you can do with them if you're authentic, transparent, open and honest.  To find out more about the Laws of Influence and how to implement it at work sign up for our Influencing course.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Find your invisible helmet - Innovative thinking

Working in the City many employees say "I'm not creative".  However business and finance is a hugely creative industry.

I recently came across with video of two women trying to come up with an invisible bike helmet.  It's worth a watch http://vimeo.com/m/43038579.  People said they couldn't do it and they have. 

Innovation, life  and business are the same. What makes businesses and society work is unique and creative individuals who want to push business and society to be better.

Increasingly my role with senior executives is to create time to be innovative, take a step back and focus on the direction you want things to go, and strategically look at ways of implementing it.  It's not what you wish for you get but what you work for.  However in busy times we often work so hard we forget to look up and see where we are going.  We get taken along for the ride.  It's all very well saying I want to make the most money but what do you want your legacy to be?

These women took 7 years to come up with an innovative and imaginative product.  We all can take a few steps to be innovatitve with our life.

1. Have a goal.  Usain Bolt said on Jonathan Ross on Friday he always has a goal.  He said he was having a meeting with his coach this week to discuss his next goal.  People want him to do the 400m - he doesn't.  He wants to try it as a long jumper.  What is your next goal? It doesn't have to be big just clear.
2. Take a small step towards it.  Inch by inch is a cinch. Yard by Yard is hard.  Do something with that idea that's been in your mind or on your to do list for so long. Email someone for a coffee or chat.  Scarey things become quite easy once you make the first step. Innovative thinking involves researching what others are doing.
3.  Make a difference.  Look at what is going to have the biggest impact on people. Think big. Don't worry about HOW you will do it think about WHAT you want and WHY you want it.  The How quite often takes care of itself.
4. Be authentic.  Think about what you like - how you'd like things to work or how you'd like things to be better.  Find a real need and use that to make things better.

Innovative thinking is simply thinking about things from a different angle.  What's another way of looking at it? What other industry could you get inspired by to help you find a solution?  is there another department who does things differently that you could talk to? Another culture that approaches things differently?

Have fun finding solutions and innovative ways to make things better.