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What experience are you creating?

Hey, it’s a blog!

Again and again, in the multiple communities where I’m fortunate enough to teach and share, there’s a storm a’brewin’. In our own way, we’re seeking to be successful. Part of designing and implementing that success always boils down to the point where a conversation begins, whether it’s strategic marketing or just picking up the phone to make a phone call.

In those moments, that’s where the challenge arises.

The oversell or the undersell.

First, let’s break down our good old friend “The Undersell.”Boxing Glove

Vital Stats:

Weight:  Crushing and Oppressive
Height:  Barely Visible
Hometown:  The sinking sensation of doubt or frustration.

Opponent Breakdown:  The Undersell looks a lot like holding back, regardless of the reason. The Undersell shows up when we’re locked in the process of “thinking of what to say next,” dismissing our important qualifications, or not saying what wants to be said in any given situation.

  • In sales, it’s particularly vital when it comes to simply asking for what it is we want.
  • In marketing, it’s not being willing to actually SHOW what it is we do, rather hiding behind the features and benefits.
  • In leadership development, it’s failing to communicate a clear vision to our team, or blaming them for our own failure to meet the intention.
  • In our lives, it’s simply avoiding the conversation we truly want to have, or simply never engaging in the conversation at all.

Strategy:  First, you’ve got to show up with the direct right hook of honesty and clarity.  What is it that you’re really wanting?  How is it that you’re really planning to communicate it?

Then, there’s the other devil on our shoulder, because I’m envisioning some sort of bizarre mutant with THREE shoulders (get it, two devils and an angel…oh boy…) “The Oversell.” 

Vital Stats:

Boxing Glove

Weight:  Strangely Light and Unassuming
Height:  Oh, you’ll see it coming…
Hometown:  The overcompensation capital.

Opponent Breakdown:  The Oversell sneaks up when we’re really looking to show everything we’ve got before it’s truly necessary to do so.  It sneaks in, listing out all of the vital features and benefits, giving detailed breakdowns of everything that’s gonna happen.  Even worse, there’s the risk that what’s being said can’t even be delivered.

  • In sales, it’s all about over-promising or guaranteeing something that may or may not be deliverable.
  • In marketing, it’s about giving every last detail or conversational point up front, leaving no room left for a dialogue.
  • In leadership development, it’s the type of over-ambition that crushes teams and introduces burnout.
  • In our lives, it’s the sense of bravado that can create invulnerability or a lack of connection.

Strategy:  Give it the uppercut of sense, sensibility (not you, Emma Thompson), and relationship.  Give the other person the room they need to communicate just as well. Look for the opportunity to connect rather than teach or lecture.

Ask yourself the important questions…

  • What are you really wanting?
  • How can you get there in a good relationship to those you’re trying to influence?
  • What’s the experience you’re looking to create?

We live in a world of dramatically expanding experience.  Instead of overpromising, underselling, or fighting for the title from either one of those opponents – see what YOU can do today to create that experience for yourself and others.

Then you too can win a fancy trophy.