February 28, 2008
Announcement: "The Metaphor Minute" has been re-named The
MoneyWord$ Minute. So many of you told me how metaphors and analogies have made
money for you or won support for your ideas, that it made sense to change the
name and create a more visual, more accurate title for this newsletter. Please
let me know what you think.
SOFTENING UP A TOUGH OLD BIRD
Barbara Ann"Rusty" La Grange is a
professional copywriter and a new subscriber. She sent in this charming story of
how she won over one tough client.
" I was approached by an
80-year-old man to become his ghost writer. He was an Italian-American WWII
soldier with a strong accent, a strong personality, and little schooling but
with a long and colorful life he wanted to share.
He was disappointed with a cousin of his who had started his autobiography but
was rewriting and editing subjects that she didn’t think he should say. It was
causing a family riff. I was the objective person he hoped could do what he
couldn’t – write his life story his way.
I told him my job was to take his scribbled notes and talk to him a bit to get
the taste of his Italian lingo, his likes, and things he detested. And above
all, what prompted him to share his life. He would get the rough drafts and the
time to read and approve. Although he wanted to trust me, he stalled when his
cousin said no one else should do it. I told him that his life was like a big
salad bar full of every lettuce, salad topping, vegetable and crouton
imaginable. I was merely the chef putting it together so the taste was blended
and not overloaded with onions.
That metaphor got a smile and he hired me, and then said, “And my cousin is the
anchovies; I never did like them.”
Old, young, formal, informal, no matter your industry, no matter your target
account, the language of metaphor, thoughtfully used, closes business with even
the crustiest of prospects.
Until next month, remember to "make what you say pay--with metaphors."
Anne Miller & MoneyWord$
P.S. Barbara also wound up writing his book covers and Amazon page. To see his
click here For more information on Barbara,
For all you PowerPointers
out there, catch my article "Death by PowerPoint" on
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MONEYWORD$ CUTTING ALL WAYS THIS ELECTION
John McCain has gone from being "road kill"
to being the Republican front runner. Hillary has been accused of being a
"political cat burglar" by Maureen Dowd of the NY Times for "pilfering"
language and ideas from her opponent. And on the far right, Rush Limbaugh
talking about Obama asked, "is this Dr. Vincent Norman Peale or a
presidential campaign. Is this a cult or is it a political movement?
In all the name calling, what was most
interesting to me was the way Obama deflected attacks on his eloquence.
Rather than respond with a list of left brain accomplishments or details for
economic policies, he reached for metaphor to turn an initially perceived
negative attack into an emotionally felt positive position. "I have a
dream.' Just words? 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all
men are created equal.' Just words? 'We have nothing to fear but fear
itself.' Just words? Just speeches?" In essence, Obama was casting himself -
metaphorically speaking - with admired leaders of the past all of whom went
on to do great things. What he did was similar to a salesperson who can take
a negative objection and turn it into a positive advantage in the eyes of a
client. Very clever.
Notice how many metaphors get tossed around
in the next few weeks as the campaign heats up.
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