Jan 13, 2016
Have you ever introduced a new
idea, product, or service to clients or prospects? If you have, then, short of
it being an iphone-like innovation or the cure for cancer, you know how
challenging it can be to get others to really see and become excited by your
faced a similar dilemma.
Tish Squillaro is the indefatigable CEO and visionary leader of Candor Consulting, a
company that advises executives on strategic planning, organizational dynamics
and human capital allocation to meet specific corporate goals. In addition to
her sharp intuition and superior people smarts, Tish also understands that when
you introduce something totally new, you need to link it to something old in
your buyer’s experience to grab attention and arouse interest. (Full disclosure,
Tish and I sometimes collaborate on projects.)
Anchor First. Explain Second.
Tish recently introduced a product called Roadmap to solve a widespread problem:
how to help workforce bound students get their first job. Rather than detail its
features and attributes first, she used a metaphor (analogy in this case) to
anchor the value of her new product in a buyer’s mind AND
pique further interest in hearing more about it.
The headline on the website for Roadmap (an apt metaphor itself) reads,
“Roadmap is an interactive preparation platform for workforce bound students
It’s like SAT prep for career success.” (Emphasis mine)
As a parent, student, or college career administrator, you may not know what
this new platform is yet, but you do know the value of SAT
prep, so now you definitely want to learn more.
With the promised value clearly anchored in your mind, Tish then gives you the
product’s details: Method, Software, and Course Material plus opportunities to
See How It Works, Get a Sneak Preview, & Try it Free for 30 Days
What’s Your Anchor Metaphor?
An anchor metaphor frames your entire value proposition. It
- Captures attention
- Seduces people into wanting more
- Makes it easier to move them to action
Think about what you
sell, present, or demo. What is your anchor metaphor or analogy?
One easy way to find your anchor metaphor is to complete this sentence several
times until you hit on just the right comparison, “X is like (a)…”
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.
P.S. For information on Candor
information on Roadmap, visit
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STEAL THIS METAPHOR!
1. Simplfy Complexity:
From the Oscar nominated movie “The Big Short “
explains the collapse of the 2008 housing crisis using the
metaphor of the block-stacking, block-crashing game of
What prop can you use
to help people understand a situation?
2. Argue the fallacy of a popular belief: House
on how to cure poverty (Wall Street Journal)
“The left says these (antipoverty) programs prevent extreme
deprivation, and that’s true. But the Federal government is not
only putting a floor under people’s feet; it is gluing
their feet to it. (emphasis mine). Many programs are
means-tested so as you make more money, you lose aid. People
often use several programs at the same time, so the benefits
drop-off is as subtle as a ski-jump.”
What common metaphor
can you transform to make your point vivid to listeners?
3. Appeal to the obvious to make a serious point.
on gun violence: (The New York Times)
“As Americans, we hold consumer goods to high standards to
keep our families and communities safe. Cars have to meet safety
and emission requirements. Food has to be clean and safe. We
will not end the cycle of gun violence until we demand that the
gun industry take simple actions to makes its products safer as
well. If a child can’t open a bottle of aspirin, we
should also make sure she can’t pull the trigger of a gun.”
What simple accepted
comparison can you use to argue a very serious point?
Bryon White, founder of
www.writeraccess.com and I get into
a lively discussion of why metaphors work. Listen
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