People buy from people; that is commonly accepted fact. But we do not buy from any person, after all we can get any old widget from any retail store, but we go back to a particular one because of the power of story. The story of the brand, the story of experience, the story we share with the retail clerk.
Stories are very powerful motivators and this month I’ll be sharing stories that have a practical business application. Some of these are golden oldies you may have heard but with a nuance that will reveal another layer to the message. Others will be brand new but with an equally applicable to life.
This week’s story is that of the mechanic and the heart surgeon. The heart surgeon took his car to the local garage for a regular service. His friendly and skilled mechanic always ready to share a joke and laugh. ‘So tell me’, says the mechanic, ‘I’ve been wondering about what we both do for a living, but you get paid a lot more than me’.
‘Yes?’ responded the surgeon hesitantly.
‘Well look at this’, the mechanic said pointing at the engine, ‘I check how she’s running, open her up, fix the valves and then put it all back together again. We basically do the same job don’t we? But you get 10 times what I get paid, how do you explain that?’
The surgeon thought for a moment, look at the mechanic and smiled gently as he replied, ‘try it with the engine running’.
Sometimes looking from the outside in, others might feel they’ve been dealt unfairly. They interpreted their perception of the world and missed the devil in the detail. There are two things we can immediately learn from this story;
- Relate to people from their perspective; the surgeon didn’t explain the intricacies of heart surgery as he knows them, instead made his point relevant to the world of the mechanic. In this way he is not egocentric and pays due respect to others whilst powerfully delivering a message that is quickly understood.
- Perceptions are our reality; the good news being that we are in control of creating that reality. So consider carefully what perception will service you, then position carefully, measure twice and cut once.