When we look as deeply as we are into PR3, a strange question must sooner or later arise. Why? Why is it that there is a story at all? That is, why are the values of others, their power, respect, recognition and rewards convertible into stories? How does this come to be?
A quick answer might be that life is hard. It isn’t easy to get your rewards, by any name. How often do we win the hand, only to have our hands cut off at the wrist when we go to take our chips? Winning, and getting rewarded for winning, those are two totally different things. That makes for a story right there. But then, winning isn’t easy either, of course.
There are deeper levels. The next one I’ll drop down to is truth. There are rules about truth, and most of them have nothing to do with telling it. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. While we’re not supposed to lie, blatantly, social life is impossible without lies. So, the law against telling lies is a flexible one, at best. But then, dropping down a big step further in, there is the question of truth for us. What truths are we even allowed to think or recognize, regardless of what we represent to others? There are things we really don’t want to know about ourselves, absolutely not.
Let’s rise back up to that social notch. The truths we get to tell others are a subset of the truths we know for ourselves, about ourselves. This playground, from truth within to truth shared is the real reason behind the reality of PR3 stories.
Contemplate it. If you just stick with my four elements, can you imagine yourself facing truths you don’t want to face as you consider your quest to get them? Beyond self-honesty, there is even the question of self-knowledge, or accuracy. How often are we self-deluded? Now, when it comes to discussing these things with others…whoa…that’s a horse of a different color, isn’t it?
Now let’s up the ante! You’re a prospect, and the person asking you about these profound truths is, yes, oh my, a dreaded salesman. Why would you ever go there with a salesman of all people?
Now you can feel the reason for the stories. Now, let’s go practical.
Remember, while all people require all four values, one is most likely to speak more strongly to a given person in a given moment. How do we find this one more important element? Not quite by asking directly, although that will sometimes work. Rather, just by asking, like so:
“What was the greatest reward you ever won here at this company?”
Remember, rewards are the easiest of the four to discuss. Yes, this is a past tense question, not in the present. It will elicit either no answer – in which case you’re bombing – a short answer which is just fine, and which will mostly be factual, or a real story.
Do you see the power? If you get an enticing short answer, probe. If you get resistance, move on. If you get a real story, you’ve found the element to stick with. Listen to the story and participate. Don’t talk too much, but don’t be 100% silent either. Story is over, cool; now ask about rewards your prospect has not yet won but passionately desires. Do you see the practical power, yet?
Let’s go back to the case where you got a short answer, probed, and didn’t get any other real energy yet. It’s time to move on.
If you’re actually executing, try to wing that one on your own today. I’d love to hear any execution stories you might be willing to share! Wednesday, we’ll pick up on recognition from this practical point of view and move forward.