“It is not just a book, it is the guidebook to facing the unknown  fear.”

Please note that this blog will be discussing two chapters that we believed carried the most significance to our topic. The whole book is a wonderful read, and as much as we would love to discuss the whole book, the magic should be left for the reader to experience.

The purpose of Fields’s research is to convince readers that having fear of the unknown is necessary for business. Additionally, Fields provides wonderful examples and strategies of how to combat uncertainty when starting a business.  Uncertainty is fear. Fear can be anything when starting a business, such as the unspoken judgment when a project launches, the unpredicted feedback, or simply the fear of an idea being successful or not.

The two chapters we will be focusing on are, “Chapter 1: Why Uncertainty Matters,” and “Chapter 4: Find your Certainty Anchors.” Found in the introduction, Fields discusses filmmakers and CEO’s who turned their life around with fear and an idea. Additionally, he also provides a general layout of what the book will cover and their significance. Every professional is afraid to start their own business, expand on an idea, etc. But, according to the author, we shouldn’t be afraid of uncertainty. The Uncertainty Matters, and here’s why. 

Chapter One: Why Uncertainty Matters

Probably one of the most significant and meaningful inspiration can be found in the first chapter, “When you begin, nothing is certain save the drive to create something worth the effort. The more certain you are of the answer or the outcome in advance, the more likely it is to have been done already- to be derivative- and the less anyone will care, including you. Anything certain has already been done,” (Fields, p. 15). 

Consider this quote to be a Business 101 Guide to learning how to start your practice. To find certainty in an idea means to create something innovating. In other words, the idea should only speak uncertainty. The question then remains, how do we use the uncertainty to our advantage?  

“Creators need data. They need judgment, feedback, and criticism. Without them, there’s no way to know whether what you’re creating is working or not. When you base your actions on random guesses, rather than on relevant information, growth and movement towards brilliance slow dramatically or grind to a halt. Kill constructive judgment and you retard growth, adaptation, and evolution,” (Fields p. 18). Judgment, feedback, and criticism are all uncertain elements that we dread to hear when testing out an idea. Why? Because we do not want to be told our idea is a failure. As leading innovators, our ideas represent who we are, and what we stand for.

Additionally, Fields has taken the opportunity of including subsection that eases the reader into the topic of uncertainty. For example, there is a subsection titled, Amplifying Uncertainty, Exalting Uncertainty, It’s Not Just for Start-Ups and Tech, and Hailed But Reviled. Through each subsection, the author provides amazing examples of other like-minded creators. These creators, much like us in the beginning, had an uncertain idea and ran with it. As reiterated before, when facing uncertainty, it is almost always best not to face the unknown empty-handed. Chapter four is the first step in creating your arsenal.

Chapter Four: Find Your Certainty Anchors 

The purpose of this chapter is to prepare your arsenal for uncertainty. First, we must ask the question, “What is a certainty anchor?” Under the subsection, The Power of Certainty Anchors, the author explains the definition. “A certainty anchor is a practice or process that adds something known and reliable to your life when you may otherwise feel you’re spinning off in a million different directions,” (p. 46). In other words, the concept of certainty anchors is routines or ideas that remain with you at all times.

Certainty anchors could be ideas, rituals, routines, or positive thinking. We find it best to think of Certainty Anchors as routines that help expose my creative process. The reason being is that routines are always there. They are grounding experiences to which you can always return to. In other words, no matter how successful or unsuccessful business is, you can always return to my routines.

Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art,” opens a window into the power of ritual in creative work. “Broader lifestyle routines serve as a salve to calm a bit of the anxiety of creation and to drop an anchor to which we can tether our creative lines, knowing we can then float higher up in the clouds and stay there longer, trusting that we will be able to find our way down,” (p. 47).

Routines, i.e. certainty anchors, help overcome the fear, anxiety, and discomfort of uncertainty. Routines are one of the symbols of familiarity (the other is knowledge). Familiarity helps take on challenges that make you feel productive. You wouldn’t try something new unless you were positive you had the knowledge to do so. Why? Well, again, it is because we know that our familiarity (routines and/or knowledge) cannot be taken away from us.

Conclusion

The first step in dealing with uncertainty is to first acknowledge its presence. The second step is Certainty anchors. Accept the fear (i.e. uncertainty). You can always acknowledge that something exists, but to accept it as a part of creation is different. After acknowledging and accepting the uncertainty, Fields uses the remainder of the book to discuss how to apply uncertainty to your practice.

Throughout the book, there are many examples, advice, and knowledge of how to start a business. Fields’s research revolves around facing uncertainty in the business/professional world. His goal is to provide insight and inspire like-minded entrepreneurs to face fear rather than run away from it.

Fields once said, “Snuffing out uncertainty leads to a sea of prematurely terminated mediocre output…if only we’d had the will to embrace uncertainty, risk, and judgment, and hang on a bit longer. If only we’d learn how to harness and ride rather than hunt and kill the butterflies that live in the gut of every person who strives to create something extraordinary from nothing,” (p.27).

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Never get upset - do Verbal Judo instead.

You’re a real estate expert. You know your city; you know the neighborhood; and you’ve run the comps. But your client just won’t listen. They go on and on about how their great aunt who lives not far from here — maybe thirty minutes — sold her house for $20,000 above the listing price you’re suggesting, and that was 3 years ago. And their cousin sold his for $25,000 above that. And maybe you’re just not the realtor for them.

What do you do?

Do you walk away from the client? Do you argue?

According to George J. Thompson in Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion, no. While it is always within your rights to walk away, that should be your last option. And arguing is both unprofessional and ineffective.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get real estate clients to listen, especially when they don’t want to.

Step #1: Stay Calm

Never get upset.

Mushin, which translates to “no mind,” describes a state of being with no ego — no biases. A person in this state is calm and centered. No matter what is happening, she remains undisturbed.

In the book, Thompson says professionals must practice Mushin, especially in high tension situations. He stresses that the moment you show anger is the moment you lose power and any hope of controlling the situation.

The moment you show anger is the moment you lose power and any hope of controlling the situation.
Source: Pexels

Step #2: Deflect and Refocus

The two natural reactions to hearing something unpleasant is to grin and bear it or to argue and get sucked in. Neither option leads to a good result when you’re dealing with a difficult real estate client.

Instead, deflect and move forward professionally.

Deflecting phrases include:

  • I appreciate that
  • I’m sorry you feel that way
  • I hear that
  • I understand that

So you might say, “I understand that your great aunt sold her house for more, and I’m sorry you feel that I might not be the right realtor for you…” When deflecting, it’s important to use more than one phrase so you don’t sound abrupt.

After you’ve deflected, it’s time to refocus. The refocusing words are BUT or AND. For example, “… BUT I’m just trying to help you achieve your goal of selling fast.”

When you are deflecting and refocusing, always sound calm and interested; and make sure that everything you say after your refocusing word (BUT or AND) is professional and goal-driven.

When you are deflecting and refocusing, always sound calm and interested.
Source: Pexels

Step #3: Ask, Explain, and Paint a Picture

Once you’ve refocused the conversation on the goal of your client selling their house, the next steps are as follows:

  1. Ask them to do what needs to be done in order to achieve the goal.
  2. Explain why it’s important.
  3. Present them with their options by painting a clear picture.

In an actual conversation, asking, explaining, and painting a picture look like this:

“Will you let me list your house for $480,000?”

If your client says no or appears unconvinced, add context. Tell them why it’s important they list at $480,000.

“It’s important that we list at $480,000 because that’s the highest you’re going to get in this buyer’s market, and I don’t want to waste your time or have you be disappointed down the line when your house doesn’t sell.”

If your client says no again or is still wavering, present their options.

“If you list at $480,000, you’ll be relaxing in front of the TV in your new home in under a month. If you list for more, you’ll be stuck here for months and will end up saying to me — let’s lower to $480,000. That happens all the time. So let’s list right the first time. You might even be able to move into your new house before Christmas.”

When presenting the options, paint a clear picture and follow this sequence: good, bad, reminder of good. Painting a clear picture helps get your client in touch with the reality of the situation, and sandwiching the bad scenario between the good makes it more likely they will choose the appealing option.

When presenting the options, paint a clear picture and follow this sequence: good, bad, reminder of good.
Source: Pexels

Being a realtor can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to help your client but they don’t want to listen. Using these techniques from Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion will help you manage your conversations with clients to help you both achieve the goal of getting their house sold.

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“Introducing the Marketing Guide 101: Creating a professional blog.”

Creating a professional blog has become the preferred marketing for many businesses. For modern startups, it has become an absolute must. Of course, starting a professional blog for business is not as easy as one might think. There are many things to consider, such as bringing in traffic, reliability, and networking. Worry not, this blog post will discuss each of these topics.

When starting a professional blog for business, you must think of rhetoric. The goal is to drive traffic to your website/business, so what is the one guaranteed way to have people coming back? Rhetoric is the foundation in which you discover the essence of your business and who you are marketing too. For more tips on Rhetoric, check out our other post, here. For now, this post will simply focus on why you should have a professional blog.

Hot Traffic

Blog posts often convert more customers than dedicated landing pages for paid ads. The reason is that when people go to your blog, they are experiencing a connection with a writer and not a computer. It is important to remember that with blogging the goal is to build a connection with your audience, with the blog serving as a medium. To use blogging effectively, you must leverage search engines and social media.

In other words, continuously publishing new content daily. Publishing daily ensures search engines checking your site regularly for updates, which also means your search traffic goes up, and if your search traffic goes up, there is an increased chance to convert that traffic into customers.

#1 Go-To

Do you know what trait all the most successful business blogs share? Answering the questions that their customers (or potential customers) most frequently ask. The more useful content you publish for your target audience, the likely those prospective clients are sure to come to see you and your brand as the #1 Go-To.

By publishing content in your expertise regularly, over time, you become a reliable resource for your specific industry or niche. And that’s one of the biggest privileges of the internet: you have a chance to compete even with big brands and huge corporations by building trust with your target audience. Becoming the #1 Go-To platform for content also ensures long-term results for your blog.

Connectivity

Having a professional blog with quality articles and an established audience also means attention from other platforms. With the right amount of attention, your professional blog could be headlining the front page. This gives a boost to your article shares if the interviewer shares it with his or her own audience through social media or newsletter.

But, most importantly, having a professional blog allows the opportunity to create genuine relationships with influential business figures, which leads to important new business opportunities and other meaningful connections. That’s why blogging gives a huge boost to your business network.

So, if you are wondering why having a professional blog is important, think of it this way; blogging ensures success for your business and/or platform.

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“3 forms of persuasion = unstoppable success.”

Ethos: Character of the Speaker

Ethos is the first mode of persuasion. The intent of the speaker is to appear credible. According to Aristotle, there are three prerequisites that are necessary to appear credible: Competence, Good Intention, and Empathy. Jeremy Porter, a communication consultant, gives a great example of ethos: George Clooney.

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Image from Google Images.

“If George Clooney was to take the stage and begin talking about the art of acting, he would already have Ethos. People know Clooney is an actor and is good at his craft. He isn’t required to build authority, credibility or trust with his audience. A player from the local theater company is less likely to be known to their audience and may have to build ethos with the audience,” (Porter, 2014). However,  “if he was to take the stage and talk about basketball, he may have to build ethos with his audience because they might not be aware he’s a basketball fanatic. Clooney would have to talk about his love for the game going back to high school, recall his game with the President, and his love for the Dallas Mavericks,” (Porter, 2014).

So, taking the example from Porter, how do we apply it to the marketing industry? Simple enough. Remember, Ethos is how the speaker appears- the character. Additionally, your goal is to appear credible. The way you appear credible is knowing the area of expertise you are in. With the knowledge of your specific field, consumers will want to put their trust in you. Trust is one of the foundations of persuasion. There is a lot of research that goes into knowing what you do, however, if you are like George Clooney, and know what you are talking about, the art of persuasion will be in your hands.

Pathos: Emotional Influence

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Image from Pinterest.com

Pathos is a persuasive technique that tries to convince an audience through emotions. Pathos appeal to the senses, memory, nostalgia, or shared experience. The goal: build a common bond through shared identity, and inspire action. An example to think of is St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Or if you’re an animal lover, think of the America Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Either way, when a speaker uses pathos, the success of persuasion is to appeal to their emotions. How do you think Shakespeare was so successful in his playwrights? Each time he persuaded his audience to come back through emotion. When your audience begins to feel, the chances of them coming back, or even being persuaded is increased.

My advice: Know who your audience is. Get personal with them. What will pull their heartstrings? Place yourself in their shoes.

Logos: Logical Appeal

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Image from Google Images.

Logos is the appeal towards logical reason. The speaker wants to present an argument that appears to be sound to the audience. It encompasses the content and arguments of the speech. Logos examples in advertisement include the citation of statistics, facts, data, charts, and graphs. Statistics, surveys, facts, and historical data can make a product seem like a more reasonable decision. In essence, do your research.

Logos is particularly important when trying to persuade people who know a lot about the topic you’re addressing. Logos is also important because it can help build ethos. Porter uses another great example that demonstrates Logos: ” Consider the local theater actor who is about to speak on the craft of acting. There is no ethos present if the audience knows nothing about the actor. It’s necessary for the actor to build ethos before the audience sees them as credible, trustworthy, and authoritative. How does the actor build ethos? The actor could share experiences of their acting career, namedrop famous actors they’ve worked with, or show photos of them on stage,” (2014).

Conclusion

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are all vital elements to persuasion. The three forms are the foundational prowess that creates and innovate marketing to what it is now.

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Image from Google Images.

In this blog post, I discussed the ins and outs of the three forms of persuasion, Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. To be unstoppable in the working industry, knowledge of the three forms of persuasions is recommended. Absorbing this knowledge will not only help you in the future working industry but also help you understand the five levels of rhetoric. For more information on the five levels of rhetoric, click here.

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“With our Roman rhetorical knowledge, we too can sway our audience, and therefore increase our success. ”

Rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, When understanding rhetoric, the best historical figure to refer to is Cicero, who is probably the most influential writer when it comes to rhetoric. Here, I will discuss the tips and tricks we can learn from Cicero’s five canons of rhetoric and apply them to today’s professional world. Here are the five canons in a nutshell.

Inventio: Systematic search for arguments.

As Aristotle once defined, the invention involves discovering the best available means of persuasion. Here is a strategy I recommend: brainstorm ideas on what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Brainstorming ideas will maximize your persuasion.  

During the inventio phase, it is also crucial to know your audience and what you want to accomplish with your audience. Understanding who your audience is will provide the foundation of how you should go about selling your idea. For example, a real estate agent’s goal is to have clients buy and sell homes. The question then remains, how to sell your clients on the perfect home? Aside from the three forms of persuasion, ethos, pathos, and logos, it is vital for a real estate agent to know who they are selling to. By understanding the background of their clients – likes and dislikes, why they are looking for a new home – the real estate agent can then brainstorm ideas (inventio) and layout a base foundation (or map) on an approach to selling a home or finding the perfect home.

In sum, Inventio will provide the groundwork for how you want to share and persuade your idea. Inventio is the most critical level of persuasion. because it is the beginning of ideas, how to persuade your ideas, and most importantly, understanding your clients and why they should be persuaded. Inventio allows for a personal transaction of understanding between the speaker and the audience. How do you think Cicero became so famous? Once you have these fundamentals down, you can move on to the second level, Dispositio.

Dispositio: Organization of arguments

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Image from Google Images

With Dispositio, the goal to remember is announcing your subject or the purpose of your speech with the intent to persuade. Remember, Dispositio is the crafty organization or arrangement of arguments. To have a crafty arrangement is to immediately grab your clients attention. Once you have their attention, persuasion becomes much easier. One way to captivate your audience is by arranging your persuasion with a story. Take Insurance commercials for example. The goal for insurance commercials is, of course, to sell insurance. We see the story element in all the commercials. They implement all the elements to a story: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Taking the 5 W’s they create a story that hooks your attention and in the end, connect your emotions to the commercial, and ultimately persuade you to buy insurance.

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Image from Google Images.

A book I recommend to help create a story through persuasion is, “Made to Stick,” written by Cheap and Dan Heath. In summation, this book offers incredible insight into the anatomy of ideas and why they stay. Arranging a captivating story for your clients is the beginning of success and a keynote in persuasion. After arranging your persuasive speech, we need to add some finesse: elocutio.

Elocutio: Mastery of stylistic elements

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Image from Google Images

The one thing to remember when it comes to elocutio is style. How do you add style to your speech? Well, if you know your audience, I recommend breaking the language barrier with colloquialism. Nothing makes a client more comfortable when the same tongue is being spoken. Mind you, colloquialism and slang are two different things. We want to finesse our speech with comfortability and professionalism. In other words, make sure when delivering your persuasion, you also implement correctness, clarity, common language, and choice of persuasion- ethos, pathos, or logos.

One of the prime examples I think of is sales associates in the retail industry. Being a previous associate, I can certainly vouch that our training was indeed persuasion. In other words, it was our job to get the customer to buy our product, and what better way to persuade customers than adding heavy adjectives (style) to our language. During your conversation with your client, take the time to understand their interests, likes, and dislikes, where they grew up, etc. Creating that personal transactional relationship, while also inserting casual language ensures the sale. Consumers want to feel welcomed, they want to place their trust in someone they know, and when you are implementing persuasion it is best to do it with simplified language. Finally, we have memoria and pronunciatio.

Memoria  and Pronunciatio: Art of Memory and Delivery

A key tip to remember: if you can commit your speech to memory, your delivery becomes more powerful. In other words more impact and an increase in persuasion. Take defense attorneys for example. “How to Get Away with Murder,” starring Viola Davis, shows a perfect example of persuasion through memory and delivery. It is not only a defense attorney’s job to defend their client, but also to persuade the jury to believe the defense is innocent.

The way to do this, of course, is to first commit the speech to memory. Afterward, it all comes down to how you will deliver your speech. Which approach will you take, i.e. the logical, emotional, or credible? The memorization aspect allows the defense attorney to deliver emphasis on certain parts of the speech, pauses for effect, and direct eye contact with the jurors.

Research your idea (inventio)+ Arrange your idea with a story (Dispositio)+ Get Personal with your Client = Memory/Persuasion (rhetoric).

Follow these five levels of rhetoric, and I guarantee your persuasion game will be secure.

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