Make It Personal AND Purposeful

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Pink, in To Sell is Human, also reports on a study by Adam Grant, a Wharton Professor, who focused on the difference that framing can have in influencing people to make donations.

Working with a call center that nightly calls school alumni to make contributions toward the Scholarship fund, he created an experiment where the intervention took place over two evenings. Group One, 5 minutes before the shift started, were asked to read stories from people who had previously worked n the call center and focused on potentially useful sales skills. In contrast to this “Personal benefit groupâ€, Group Two, the “purpose†group, read stories from scholarship recipients who described how the money had helped them. Group Three was the control: they read stories that had nothing to do with either benefit or purpose.

After several weeks, he compared their sales numbers. Group One and Three had similar sales to what they had before the reading intervention. The purpose group callers kicked in overdrive – getting more pledges and larger ones; they essentially doubled production. The stories made the work personal to the callers and the contents made it purposeful.

When you’re selling ideas, services and products are you making it personal and purposeful, helping the audience understand how buy-in will improve another’s life and, in turn, improve the world?  Share you case studies!