– Mark Twain
Doesn’t his observation ring true? The wildest stories and theories seem to have an enduring life all on their own. Meanwhile, as business people we have a difficult time getting our message in front of our customer, much less getting the customer to say, “Yes.”
So how do you communicate your message effectively? How do you get your ideas noticed? It’s hard, but it’s doable. The customer today is bombared by email, billboards, web, print media, television, elevator messages, radio, etc. That alone makes it likely that your message will not be heard. The customer simply can’t process all the information. Think about it — do you?
So the idea here is to think — how do you nurture your message so that it is interesting? How do you design your message so that it sticks in the mind of the customer?
One of those principles (adapted from Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Made to Stick) is in order to get our audience to pay attention to our message, use the element of surprise. Keep in mind surprise doesn’t last; for our message to endure, we must generate interest and curiosity. Over time we can engage our customers’ curiosity by systematically “opening gaps” in their knowledge —- and then quickly filling those gaps.