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Friday, March 30, 2012

Getting to Agreement

David Weinberger in his Authors @ Google video about his new book Too Big To Know, makes the point that to convince someone of a new position, you need significant prior agreement when you start, maybe 98%.

As he says in the video, as a Jew, there is little chance he’s going to come to much agreement with a Nazi.

Where does the underlying agreement come from? It’s seldom defined when you meet, and probably not coming from the prospect. So it must be up to the salesman to find it and define it. 

It’s easy to find areas of commonality with others. You have to look for it, and when you find it, work with it. Build from a base of agreement to get to a new concept.

Sounds like ol’ Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Does that change anything for you?

1 comment:

  1. Dick:
    We know it is harder to sell something we do not fully believe in - the corollary applies to getting consensus - if you and your listener are at opposite ends of the spectrum, no agreement will happen. It becomes more likely as the gap narrows.

    Whether it's 98% agreement or not, the post illustrates the value of hearing what the other person is saying - not simply listening to formulate your next counter point.

    Good post - makes you think.