10 Crucial Reasons Why You Should Lead with a Story

Paul Smith, Lead With a Story:

1. Storytelling is Simple

Anyone can do it. You don’t need a degree in English, or even an MBA.

2. Storytelling is Timeless

Unlike fads in other areas of management, such as total quality management, reengineering, Six Sigma, or 5S, storytelling has always worked for leadership, and it always will.

3. Stories are Demographic-Proof

Everybody—regardless of age, race, or gender—likes to listen to stories.

4. Stories are Contagious

They can spread like wildfire without any additional effort on the part of the storyteller.

5. Stories Are Easier to Remember

According to psychologist Jerome Bruner, facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if they are part of a story. Organizational psychologist Peg Neuhauser found similar results in her work with corporations. She found that learning derived from a well-told story is remembered more accurately, and for far longer than the learning derived from facts or figures.

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6. Stories Inspire

Slides don’t. Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow! You’ll never believe the PowerPoint presentation I just saw!” Probably not. But you have heard people say that about stories.

7. Stories Appeal to All Types of Learners

…Storytelling has aspects that work for all three types. Visual learners appreciate the mental pictures storytelling evokes. Auditory learners focus on the words and the storyteller’s voice. Kinesthetic learners remember the emotional connections and feelings from the story.

8. Stories Fit Better Where Most of the Learning Happens in the Workplace

…”Up to 70 percent of the new skills, information and competence in the workplace is acquired through informal learning” such as what happens in team settings, mentoring, and peer-to-peer communication. And the bedrock of informal learning is storytelling.

9. Stories Put the Listener in a Mental Learning Mode

…As author and organizational narrative expert David Hutchens points out, storytelling puts listeners in a different orientation. They put their pens and pencils down, open up their posture, and just listen.

10. Telling Stories Shows Respect for the Audience

Stories get your message across without arrogantly telling listeners what to think or do…Telling a story, where you underline the moral, is a great way of explaining to people what needs to be done, without saying, “do this.”

Content adapted from Paul Smith, Lead with a Story: A Guide to Crafting Business Narratives That Captivate, Convince, and Inspire (New York: Amacom, 2012), 11-12.

Not All Practice Makes Perfect

Geoff Colvin, Talent is Overrated:

We commonly use the term “practice” when talking about two domains, sports and music, but that habit can lead us astray. As already suggested, what we think of as practice frequently isn’t what the researchers mean by deliberate practice…

Deliberate practice is characterized by several elements…Let’s consider each of those attributes of deliberate practice and what it implies.

1. It’s designed specifically to improve performance

While the best methods of development are constantly changing, they’re always built around a central principle: They’re meant to stretch the individual beyond his or her current abilities.

…Deliberate practice requires that one identify certain sharply defined elements of performance that need to be improved, and then work intently on them.

2. It can be repeated a lot

High repetition is the most importance difference between deliberate practice of a task and performing the task for real, when it counts.

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3. Feedback on results is continuously available

You can work on technique all you like, but if you can’t see the effects, two things will happen: You won’t get any better, and you’ll stop caring.

4. It’s highly demanding mentally

Deliberate practice is above all an effort of focus and concentration. That is what makes it “deliberate,” as distinct from the mindless playing of scales or hitting of tennis balls that most people engage in.

5. It isn’t much fun

Doing things we know how to do well is enjoyable, and that’s exactly the opposite of what deliberate practice demands. Instead of doing what we’re good at, we insistently seek out what we’re not good at. Then we identify the painful, difficult actives that will make us better and do those things over and over.

Content adapted from Geoff Colvin, Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2008), 66-72.

What Alcohol Teaches us About Living for God

Alcohol actually teaches us a lot about living for God.

In Ephesians 5:18 we read: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”

To get drunk with wine—or any alcoholic beverage for that matter—means that you will come under its influence. It will negatively influence your motor skills, decision making capabilities. and social inhibition.

To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to come under his influence. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event like being indwelinled by him. It is to be continually filled, saturated, and permeated by his presence on a day-to-day basis.

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Being filled with the Holy Spirit isn’t rocket science.

You don’t have to work yourself up into a frenzy, do a crazy jig, or seek out to be filled by the Spirit through someone else.

After being indwelled by the Spirit we are continually filled with his presence by simply asking God the Father, through Jesus Christ, to fill us him (Luke 11:13) and by setting our minds on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5), which is the Bible (John 6:63; 1 Cor. 2:14).

When we are continually filled with the Spirit we will come under a great sense of his influence in our lives.

His influence isn’t something we necessarily feel.

It’s something that will change our lives.

Here are six ways how the Holy Spirit works within us to enable us to both live and love like Jesus.

1. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live Within Us

After calling and regenerating us, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our lives (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19).

This means that God is not confined to a specific country, item, or building—like the Temple in the Old Testament (1 Kings 6). He indwells those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

By taking residence within our lives the Holy Spirit fills us with his presence (Eph. 5:18; cf. Acts 4:8; 4:31; 6:3; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9). His presence brings new life and a new love for God and others. He changes us from the inside out.

And his influence is not a one time deal, either.

The Holy Spirit is not a flakey guest who crashes with you for a night, sleeps in your bed, eats your food, and then leaves without saying goodbye.

When he comes to live within you he unpacks his bags, moves in his belongings, and stays for the long haul.

Though we may grieve him (Eph. 4:30) and even quench his presence (1 Thess. 5:19), we can’t offend him enough to make him leave. He’s with us forever (John 14:16-17; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 1:13-14).

2. The Holy Spirit Makes Known the Presence of Jesus

The Holy Spirit is not a rogue member of the Trinity doing his own thing.

His primary work in our life and the world today is to mediate the presence of Jesus Christ. (This is theological shorthand describing the role of the Holy Spirit in making known to us the personal presence of Jesus Christ.)

All of his works are rooted in his aim to bring glory to Jesus Christ (John 15:26; 16:14; Acts 5:32; 1 Cor. 12;3; 1 John 4:2)—not himself or us.

The Holy Spirit redirects our pursuits from aiming on ourselves to glorifying Jesus. He will lead us away from loving ourselves to loving God and others.  He gives us a new purpose to love God and enjoy him forever.

3. The Holy Spirit Makes Us More Like Jesus

There’s one important point to make about the Holy Spirit: He’s holy.

In a general gist, the Holy Spirit “produces holiness within us.” He will convict us of sin (John 15:8-11) and lead us to become more like Jesus.

As we walk with the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and stay in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25), he will strip away our love for sin and make us more like Jesus (Gal. 5:16, 18).

4. The Holy Spirit Helps Us Understand the Bible

The relationship of the Holy Spirit with the Bible is twofold.

He inspired the writing of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:20-21) and helps us to understand the Bible (John 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:9-11; Heb. 3:7; 10:15).

When it comes to understanding a passage from Scripture, the Holy Spirit will help you to understand what it means and how it changes your life.

The Holy Spirit will work through your personal reading of the Bible, family and friends, and especially through the proclamation of the gospel and the Bible (Rom. 1:16; 10:14-16).

So ask for the Holy Spirit to help you understand the Bible as you read and study its message.

Also, if you’re in a position of teaching the Bible to your family, friends, small group, or church, it’s a good idea to ask for the Holy Spirit to help your listeners understand the passage you are sharing.

5. The Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray

The Holy Spirit is active in aiding us in our prayer life (Rom. 8:26-27).

There will be times—not maybe—in your life as a Christian when you feel inadequate in your prayer life or have no idea what to pray for. This happens when we come into a situation when God’s revealed will in the Bible doesn’t specifically address. For example, we will not find within the pages of the Bible where we should attend school, live, work, who to marry, or how to handle a particular hardship.

In these moments the Holy Spirit will help us when we do not know how to pray for God’s will in a particular situation.

When you find yourself in these moments, remember to ask for the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness.

6. The Holy Spirit Guides Us

The Holy Spirit also guides us (Gal. 5:16, 25; cf. Acts 8:29; 13:2; 15;7-9; 16:6; Rom. 8:14).

He led Jesus into the wilderness (Matt. 4:1), provided direct guidance to Philip (Acts 8:29), and even later physically transported him (Acts 8:39-40).

The Holy Spirit has—and can—supernaturally lead people, but his work in guiding you will normally take place with a less supernatural display of power. Look for less flare and pizazz from the Spirit and more for him to work through your average day-to-day dealings.

Though the Holy Spirit is at work guiding us on a deep, personal level, the Scriptures do suggest that we are responsible to cooperate in his guidance by “walking according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:16).

Don’t just pray and wait for a particular feeling. Pray and prepare for action.

How the Gospel Changes our Work

Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert, The Gospel at Work:

1. You Work for a New Master

If you trust in Jesus Christ’s life and death in your place—if you have given your life to him in faith—then you work for a new master in everything you do.

2. You Have a New Assignment

If you are a follower of Christ, you look to Jesus to reorder your assignments and obligations, and he is very clear about what matters most. In Matthew 22, someone asked Jesus which of the bewildering array of commandments was most important. His answer is wonderfully unambiguous: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with a ll your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39).

When you become a Christian, your overarching, overriding, life-driving assignment becomes as clear as crystal: You are to love God and love others.

3. You Have a New Confidence

We aren’t saying that the gospel gives you a new self-worth. Instead, it gives you a new confidence…Knowing you are loved by God in spite of yourself turns out to be the real answer to all the things you think you need self-esteem to achieve.

4. You Have New Rewards

There’s no greater rewards in the universe than what Jesus gives to those who work for him.

Once you accept this truth and believe it, it begins to change the way you approach your work. No longer do you look to your job to provide you with ultimate rewards, because you know that the greatest rewards you can ever have are secure for you in Jesus.

Knowing that you work for King Jesus and not for other people changes the way you approach your job. You have a new master, a new assignment, a new confidence, and new rewards—all because of Jesus. That’s not just a series of bullet points to pull out of your mental wallet here and there. It’s a whole new way of thinking.

And this new way of thinking leads to a new found freedom in the workplace.

Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert, The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to our Jobs (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 46-49.

What Does it Take to Create a Movement?

Seth Godin, Tribes:

If we look at two Nobel Prize winners and their movements—Muhammad Yunus and Al Gore—some parallels become clear, and they directly relate to the tactics available to you as you lead your tribe.

Microfinance as a tool to fight poverty and the effort to recognize and stem global warming have both become movements. But as Yasmina Zaidman, at the Acumen Fund, told me, both problems (and their solutions!) were recognized more than thirty years ago. We weren’t lacking the answer—Muhammad Yunus had it all along. So why did it take thirty years for the idea to gain steam?

3280639091_1cd4552deb_zThe answer, as you’ve probably guessed, is that there’s a difference between telling people what to do and inciting a movement. The movement happens when people talk to one another, when ideas spread within the community, and most of all, when peer support leads people to do what they always knew was the right thing.

Great leaders create movements by empowering the tribe to communicate. They establish the foundation for people to make connections, as opposed to commanding people to follow them.

This is ow Skype spread around he world. Cofounder Niklas Zennstrom understood that overthrowing the tyranny of the hone companies was too big a project for a small company. But if he could empower the tribe to do it themselves, to connect to one another and to spread the word, he would be able to incite a movement.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it involved much the same dynamic. The collapse of East Germany wasn’t the work of one hardworking activist. Instead, it was the gradual but inexorable growth of the tribe, a loosely coordinated movement of activists that gained in force until it couldn’t be stopped.

One after another, intractable problems fall in the face of movements.

Seth, Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2008), 23-24.

50 Graceful Jabs from “Beat God to the Punch”

Eric Mason, Beat God to the Punch: Because Jesus Demands Your Life:index

“Jesus took our beat down. He died under the full blast of God’s wrath and remained faithful” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“To beat God to the punch, you have to place your trust in Jesus” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus, on the cross, took God’s best shot. He took on the fullness of God’s hatred toward sin” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“God not only saves us from something, He also saves us for something” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace empowers the believer to live an obedience life to the gospel” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace not only saved us, but sustains very aspect of the life of the redeemed” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace doesn’t plunge us into ruin but rescues us from it” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace not only saves, but also sustains the believer” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace is the key to experience the love of God” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“The greatest sight of the life of the believer is being able to recognize the grace of God” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus is the one who will satisfy the pending wrath that hovers over us because of sin’s grip” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“To follow Jesus is to follow the grace of God” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Being in a relationship with Jesus Christ by faith helps us to know what we should expect from Him” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“A disciple must be transformed into wanting what the Lord wants for them” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace can’t be earned, but grace motivates and empowers us to work” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“An encounter with Jesus Christ changes everything” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Truth lets people know where you stand, but grace lets people know you love them” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace creates an environment for truth to be heard and either accepted or rejected” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Truth makes grace clearer, and grace clarifies the offense of truth” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace and truth are the key ingredients for God to be glorified and unleash the contagious nature of the gospel” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Expressing to people that God is after them to love and save them changes everything” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“God is the worst chooser of people in the history of humanity” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“What makes grace contagious is Jesus and the Spirit, not us” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Living a grace-filled life requires us to look into the name of Jesus and discover what we lack” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus…points us to the fact that we experience forgiveness and empowerment through His work on the cross” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus is the gracious sacrifice for sin that only God could provide” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Bowing the knee to Christ is the only way to seize a grace-filled life” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus created everything to be connected to His purposes” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“If we are detached from Jesus, we will be detached from His purposes, and life will get messy” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“In Christ’s incarnation, He came to eliminate the fog that inhibits knowing God” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Loyalty is a difficult thing to find in life, yet God in His grace is loyal” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Being filled with the Spirit means being filled with the grace of God’ @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Goodness an mercy are both requisite to beat God to the punch by the power of the Spirit” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“No matter what we go through, we are being stalked by the mercy and goodness of God” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“All of our sufferings have a beginning date and an expiration date”@pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“The role of grace is not to elimate suffering, but to sustain us through the valley” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Grace is a strange an loyal keeper of the brokenhearted in the Lord Jesus Christ” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“The work of the Spirit as the presence of God’s grace in us affirms that we are His” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“We have confidence that God’s grace will relentlessly pursue us” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“God’s work of grace throughout history displays an elaborate scheme only God could accomplish” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“God is concerned for grace to be our relational foundation with Him” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus is the one to who reconnects heaven to earth” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus, not heaven, is the focal point of revelation” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“It’s not enough to merely see deficits of grace; we must extend it to others as they break our hearts” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus Christ came to empower us to beat God to the punch” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Sometimes even forgiven people still wrestle with the radically free nature of forgiveness” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“No one can control the commitment of Jesus to save sinners” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“We must keep the gospel uncluttered, from our own preferences” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“One of the greatest comforts to me in the gospel is that God does the saving, not me” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

“Jesus offers real freedom. All other human talk of freedom is cloaked bondage” @pastoremase #BeatGodToThePunch

How the Holy Spirit Works Through Us Today

We have been invited by Jesus to help build his church.

And to this end the Holy Spirit works through us.

He works through our natural skills and abilities and even gives us supernatural gifts. These abilities and gifts are given by God for us to glorify him and serve others.

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There are four primary ways the Holy Spirit works through us today.

1. The Holy Spirit Calls Us

The Holy Spirit not only calls people to faith in Jesus Christ, but he calls us to a specific vocation or task.

This means that the God of the universe will guide you into the vocational decisions you make. Sometimes our life will appear to be a random hodgepodge of loosely connected events tied together, but this is not the case at all. God is directing your steps and guiding your life—even when it comes to work.

Here are just a few examples:

  • The Holy Spirit asked for Barnabas and Saul to be set apart “for the work to which [he] called them” (Acts 13:2)
  • The Holy Spirit led Philip to help an Ethiopian eunuch understand the Old Testament (Acts 8:26-40)
  • The Holy Spirit even forbid Paul from entering specific regions to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:6-7)

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will supernaturally guide us in the decisions we make. But here me loud and clear on this one: This is the exception, not the rule. (Sorry to disappoint you.)

Normally the Holy Spirit guides us through the ordinary ebbs and flows of life. As you trust God (Prov. 3:5-6), read the Bible (Rom. 12:1-2), and seek godly counsel (Prov. 11:14), the Holy Spirit will guide you into the work he has called you to.

2. The Holy Spirit Empowers Us

The Holy Spirit also empowers us for service.

This means he enables us to do what we’ve been called to do.

From the pages of the Old Testament we observe the Holy Spirit’s empowering presence in the lives of Joshua (Num. 27:18), Saul (1 Sam. 11:6), David (1 Sam. 16:13), and many others, to accomplish what they were called to do.

In the New Testament, we see that he empowered Jesus’ earthly ministry (Luke 4:14), the early disciples (Acts 1:8), and the preaching of the gospel (Acts 4:8, 31; 6:10; 1 Thess. 1:5).

The Holy Spirit is capable of empowering our natural abilities and improving upon them for a special task or purpose. This explains how God is capable of accomplishing his work through your average, ordinary, and even rejected members of society.

Shoot, Peter and John, two of the most important men in church history, were considered “unschooled, ordinary men” (Acts 4:13), yet God powerfully worked through their lives.

So take heart and be humble if you’re reading this today.

For “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong” (1 Cor. 1:27).

3. The Holy Spirit Empowers Evangelistic Efforts

Jesus is alive and he is building his church.

His church isn’t built through political engagement or military might. His church is built through the proclamation of the gospel.

Thankfully God hasn’t left us alone in his work. He sent the Holy Spirit to empower our evangelistic efforts.

The Holy Spirit empowers us to be a witness (Acts 1:8), directs our evangelistic efforts (Acts 8:26, 29), and empowers our evangelistic efforts (Acts 4:38, 31; 6:10; 1 Thess. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:12).

The Holy Spirit’s aim in glorifying Jesus Christ is fulfilled by him enabling, guiding, and empowering our proclamation of the gospel.

4. The Holy Spirit Gives Spiritual Gifts

The Holy Spirit also works through us by giving us spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:11).

He doesn’t give us these gifts for our personal benefit, either.

He gives us gifts for the common good of the church (1 Cor. 12:7). This means that we receive spiritual gifts for building up the church, not our personal platform.

He also gives us gifts for us to serve others with (1 Pet. 4:10), not ourselves.

God also gives some spiritual gifts, such as tongues and prophecy, as a sign for unbelievers (1 Cor. 14:22). At times God will reveal his glory to unbelievers through a supernatural display of spiritual gifts.

There are multiple spiritual gifts listed in the Bible (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). We don’t get to choose what gift we receive. They’re given to us by God for his glory and our good.

Has Social Media Made Pride Acceptable?

From Craig Groeschel:

Imagine if I stood before our church and told everyone: “Joe Smith said, ‘Craig you are the best preacher ever! Your sermons changed my life.’ And Jill Denny said, ‘I loved your book. Everyone should read it. You are the best author I’ve ever read!’ Not only that, but Mike Mitchell said, ‘Craig, Life Church is the best church in the world! No church is as good as Life Church.’”

Chances are good most people would look at me funny and think I’m a little full of myself for saying such things.

But if I simply retweeted those exact same statements, my retweets would seem totally acceptable to most. Honestly, I’m wondering if that is acceptable to God, or if it’s just pride in disguise.

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I believe we need to walk a very careful line in ministry. (I am certain I have crossed this line at times.)

Sure we want to celebrate what God is doing in our churches. Of course we want to get the word out about a new series or a book we’ve written. Unquestionably we want to share more reasons to give praise to our God.

But at the same time, we need to be careful that we’re not drawing attention to ourselves.

You can read the entire article here.

Question: Do you think social media has made pride acceptable?

The Guide to Creativity for Non-Creatives

Adapted from Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative:

To unleash your creative potential now and thrive over the long term, you need to establish your own rhythm—one that is independent of the pressures and expectations you far each day. This Creative Rhythm will provide you with the stability and clarity to engage your problems head-on

1. Focus

In order to create effectively, you need a clear and concrete understanding of your objectives.

2. Relationships

One of the most powerful sources of creative inspiration and rejuvenation is other people…If you want to thrive, you need to systematically engage with other people, in part to be reminded that life is bigger than your immediate problems.

3. Energy

To make the most of your day, you need to establish practices around energy management.

4. Stimuli

If you want to regularly generate brilliant ideas, you must be purposeful about what you are putting into your head.

5. Hours

You need to ensure that the practices that truly make you a more effective creator are making it onto your calendar.

Practices in each of these five areas (F-R-E-S-H) provide the foundation for a life that is prolific, brilliant, and healthy.

Todd Henry, The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s  Notice (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2011), 20-22.

The Baby Steps of Permission Marketing

Seth Godin, Permission Marketing:

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1. Offer an Incentive to Volunteer

Every marketer must offer the prospective customer an incentive for volunteering…If you don’t provide a benefit to the customer for paying attention, your offer will suffer the same fate as every other ad campaign that’s vying for their attention. It will be ignored.

The incentive you offer to the customer can range from information, to entertainment, to a sweepstakes, to outright payment for the prospect’s attention. But the incentive must be overt, obvious, and clearly delivered.

2. Offer Curriculum

Using the attention offered by the consumer, the marketer offers a curriculum over time, teaching the consumer about the product or service he has to offer…Every step along the way has to be interesting, useful, and relevant.

3. Reinforce the Incentive

Over time, any incentive wears out…The Permission Marketer must work to reinforce the incentive, to be sure that the attention continues. This is surprisingly easy. Because this is a two-way dialogue, not a narcissistic monologue, the marketer can adjust the incentives being offered and fine-tune them for each prospect.

4. Increase the Level of Permission

The goal is to motivate the consumer to give more and more permission over time. Permission to gather more data about the customer’s personal life, or hobbies, or interests. Permission to offer a new category of product for the customer’s consideration. Permission to provide a product sample. The range of permission you can obtain from a customer is very wide and limited only by its relevance to the customer.

5. Change Consumer Behavior Into Profits

After permission is granted, that’s how it becomes a truly significant asset for the marketer. Now you can live happily ever after by repeating the aforementioned process while selling your customer more and more products. In other words, the fifth and final step is to leverage your permission into a profitable situation for both of you.

Seth Godin, Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999), 45-48.