Sept 14, 2016
Multi-Million Dollar Metaphor
They sit, glaring at each other across the table. The brash founder of a
security privacy software company (a Mark Zuckerberg look-alike, complete with
hoodie), fueled by ego, pride in product, and greed, wants a $35 pricing for his
The steely-eyed senior investment banker sitting across the table from him,
backed by research data, knowledge of comparable industry prices, and desperate
for a successful IPO, stands firm on pricing between $32-34. Both sides are dug
into their positions. The deal is about to blow up.
Then, to the annoyance of the founder’s legal counsel and to the dismay of the
self-righteous banker, the junior partner on the banking team breaks into the
conversation with a creative deal-saving analogy. See how she did that in this
short clip from “Equity,” the sleeper
hit movie from this summer.
Deconstructing Her “Save”
Notice what Erin did. She recognized that facts and logic alone were not going
to change this founder’s mind. She knew only a change in perception would work.
in a calm, friendly voice, she established common ground with the
boy-wonder founder by restating that everyone wanted the deal to work
sizing up the founder as someone with imagination (and ego), she
understood she needed a metaphor to tap into that imagination
she reframed the argument with a creative analogy that appealed to the
founder’s sense of personal grandeur and delivered the argument in a
collaborative, rather than a combative manner
to work with her firm was hers as soon as the founder said, “I get it.”
No Need to Get Stuck in Deadlocks
Think about where you tend to deadlock with clients: around Pricing?
Delivery? Competition? Other? If, like Erin, you can reframe the choices
your opposing side sees with an effective metaphor (analogy), you can
generally defuse those tense situations, advance your cause, and close your
deal or achieve your goal.
What creative analogies can you create to reframe conflicts in your world,
and, by doing so, eliminate them?
Make What You Say Pay! — with Metaphors
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7 Signs You Need A Metaphor (Visual Language)
Your listener is
not paying attention
Your listener is
stuck on an objection
Your listener is
Your listener sees
no difference between you and your competition
You want to drive
home a point vividly and memorably
You have to wiggle
out of a difficult situation
You want to wow or
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| "The Metaphor Minute" is a brief monthly note with examples from business, media, or politics that illustrate the power of metaphors and analogies to make a point, solve a problem, and get results. Use these stories to stimulate high pay-off metaphoric thinking in your business.
2016. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include
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