Anne Miller — Words Matter Make What You Say Pay!
Presentation & Sales Specialist
Author | Speaker | Coach
Words Matter – Make What You Say Pay!


Metaphor Minute: Tigger Or Eyeore




December 16, 2010

Tigger or Eyeore? might be wise to ask people to describe themselves metaphorically to ensure better match-ups faster.

When I was General Manager of a leading communications firm in NYC, I interviewed a candidate for a sales position who I initially liked, but who I then realized would be absolutely wrong for the job. In the course of conversation, he mentioned he loved theater. Since I share that passion, I spontaneously asked him, “If he were to describe himself as a dramatic genre, which would he be?” Without missing a beat, he said, “Tragedy.” When asked why he chose tragedy, he explained, “Tragedy captures the essential existential nature of man. Like King Lear, for example, tragedy reminds us that we cannot control our destiny, that we are no better than footballs being kicked around carelessly in life by the fates.”

And I was looking for a gung-ho, upbeat sales person to crack new accounts. Needless to say, whatever the merits of his view on tragedy, this otherwise attractive candidate did not get the job.

A metaphor saved me from a hiring error and, inadvertently, saved this candidate from what would most likely have been failure on the job as well.

Get the Fit Right
Both sides of the hiring process know how to prepare and read resumes; how to ask probing questions; how to research each other; and how to sell the benefits of their company or their experience. That said, getting the intangibles right, getting the cultural fit and energy right is another matter.

Metaphor can solve that problem.

As an Employer
John Osborn, CEO of BBDO, the global advertising agency, was recently interviewed in “Selling Power” magazine. When asked about the type of people the agency hires, he said he looks for people who are “radiators” not “drains,” “hand-raisers, not finger-pointers.” Team players, collaborators, sharers, forces for positivism and support—all distilled in succinct visual phrases.

Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN, Inc., which includes the Home Shopping Network, interviewed in a “New York Times” ‘Corner Office’ column said, she only hires “Tiggers.” She needs energy-givers. “You don’t hire Eeyores.” Cheerful, outgoing, confident people vs. sad and gloomy downers--all captured by metaphorical references to the Pooh children’s story.

As a Candidate
Everyone puts their best foot forward in an interview. Everyone’s resume shouts experience and accomplishment. Everyone’s reference letters glow with praise for the subject of the letter. So, how does a candidate separate him/herself from competent competition to nail the job?

In one case, asked by an interviewer why he should be hired to sell that firm’s professional services, he got the job by replying, “I‘m just like Rocky. You knock me over and I come right back for more.” Determination, persistence and energy--everything a sales manager wants in a new hire, expressed metaphorically. No wonder he got the job.

Meet Your Match (or Mate) Metaphorically
Getting agreement from management on the apt metaphor for a job description will save employers time in finding the right candidate for a job. If you are a candidate, a strong metaphor to describe your value will get you remembered in an interviewer’s mind. A match in metaphors translates into a good match for both sides.

See you in the New Year

Anne Miller
Make What You Say Pay — With Metaphors.

In Case You Missed It...
What's Your Story?  Are You better than the President?
New Podcast
"Make What You Say Pay with Metaphors" on Salesopedia

Need Personal Presentation Consulting?
Contact me:
"I can't thank you enough for the personal one on one coaching yesterday, it was the most generous professional act I've had in my career.  Your advice and tips are easy to remember and dead on."
John O'Connor,
Tell me about YOUR Metaphor Minute, a time you used a metaphor or an analogy to make your point, overcome an obstacle, close a sale, or wow an audience, and receive a signed copy of Metaphorically Selling or Make What You Say Pay!. Simply call me at 212 876 1875 and tell me what you did or email me at

If someone emailed you this copy of The Metaphor Minute, sign up now to get your own copy.
(and be sure to "white list" to be insure delivery)


Sales Assessments:
Clone Your Best & Guarantee
 Right People in the Right Jobs
Get Your Highest ROI on Sales Training
and/or Your Sales Team's Re-organization
Details: 212-876-1875

New White Paper
HOOKED! 7 Ways to Capture a
Prospect's Attention

Written with pal and Sales 2.0 guru Nigel Edelshain

Fight The Noise -
Make Your Point

"Smart & Easy to Read"
"Incredibly Timely"
"Must have if you influence or persuade anyone"

Free Preview or Buy Now

Invite Me to Speak at Your Sales Meeting or Organization Retreat

 Lock in your dates today:
212-876-1875 or

View A Recent Video

The Key to Persuasion,
Clarity & Understanding

Order the book that spawned
"The Metaphor Minute" and the new
""Make What You Say Pay!"

What do you say when
they have to get it?


Official Training Partner

The IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace

Links I Like:

Great Resources:

"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. © 2009. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2010, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"

You received this newsletter at [[-Email-]] because you subscribed to it or were a seminar participant.  If you would like to change your subscription settings, please click here.

©2018 Chiron Associates New York, NY 212-876-1875