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


Metaphor Minute: Multi-Million Dollar Metaphor


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 upcoming IPO. 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. So…

  • First, in a calm, friendly voice, she established common ground with the boy-wonder founder by restating that everyone wanted the deal to work

  • Next, sizing up the founder as someone with imagination (and ego), she understood she needed a metaphor to tap into that imagination

  • Then, 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

Agreement 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?

Anne Miller
Make What You Say Pay! — with Metaphors

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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 ©22016, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,">
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