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


Metaphor Minute: One Entrepreneur's Tip for Building Metaphor Power

The METAPHOR MINUTE Newsletter by Anne Miller

OCTOBER 18, 2017

One Entrepreneur’s Tip for Building Metaphor Power

Josiah Tan, co-Founder of Enlightened Profits, a Singapore based Marketing Company, promotes business programs throughout Asia. His goal is nothing short of transforming how business is run across the continent.

After he approached me in an email, there were two things I came to love about his story. The first is his unique bio which explains how he became an entrepreneur. Unlike many bios, it begins with a beautiful, loving tribute to his Mom. Her tough work life inspired him to become financially independent so that she would never have the financial burden of having to care for him.

The second thing I loved about him is his disciplined commitment to becoming a true “Metaphorian,” a natural user of metaphors. Josiah is a “Clipper,” someone who notices and saves metaphors, and relevant articles about metaphors, when and where he hears them. These saved examples serve as potential uses for future situations as well as daily lessons in the many ways metaphors are used to influence, sell and explain things. (Spoiler alert: Becoming a “Clipper” is something I encourage in my book and seminars and urge you to do as well to strengthen your own metaphor making power.)

Josiah wrote, “I keep an Evernote book for Metaphors, Analogies and Similes and update it daily with at least one metaphor.” Here’s a snapshot of a part of his list.

 Updated  Title
 Today 7:30AM  Metaphor – Importance of Checklists
 08/24/17 6:30AM  Metaphor – Metric, Analysis, Action
 08/23/17 2:11PM  1 dollar a day strategy
 08/22/17 13:13  Success is like growing an apple tree
 08/21/17  9:07PM  On frequency of interaction
08/20/2017 2:17PM  Stuck and getting unstuck
 08/19/17 6:04PM  Preparation like stocking a blood bank
 08/18/17 5:44PM  Social media like a megaphone
 08/17/17 8:07PM  14 metaphor examples :Paint vivid pix with words

Josiah’s daily habit of intentional metaphor captures has heightened his appreciation for the power of metaphor to influence, sell, and persuade. It helps him convey his ideas more quickly and effectively in a variety of situations to his team, his partners and his clients. Here are two examples of usage, in this case, with his team.

Reshaping Thinking
During team-building meetings, it is not uncommon to have members disagree with a management policy. A manager in that situation can choose to pull rank and decree that this is the way things will be or, he can use the power of metaphor to lead the dissenting team member to see the policy in different light and willingly accept it.

During one such meeting between Josiah and his organization, a member of his group said he thought they should hire people just like themselves in order to succeed. It was pretty clear to Josiah that this person felt very strongly about his statement and that a logical argument on the wisdom of diversity would fall on deaf ears.

Instead of giving a lecture, Josiah responded, “Having a team that has similar personalities is like playing only one key on the piano over and over and over again. The music becomes boring and listeners leave. Similarly, when people on the team are of similar personalities only, they act, sound, and feel the same. Many members eventually become redundant, group-think sets in, and, as a company, you get stale and risk losing your clients.”

“On the other hand, having a diverse team is like playing a melody on a piano. A beautiful melody is created with different keys that complement one another. Listeners want to stay and hear the music. When you have a team with different personality types, you get the benefit from the mix of their unique strengths and weaknesses. You get different points of view, more creative thinking, and, as a company, you stay fresh and more likely to attract new clients.”

Josiah’s naysayer paused, thought about what he heard, saw its inherent truth, and dropped his objection.

Coaching the Sales Team
For a Manager, losing business after doing everything you could is one thing, but losing business because a salesperson made the classic 101 mistake of selling with insufficient prospect information is maddening and unacceptable. This common mistake happens around the world whether it is St. Louis, Sao Paulo, or Singapore, Josiah’s home town.

“We offer a number of really powerful business building seminars to our clients. The good news is my team is very enthusiastic about our programs. The bad news is they sometimes forget to have a proper discovery discussion first before they begin offering solutions. When they do that, they create marketing messages that fail to hit home in their clients’ hearts and we lose business.”

“I tell them, ‘Marketing and selling products to prospects without surveying them first is like going to a doctor who prescribes medicine to you without seeing and diagnosing you first. You wouldn’t trust or use a doctor who did that, so why would you expect a prospect to do business with us without adequate knowledge of his situation, needs, and wants?’”

Josiah reports that that analogy to how they would feel with such a doctor hits their heart and snaps them back into conducting more thorough discovery conversations, so that they offer up only the most appropriate programs to prospects.

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools, & thereafter our tools shape us.” Marshall McLuhan

The more “Beholding” and “Clipping” of metaphors that Josiah does, the more naturally they habitually pop up in his communications to help accomplish his goals. I hope his story encourages you to be more mindful as well of the metaphors that you see and hear all around you and to collect them. They are literally everywhere you turn: in conversations with friends, in print, online, social media, TV.

You just need to n-o-t-i-c-e them.

Anne Miller
Make What You Say Pay! — with Metaphors.

P.S. Thank you, Josiah, for your stories & your generous review of my book, Metaphorically Selling, (The updated version is The Tall Lady with the Iceberg: the power of metaphor to sell, persuade & explain anything to anyone).

If you like these newsletters, please share them with clients,
colleagues and friends! — Thank you.


"The best arguments
dazzle with metaphor"

Gerry Spence,
Media Commentator & Lawyer

The Original “Metaphorically Selling” that spawned a movement, now with 25 New Stories.  Available in print, ebook & (new) audiobook formats.
Click here

7 Signs You Need A Metaphor (Visual Language)

  1. Your listener is not paying attention
  2. Your listener is stuck on an objection
  3. Your listener is confused
  4. Your listener sees no difference between you and your competition
  5. You want to drive home a point vividly and memorably
  6. You have to wiggle out of a difficult situation
  7. You want to wow or motivate a larger audience

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Special Upcoming Webinar!

I am pleased to announce an upcoming live webinar at which I will be speaking. I think this program will be of particular interest to you and I would like to personally invite you to attend. As my guest, you are eligible for 50% off the registration fee!

Selling With Metaphors: Influence, Persuade, and Explain Anything to Anyone
December 6, 2017
1:00pm EST - 2:00pm EST

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Call: 866-352-9539
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Priority code: 15999

 I look forward to having you in attendance and providing you with the latest information on this topic!

 "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. /span> © 2017. Anne Miller. -- PERMISSION TO REPRINT -- Feel free to reprint in company newsletters or articles. Just include ©2017, Anne Miller, author, "Metaphorically Selling,"
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