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


Metaphor Minute: Pain in the Neck

The METAPHOR MINUTE Newsletter by Anne Miller

MAY 16, 2018

Pain in the Neck?

Money, religion, and politics are arguably three of the most sensitive, emotionally charged topics you can discuss with another person. No one knows that better than financial planner/wealth manager Chris Drouin whose focus with clients is their money. If he is doing a good job, he often needs to get clients to look at issues they have been avoiding or mismanaging and help them develop smarter strategies going forward. This part of the job is not without its challenges.

Chris says, “Using easily relatable analogies provides clients a deeper understanding of their situation and helps them better frame the decisions they are grappling with. Greater confidence and clarity reduces fear and helps clients move ahead.” Here’s one example…

I was speaking with a client’s son who is a Chiropractor in financial trouble. He is in danger of foreclosure, has substantial back taxes, is almost underwater on his mortgage, is looking to borrow more money to send his child to college and is understandably having some marital troubles.

My biggest challenge with him? His belief that he could turn it around by himself.

My Client’s Situation

In talking with him to understand how he got into the situation, it was a common sad tale –

  • Bought a house at the top of their budget at the top of the market in late 2007
  • Income dropped during the recession
  • Kept borrowing to keep afloat
  • But he thought he could sell his home at a profit and save his situation

My Client’s Position

Weeks away from foreclosure, he agreed with his mother to at least talk with me. I asked if he had covered any of this situation with his CPA. He said no because he would have had to pay out more money. I told him his CPA could offer invaluable advice as he looked at the bank’s offers. He might pick up a lot of income on his tax return unwittingly.

I asked if he had an attorney to work with the bank to try to save his home or soften his fall. He said he did not want to pay for any help. He said he could do it himself.

I told him he needed professional tax and legal advice and that he was at a major disadvantage, especially since he had not been reading the legal documents that were being sent to him over the last 9 months.

He still insisted he could take care of everything himself.

The Analogy That Changed His Mind

Realizing I was talking to a brick wall, I finally said: “You are a chiropractor right? Well, my neck is killing me, but I do not want to pay you the $80 to fix my neck, I am just going to twist it really hard myself. I cannot do any more harm, right?”

He paused  thought about what I said, realized how foolish my position would be, and said, “I got it. I will call my CPA to inform him and ask for a referral to a good real estate attorney.”

Your World

When someone digs in and is beyond logic or common sense, piling on more logic and facts rarely works. What does work is reshaping the argument. Shift to an analogy taken from a world familiar to them and they quickly see the truth of what you are saying and are likely to change.

The key is selecting your analogy from a world they know well, so they (literally) see the parallel logic.

Think of your presentations. Think of your informal conversations with colleagues. Think of the recommendations and requests you make to others.

  • Where do your arguments meet resistance?
  • What statements tend to confuse listeners?
  • What points do you want to highlight?

What analogies can you use in those situations to facilitate understanding, change minds, win agreement, or close a deal?

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

P.S. You can contact Chris at Beyond Wealth Management Group,LLC

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



Random Recommendation  
You may have read that Jeff Bezos is planning to spend his $131 billion wealth on space travel. Given all the problems his money could solve here on earth, many people think his choice of projects is very unfortunate.

From a communicator’s point of view, how do you get people to wrap their arms around large numbers and, in this case, persuade them that Bezos is making the wrong choice for his money?

Read Better Ways for Jeff Bezos to Spend $131 Billion and see how Harold Pollack, Professor of social service administration & public health science at the University of Chicago succeeds in this venture by putting the Bezos numbers into a context we can all “see.”

Like metaphors and analogies, it’s always about helping listeners, readers, audiences “see” what your numbers really mean.

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--Jill Konrath, Author, Agile Selling.

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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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 "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. © 2018. 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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