Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.


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Enchanting, Pink, Sales

A couple of years back, I discussed Guy Kawasaki’s book, “Enchantment“. This sales and networking guru spent 200+ pages discussing how people can charm, delight and enrapture others to buy products and services. The techniques results not in a one-off sale, but a long-term and mutually beneficial partnership.

I still recommend the book to mentoring clients. And I have just added to my hit list “To sell is human” by Daniel Pink. Now Pink’s last official job was back in 1997, employed at the White House. By 2011, he was rated as one of the most influential business thinkers . So what makes Pink’s book a natural follow-up to the writings of Kawasaki?

Pink also discusses how to influence, to persuade and to convince others. He moves beyond the usual blurb of empathy and encourages us to understand what and why others are thinking, even while we talk to them.

And when Pink says ‘talk’, he means “move”. After all, as Pink observes, even teachers and medics are in sales, asking people to change how they go about their lives. We are all doing it,most of the time.

There are many fascinating anecdotes in the book. Rosser Reeves, the man credited for inventing the phrase ‘unique selling proposition’ (usp), is given an honourable mention. He noticed a beggar struggling to receive handouts, based on the sign “I am blind”. Reeves added four words – “It is springtime and I am blind”, and the beggar went on to make a fortune. Why? By using the technique of contrast, the sign became much clearer – understandable and with a direct message – to the target audience.

My favourite story refers to Dr Turner and his team of radiologists at a Jerusalem hospital. Turner initially attached a photo of each patient to each file and then he asked his colleagues to submit their reports – who had broken a limb, contracted a disease or whatever. As Pink wrote, a good cardiologist do not confine themselves to the obvious, but search for the hidden.

Three months later, Turner submitted the same files, but without the pictures. 80% of the extra comments that had appeared in the first round did not find their way into the second group! The conclusion? If you remove the personal aspect and restrict the opportunities to understand your target group, you are unlikely to succeed in making a connection. In other words, no sale!

And one final tip on how to move people: My wife bought me Pink’s book. She did not force me to read it. As she handed it over, she implied that I could benefit from the insights.

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