“Tell me what you want. What you really, really want”

16th May 2023

Everyone who has spent at least five seconds listening to/reading my stuff knows I always bang on about ‘AFTERs’.

In other words, people don’t care about the thing. They’re only interested in why they’re better-off AFTER it.

For example, when you buy a newspaper (the thing), you don’t want the newspaper. Instead, you want the news you’ll know AFTER reading it.

And when you buy toothpaste, you don’t want it. Instead, you want clean teeth.

You don’t want a pair of glasses. You want better sight.

Business purchases are the same. Companies don’t want to buy a website; instead, they want more sales. They don’t want an attorney – they just don’t want to go to jail.

All of which means: the best way to get people excited about you…

… is to tell them their AFTERs – why they’ll be better-off AFTER you.

The five most popular AFTERs have the initials TIRES:

  1. Time – do you save people time?
  2. Income – can you help people earn more money? Even better, if you can merge this with the T, can you help people make more Income in less Time?
  3. Risk – do you reduce people’s risk/uncertainty? Either by removing bad things that are happening now, or potential bad things that might happen in the future?
  4. Emotion – do you help people feel better? Either more of a positive emotion (like, more peace of mind) and/or less of a negative one (less stress)?
  5. Spend – do you help people save costs?

TIRES is a useful way to think of your value-add.

Plus it also helps you better deep-dive into others’ priorities.

For example, if I ask someone what their main priority is, they might tell me they want to win more sales (the I of TIRES). I can then ask lots of follow-up questions about that. Like… Why’s that a priority? What sales figure would you like? Why aren’t you getting that figure now? Which of your colleagues need most help? etc, etc.

But then, I can use TIRES to broaden the conversation, by asking follow-up questions like:

  1. How does this make you feel? (E)
  2. How does it make your team feel? (E)
  3. How quickly would you like this fixing? (T)
  4. What concerns do you have, if you can’t get this fixed? (R)
  5. How much does it cost you now, to win a new piece of work? (S)
  6. Etc

Useful stuff. But better than all these questions is the world’s best question – which you could ask you’ve asked each of these…

       Tell me more?

Because, every time you ask this, people always tell you something more!

Action Point

Create a list of questions around TIRES.

You can use these in most conversations.

They’ll always help. After all, when you know what someone wants, it’s easier to give it to them.

(And when you don’t it’s impossible).

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