Farmer, Fire, Flower, Fence

Every piece of business ultimately contains a transaction. Typically, it’s an exchange of goods or services for money. And there are different levels of exchange. In other words, buying a pack of gum is going to be less involved than buying a brownstone, right Josh Doyle? Nora, I imagine hiring someone for a week might be different than hiring them for a year. And Josh Perlman, it’s likely that how one chooses their waiter is different from how one chooses their dentist.

Trust is certainly involved in these, and specific need. And there are likely other factors. But today I’d like to come at this from a slightly different angle. We’re going to call this distinction Farmer, Fire, Flower, Fence.

I want you to picture a farmer. This farmer is walking in his field and he notices a beautiful flower. The problem is that it’s on the other side of a big, heavy fence. Now, in my scenario I want you to know that the farmer really wants the flower. But the fence prevents him from getting it.

Consider that there are a few factors that will ultimately determine whether or not this farmer will end up possessing the flower. The most common place to look is at the fence – is it climbable, are there holes in it, etc? If it can be navigated by the farmer, he’ll get over or through and get the flower. Another place to look is at the flower itself. How desirable is it? Consider that if the farmer wants it badly enough, perhaps he’ll find a way to get it, even if it creates some discomfort – like climbing a high fence or digging under it, etc. And to add one final element here, consider that there’s a fire burning where the farmer is standing. It doesn’t have to be a real fire – just the growing discomfort of not having the flower. If the discomfort is great enough, the farmer might also be motivated to navigate the fence.

Now let’s map this model onto our businesses, and our customers and clients. If you’re in a sales based business – and to some extent we all are – but I mean especially where you rely on volume, like Jackie’s OSM Partners’ swag of all trades, perhaps you lower the fence. In other words lower the price as the amount increases. But if you’re in a field like Acupuncture or Dentistry, you could do some kind of special rate but you’re probably not relying on lowering the fence. It might be more effective to get the farmer to see how beautiful the flower is – like how white his teeth will be or what it’s like to live pain free. You could also help him get clear about how hot the fire is, and what’s predictable about their situation if they don’t get any support. Continuing to live with crooked teeth, or not being able to lift his kids onto the hay ride.

I can tell you that as a coach, people often share their fires – and we get to discuss them. But the most effective thing is when they get in touch with their own power and possibility. If they can connect to how beautiful that flower is – and remember that here it’s a flower of their own choosing – they’ll navigate almost any fence.

So take a look at your business and your “farmers.” Where do you tend to focus? The fence, the fire, or the flower? And to be clear, there’s no right answer. This is simply about awareness, and an access point to creating what you believe would be affective.

Happy Farming!

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