I woke up today not really sure what I was going to write about and then three things happened that made this topic decision a slam dunk:
- The Globe and Mail ran a great article on hiring called “A leader’s most important decision: hiring”. The gist was that you have to hire on passion. https://goo.gl/ieJtM0
- A very close friend who manages a team of sales reps found out that one of her reps just quit. Her reaction was striking “As long as we keep hiring based on marks and smarts we will continue to loose people 2-3 years later. We need to look for something different in our candidates – passion.”
- I was on a call today with someone I have never met and I was talking about my new book still in production called “Strategy Execution in 7 Steps”. At the end, he made the comment “Wow, I can hear your passion for this topic right through the phone.”
When an audience of any size is listening to you deliver a message – selling, influencing, educating or whatever else – your passion can make or break it. If you are passionate about the topic, it will come out very clearly and people will believe. It is very hard to fake passion. If you are passionate, your authenticity will show through clearly and people will jump on board.
Passion attracts other people.
I don’t know about you, but in my professional life, I am attracted to passionate people. I will almost always get excited about the message.
I have a friend who has the dullest, most boring cell phone message recording. I really want to tell him that if this is the first impression a business contact gets about him, he is not doing himself any favours. There is clearly no passion in his voice so one might have to question how passionate he is about other stuff. Yes, your voice mail message matters.
I was in Winston-Salem, NC this past week presenting to a large audience about my new speaker bureau. I had two minutes. In the time allotted, I jumped on stage, refused the microphone and let them know that this was an exciting, and unique service for their market and one that everyone in the room could benefit from. I used the lack of a microphone to force myself to talk louder and thus, with more passion. The first comment afterwards came from a potential client who said that she loved the passion in my voice. Passion sells.
If you are selling, influencing or educating, get passionate and show it. Let them know that you really believe what you are saying – through voice, your physical presence or even the written word.