Leadership and the Proverbial Dessert Cart

Leadership and the Proverbial Dessert Cart

Think back to the last time you took the family out for a casual dinner. When it came to dessert, chances are the waiters didn't just bring you a simple printed menu.

More likely, they either described the choices in colorful language or, even more likely, brought a dessert cart to show you (and especially your kids) what you could order.

That wasn't by whim or accident. It was deliberate and carefully planned. By describing or illustrating the selections, the restaurant was expanding your possible options and, in the process, making it much more likely you would order that $9 slice of double-chocolate fudge cake.

The same goes for buying a new car. The salesperson is likely to put you behind the wheel and let you take it for a spin. In a few minutes you will have felt what it would be like to own and drive it.

The late Steve Jobs used to tell anyone who would listen, "You have to show people what's possible." 

Jobs, a masterful marketer, knew that, unless they saw what it could do, people would never buy an iPad. It wasn't something they could even think about, because it was unlike anything they had ever used.

Further, he knew you had to talk to people in terms they could understand. It was one thing to tell people an iPod had so-many megabytes. It was something else entirely to tell them they could have 1,000 songs in their pocket.

Read More