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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  January 24, 2017

How to Balance Reality with Hope

Well, here in the U.S. we now have a new President. Some folks are celebrating. Some are worried sick.

Many of us talk to buyers who don’t have all the answers. They are concerned about what lies ahead. As thought leaders, we can balance reality with hope. A recent Fortune article—written as a letter by executive Sallie Krawchek to her distraught daughter, “A Letter to My Daughter, Post-Trump”—does a good job dancing on the head of a pin. What we thought leaders can duplicate:

• Acknowledge reality with personal experience. Note how Krawcheck positions her personal experience. She states the facts without criticizing or going negative. Her tone: “No, it’s not your imagination. Yet it is what it is.” When buyers talk about solutions that won’t work, don’t criticize their thinking or assumptions. Don’t lecture. Use your personal experience as a springboard to discuss “what is” in the marketplace, situation, etc.


Listen: Vickie discusses how to communicate concerns without picking a fight.


• Focus on moving forward. Using the above point as a springboard, Krawcheck focuses on what is within our control. That’s where hope lies. So, right after we give the “it is what it is” commentary, quickly move to “here’s what can be done now.” Buyers will be relieved that they have the power to chart their own course.

Every change has a mixture of dark and light—a combination of fear and excitement. Acknowledging both is sometimes the best thing a thought leader can do.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.