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a blog by Chris Barrow

Throw away the "wish list"

Anything is possible. But wishes don’t come true. Wants come true. A wish is something you would enjoy but you are not prepared to do what is necessary to get there. I wish I could summit Everest. I wish I could own a garage full of super-cars. I wish I had a body-builders physique. I wish I ran a super-successful £100m corporation and could roll in money. I wish I owned a 55 foot catamaran in the BVI and could competently sail it 3 months of the year. But I’m not prepared to do the things that would be necessary to get me there. I want to own a home in Vathi, Ithaki, Greece and live there 6 months of the year. I want a small speedboat in Vathi harbour. I want to work from 05:30 to 12:30 every day and then knock off for the rest of the day. I want to live 6 months in the Altrincham area, Cheshire. I want 12 weeks vacation every year. I want to be debt free. I want to be fit enough to run 4 marathons a year. I want to enjoy quality time with my clients. I want to spend more time writing and developing ideas and content. I want to work with a highly talented team that make a real difference to our clients. I want to spend more time thinking and less time doing. I want to invest more time and effort into my relationship with Bridge2Aid. A want burns a hole in your gut. It’s an itch that needs scratching. And we are prepared to do ANYTHING to get us there. For our “wants” we are prepared to work the hours, invest the effort, overcome the roadblocks and obstacles, defeat adversaries and push through the pain. Ain’t no mountain high enough. Which prompts an interesting observation about boom and bust economies. We spend too much time day-dreaming about our wishes and not enough time focused on our wants. (a lot of media offers wish-fulfilment by the way – don’t be taken in) In a boom – when people have time and money to spare, they will invest in promises that fulfil their “wishes”. They will seek to make dreams come true – and buy all the snake oil that salesmen can sell – get rich quick – earn while you sleep – beat the market – buy “my” programme and lose weight, become wealthy, attract relationships. If any of that ever worked, there would be no new arrivals in the snake oil market – we all have a shelf full of snake oil books but our commitment wasn’t sustainable. We bought them in the boom – remember? In a bust – when people have no time or money to spare, they will only invest in activity that specifically addresses their “wants” – and they want practical solutions and not false hopes. In a boom, 5,000 hopefuls will gather for a group brainwashing session and walk on coals. In a bust, they will strive individually to face their fears, increase their skills and seek out solutions. Patients/clients are the same as us. In a boom they will invest in all sorts of fancy ideas. BSO’s – bright, shiny objects. In a bust they want specifics – and then they will buy. BUT ONLY IF WHAT YOU ARE SELLING IS WHAT THEY WANT AND NOT WHAT THEY WISH FOR. So it becomes an essential part of our communication skill set to establish whether a prospective patient/client is asking us to fulfil an imagined wish or satisfy an aching want. “I wish I had a nicer smile” is no longer good enough. “I want a nicer smile and I’m prepared to go through whatever it takes to get one” is where the value conversation starts. Don’t make it easy for people to fulfil wishes (easy payment plans, discounts, special offers) because you will attract time-wasters – they will take the offer or take away the treatment plan and never come back. Make it tough and look for the determination in their eyes to push through their pain (physical or financial) because they WANT your solution so badly. I WANT to work with people with aching, burning, itchy WANTS. Throw away your wish list. Make your WANT list.

P.S. you can’t have anything you want unless and until you help other people to get what they want

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