Did you notice in this week’s memo that I finally gave a clear answer to the question, “What is Wizard Academy?”
“Wizard Academy is a 21st Century Business School.”
This would have been a fluffy, ambiguous claim had I not immediately answered the unspoken question, “How is a 21st century business school different than a 20th century business school?”
“We recognize the value of intuition.”
Advertisers, take note.
I created a simple answer for a question that can't be answered simply. If you want to serve people in the manner they prefer to be served, you're going to have to learn to do the same.
The first chapter of The Wizard of Ads was titled Nine Secret Words. Do you remember the nine words? “The risk of insult is the price of clarity.”
Today I’m going to give you another nine words, just as powerful. “The risk of inaccuracy is the price of simplicity.”
The reason you've had a difficult time answering simple questions is because you don't want to be inaccurate. Am I right?
The Myers-Briggs organization tells us that 30 percent of the population scores “intuitive” on their standardized preference test. The other 70 percent score “sensing.”
Sensing people want you to answer their questions as asked. Anything other than a simple, direct answer is considered evasive.
But intuitives hesitate to deliver a simple, clear answer because they see the inaccuracy of it. The clearest statement is always incomplete. It never reveals the bigger picture or answers the larger question. This is what haunts the intuitive.
Ask an intuitive what time it is and he’ll tell you not only how to build a clock, but also which type of clock is most accurate and why.
I tell you these things because my books and memos appeal primarily to intuitives.
Have you been frustrating 7 out of 10 people who ask you a question? (Don't feel bad. I've been doing it, too.)
Here's what we both need to remember: Those 7 people will usually give us the time and attention to more fully explain our answers, but only AFTER we've answered their questions as asked.
And strangely, those overly-simple answers are never as inaccurate as you think.
Roy H. Williams