When I’m not working in business, I travel the world as a professional magician and member of the world-famous Magic Castle. I have the honor of performing and lecturing across the United States and Europe. While you might think that magic has little to do with business, it has everything to do with it. It is my overarching vision, through everything I do, to connect people to the extraordinary!
You don’t have to be a magician to create moments of magic. We have the opportunity to create similar experiences every day in all facets of business. Take philanthropy for instance. Even without performing actual magic, we can connect donors and prospects to the extraordinary. Next time you meet with a potential donor, client, or business, put these tips into practice:
- Focus on captivating your audience. Whether you are meeting with one person or several, view them as an interactive “audience.” Draw them in and pique their interest. You can do this through a compelling opening question, interesting visual or an illustrative quote or story.
- Create a memorable experience. Beyond just the words you share, think about the surrounding environment. Where are you meeting? It could be a place where your donor(s) can see the impact first hand; or the dirt lot of a future facility; or a place that is deeply rooted in tradition; or perhaps somewhere that has personal meeting to your donor/client. Any of these elements can help enrich the experience and make it memorable.
- Produce a “wow” factor. You don’t have to literally pull a rabbit out of a hat, but you can do simple things to create an element of surprise. This could be a card made by a child with the donor’s name on it or a short video testimonial from a family. Focus on exceeding expectations.
- Focus on THEIR story. Even more important that the story of your organization is the story of the person you are meeting with. It’s easy to get sucked into just sharing, so be sure to create the opportunity for your audience to share their story. Ask open questions that naturally invite others to share more.
- Make it personal. People give to people, not organizations. You are more than just a representative of your company—you are a personal connection with the opportunity to build genuine rapport. Infuse your own authentic qualities in a way that connects to others. Perhaps its about family, or a recent vacation, or an interesting hobby.
- Evoke joy. Don’t underestimate the power of a smile. Focus on evoking feelings, not prescribing them. Let the excitement and passion you feel spill over so others can’t help but share in it.
We can all find ways create experiences that feel amazing. And just like magic, when we achieve the near impossible, we evoke feelings that anything is possible.