Forget Make it About Them – Make it about Survival

How many times have you heard the nebulous sales advice: “make it about them?” Great tip, but how exactly do you make it about them? To make it about them, you have to know what they are about; What motivates them; how much it motivates them, right?

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

When it comes to motivating people, they say there are two things that most people are moved by: pain and pleasure. In 2003 Aron Ralston found himself between a rock and a hard place. While climbing a mountain (alone) he became trapped by a boulder and was forced to cut off his lower right arm with a multi-tool to free himself. No one had to coerce him to do it. There was no one near him to suggest what to do. He took drastic measures most of us cannot imagine, because he had to in order to survive.

I wonder which of these (pain or pleasure) motivated Aron to do what I can only imagine was extremely painful and the antithesis of pleasure? Clearly it was neither. It was the driving force of self preservation. Unless a person is sick in there mind, they want to survive. Survival is the ultimate motivation.

No Time For Questions? OK. Got Time For Survival?

In business, executives are so hair-on-fire busy they simply have no time for 20 questions from some sales rep, but what if, within minutes, you were able to demonstrate that their survival was at stake and you might have a solution that will keep them in the game? Think they’d find time on their calendar for you? You betcha.

Forget about pain and pleasure. Think survival. Position yourself as the means to achieve survival in business. Make no mistake, the biggest motivator for business change is self-preservation. Show a business man or woman that his/her professional future is at stake and you will no problem getting on their calendar.


  • What problem does your product/service solve?
  • Is your solution mission critical?
  • How does what you do matter to your customer’s survival?


, , ,

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)

five + = 6

Switch to our mobile site