Book Review: Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions

Author's note: I have recently acquired a nice stack of marketing and business books with the intention of reviewing them here on a semi-regular basis. I will not rate each book as good or bad; rather, I intend to give an overview of what the reader will find and then pull out one lesson or principle to discuss more in-depth.

For the first installment, I've selected Guy Kawasaki's "Enchantment." The timing is no coincidence, as Guy is speaking on this very topic at our Annual Convention next week and part of my job as director of communications is to promote the heck out of that event. (That's what is known as "immediate and complete disclosure" and can be found on page 30 in the book in a section on "How to Achieve Trustworthiness." Guy would be proud, I'm sure.) "Enchantment" will not be in stores until March 8--which BTW is just in time for Guy's book sale and signing at the Convention!--but Guy was kind enough to send me a preview copy. And so, without further ado:

In "Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions," Guy Kawasaki offers us advice on how to enchant others--customers, prospects, employees, bosses and anyone whose hearts, minds or actions we may wish to change. From simple advice on how to smile and dress to complex explanations of how to make the best use of push and pull technologies, the book offers dozens of practical ideas on how individuals and companies can become more enchanting.

At the end of each chapter are personal stories of enchantment from everyday people. From the honeymooner who was enchanted by above-and-beyond service at a Disney hotel to the skeptic who was enchanted by a church service to a store manager who was enchanted by a dedicated temp, these stories show that anyone, anywhere, anytime can make a real difference and a lasting impression.

Overcoming Resistance by Finding a Way to Agree

One example of how to enchant others is to "Find a Way to Agree." This technique is particularly important, according to Kawasaki, when we face resistance. Finding a way to agree makes us more likeable and it gives us a foothold, however small, from which we can build a relationship. Kawasaki offers five methods for finding a way to agree that are particularly useful for those attempting a sale or other negotiation:

  • Get personal. Learn about your prospect's interests and hobbies. What do you have in common?
  • Get professional. Same principle. Research your prospect's work history and business network. What skills, experience or business associates do you have in common?
  • Harmonize objections. Someone says your prices are too high? Explain how your firm offers a better value and more services than the low-cost provider down the street.
  • Ask "What if ...?" Be flexible, or at least explore how your prospect's opinion might differ if you could change something. The prospect doesn't want "a lot of fuss"? What if ... we hold a simple service followed by coffee and finger foods right here in our hospitality lounge?
  • Move the window. This is based on the Overton theory, which holds that there is a political "window," or range of policies, people will accept: unthinkable/radical/acceptable/sensible/popular. So if you start out proposing something unthinkable, something previously deemed radical might become acceptable. Perhaps the proposal to construct an individual mausoleum is beyond your prospect's means and desires, but introducing that option might make a family burial estate seem entirely reasonable. You've moved the prospect's window.

Finding ways to agree is just one of many methods for enchantment found in the book. In a profession such as cemetery and funeral service, where building rapport and relationships is so important, Kawasaki's advice points the way toward genuine, powerful, enduring connections.