Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How to be a successful evangelist.

Post 397 - Yesterday's post reminded us that we can all be masters of our own destinies. We can influence, direct and control our own environment and make of our life whatever we want it to be. However, it will also help if we know how to influence others so we can continue to grow and prosper in the coming year.

Guy Kawasaki, a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures, lists the following ten things that make evangelists successful:

1. Create a cause.
A cause is something that attracts people by seizing the moral high ground and making their lives better.

2. Love the cause.
“Evangelist” isn’t a job title - it’s a way of life. If you don’t really love a cause, you won't be able to evangelize it.

3. Look for agnostics, ignore atheists.
It’s too difficult to convert people who deny your cause. Look for and work with those who are supportive or neutral instead.

4. Localize the pain.
Never describe your cause by using bullshit terms like “revolutionary” and “paradigm shifting.” Instead, explain how it's helpful to real people.

5. Let people test drive the cause.
Let them try out your cause, take it home, download it, and then decide if it’s right for them.

6. Learn to give a demo.
A person simply can't evangelize a product if she can't demonstrate it.

7. Provide a safe first step.
Don’t put up any big hurdles in the beginning of the process. The path to adopting a cause needs a slippery slope.

8. Ignore pedigrees.
Don’t just focus on the people with the big titles and big reputations. Help anyone who can help you, wherever they may be.

9. Never tell a lie.
Credibility is everything for an evangelist. Tell the truth — even if it hurts (actually, especially if it hurts).

10. Remember your friends.
Be nice to the people you meet on the way up because you may need them again on the way down.

As Dale Carnegie says in the opening chapter of How to Win Friends and Influence People: "If you want personal happiness, and if you want to create great relationships, avoid the three Cs - don't criticize, condemn, or complain."

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