The man raising money for charity stands near the Flinders Street station steps during the lunchtime rush. He waves his clipboard and attempts to catch someone’s eye. He starts his pitch several times, and when busy commuters silence him by raising a hand, he changes the script.
‘Are you a nature lover? Are you worried about climate change? Can I talk to you for just sixty seconds? Hi there!’
His words aren’t working for him. But it isn’t just what he’s saying or how he’s saying it that’s preventing him from engaging people in a sales conversation. His problem is imperfect timing.
A crowded street might seem like the ideal place to meet the maximum number of potential donors, but just because people are there doesn’t mean they are open to being interrupted or persuaded.
An ideal audience isn’t one that’s available—it’s one that’s receptive.
When we say something is just as important as how we say it.
Image by Alex Proimos