Got Your Attention?

How to Create Intrigue and Connect With Anyone

Sam Horn (Author)

Publication date: 03/05/2015

Bestseller over 35,000+ copies sold

Got Your Attention?

In an impatient world of infobesity, people don’t want more information—they want to be intrigued and they want to be intrigued fast. After all, goldfish have longer attention spans than humans—nine seconds to our eight. So, right now, people want to know, “How is this relevant and useful to me? Why are you worth my valuable time, mind, and dime?”

Bestselling author and ace communication strategist Sam Horn reveals her “secret sauce” for truly connecting with people—whether it’s one or one million. Her disruptive eight-stage INTRIGUE process teaches readers how to replace boring, overlong, one-way communications with concise, compelling, mutually rewarding two-way interactions that add value for all involved. This is a must-read for executives, entrepreneurs, sales and marketing professionals, nonprofit leaders—anyone who wants to build meaningful relationships with others.

The bottom line? If you can’t get people’s favorable attention, you’ll never get their business. The insights and instantly useful ideas here will get smartphones down and eyebrows up—this book has been called How to Win Friends and Influence People for our digital device-driven era. Readers will appreciate these innovative but proven ways to win respect and motivate people to take action now, whether that’s to hire you, refer you, fund you, or say yes to you.

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Overview

In an impatient world of infobesity, people don’t want more information—they want to be intrigued and they want to be intrigued fast. After all, goldfish have longer attention spans than humans—nine seconds to our eight. So, right now, people want to know, “How is this relevant and useful to me? Why are you worth my valuable time, mind, and dime?”

Bestselling author and ace communication strategist Sam Horn reveals her “secret sauce” for truly connecting with people—whether it’s one or one million. Her disruptive eight-stage INTRIGUE process teaches readers how to replace boring, overlong, one-way communications with concise, compelling, mutually rewarding two-way interactions that add value for all involved. This is a must-read for executives, entrepreneurs, sales and marketing professionals, nonprofit leaders—anyone who wants to build meaningful relationships with others.

The bottom line? If you can’t get people’s favorable attention, you’ll never get their business. The insights and instantly useful ideas here will get smartphones down and eyebrows up—this book has been called How to Win Friends and Influence People for our digital device-driven era. Readers will appreciate these innovative but proven ways to win respect and motivate people to take action now, whether that’s to hire you, refer you, fund you, or say yes to you.

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Meet the Author


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Sam Horn, the Intrigue Expert, is a positioning/ messaging/branding strategist with a twenty-year track record of results with such clients as Intel, NASA, Boeing, Cisco, KPMG, British Airways, ASAE, and Entrepreneurs Organization. She was a top-rated speaker at INC 500/5000.

Sam has helped thousands of entrepreneurs and executives (e.g., Jill Nelson, founder of Ruby Receptionists; FORTUNE Magazine’s 2012 #1 “Best Small Company to Work for in the US”; Charlie Pellerin, project manager of the Hubble Telescope; and Nina Nashif, founder of Healthbox and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader) to create intriguing books, keynotes, and TEDx talks that have helped them scale their influence and impact.

Sam is the author of POP!, Tongue Fu!®, What’s Holding You Back?, ConZentrate, and Take the Bully by the Horns, which have been endorsed by high-profile individuals including Stephen R. Covey, Billie Jean King, John Gray, Tony Robbins, and Ken Blanchard.

Sam is an in-demand media resource whose work has been featured in Fast Company, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She’s been on every major TV and radio network, including CBS, NBC, ABC, and MSNBC, National Public Radio, Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, and To Tell The Truth, where she and her Tongue Fu!® team stumped the panel.

Sam is the former executive director and 17-year emcee for the Maui Writers Conference, where she worked with top agents/editors and dozens of bestselling authors including Mitch Albom, Frank McCourt, Nicholas Sparks, James Rollins, and Dave Barry.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What is INTRIGUE and Why Is It Important? 
Part I: I = INTRO: Open with an INTRO that Has People at Hello 
Chapter 1: Ask “Did You Know?” Questions 
Chapter 2: Show Them the Fish 
Chapter 3: Share What’s Rare 
Chapter 4: Turn a No into a Yes 
Chapter 5: Psych Yourself Up, Not Out 
Part II: N = NEW: It’s Not Enough to Be True; It Needs to Be NEW 
Chapter 6: Create the Next New Thing 
Chapter 7: Keep Current
Chapter 8: Look at the World with Reawakened Eyes 
Chapter 9: Cause Aha’s with Ha-Ha’s 
Part III: T = TIME-EFFICIENT: Win Trust by Being TIME-EFFICIENT 
Chapter 10: Keep it Brief or They’ll Give You Grief 
Part IV: R = REPEATABLE: If People Can’t REPEAT It; They Didn’t Get It 
Chapter 11: Craft a Phrase-that-Pays 
Part V: I = INTERACT: Don’t Just Inform, INTERACT 
Chapter 12: Never Again Deliver an Elevator Speech 
Chapter 13: Create Mutually Rewarding Conversations 
Chapter 14: Facilitate Interactive Meetings and Programs 
Part VI: G = GIVE: GIVE Attention First 
Chapter 15: Customize to Connect 
Chapter 16: Listen Like You Like to Be Listened To 
Part VII: U = USEFUL: If It Isn’t Actionable, It Isn’t USEFUL
Chapter 17: Establish Real-World Relevance 
Chapter 18: Offer Options, Not Orders 
Part VIII: E = EXAMPLES: Don’t Tell Stories; Share Real-World EXAMPLES 
Chapter 19: Illustrate Ideas with Dog on a Tanker Examples 
Chapter 20: Put People in the SCENE 
Summary and Action Plan: What’s Next?
Chapter 21: Expand Your Influence—For Good 

The INTRIGUE Creed  

The INTRIGUE Quiz  

Notes  

Acknowledgments  

Index  

About the Author  

We Want to Hear from You!  

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Excerpt

Got Your Attention?

Chapter 1

Ask “Did You Know?” Questions

It’s not overly dramatic to say your destiny hangs on the impression you make.

TV JOURNALIST BARBARA WALTERS

It’s daunting, isn’t it, to think the destiny of something you care about depends on your ability to create a favorable impression for it in the first minute?

That was how Kathleen Callendar, founder of PharmaJet, felt when she told me, “I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. Springboard Enterprises is giving me an opportunity to pitch to a room full of investors at the Paley Center in New York City.”

I told her, “That is good news. Springboard has helped female entrepreneurs like Robin Chase of ZipCar receive more than $6.4 billion dollars in funding. What’s the bad news?”

“I’m going at 2:30 and I have only ten minutes. You can’t say anything in ten minutes. How can I possibly explain our team credentials, clinical trials, and financial projections in ten minutes?”

“Kathleen, you don’t have ten minutes. Those investors will have heard sixteen other pitches. You have sixty seconds to break through the afternoon blahs and earn their attention.”

Here is the intro we crafted that not only helped Kathleen win buy-in and funding, it helped her be named one of BusinessWeek’s most promising social entrepreneurs of 2010.3

Did you know there are 1.8 billion vaccinations given every year?

Did you know up to half of those vaccinations are given with reused needles?

Did you know we are spreading and perpetuating the very diseases we’re trying to prevent?

Imagine if there was a painless, one-use needle for a fraction of the current cost.

You don’t have to imagine it, we’ve created it. It’s called PharmaJet, as this article shows

And she was off and running. Are you intrigued? So was everyone in that room.

Let’s put this in perspective. The PharmaJet team used to open their presentations by explaining they were a “platform for a medical delivery device for subcutaneous inoculations.”

Yikes. That intro would have lost people at hello. Yet that is how many people open their communications, with blah-blah-blah explanations that cause listeners to think “duh” or “huh?” They’ve already concluded this is “hard work,” and they switch their attention to something more enjoyable or urgent. Kathleen had a competitive advantage because, one minute in, everyone was already curious and eager to know more.

How Else Can the “Did You Know?” Intro Be Used?

You can’t just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity.

#1 RATED TED TALKER SIR KEN ROBINSON

In case you’re wondering if you can use this opening online and in print, as well as in person, the answer is a resounding yes. If fact, you may choose to follow Sean Keener’s example. Sean and his BootsnAll team used a “Did you know?” opening in a sixty-second video posted on the home page of their website. He tells me it has helped their new product, Indie, become an instant success. His intro starts with:

Did you know you used to need a travel agent to book a multi-city trip with five stops?

Did you know it used to take up to forty-eight hours to book a five-stop trip?

Did you know it used to take up to five days to receive a price quote for a five-stop trip?

Imagine, if for the first time ever, you could plan and book a five-stop trip yourself, without ever having to use a travel agent?

Imagine if you could get your own price quotes for a multi-stop trip?

Imagine if you could do all the above in less than an hour?

You don’t have to imagine it; we’ve created it. It’s called Indie.4

Intrigued? So have been the thousands of people who have watched that video and were sufficiently intrigued to click on the link to find out more.

Ready for an example of how this opening can be used in print? Imagine you’re writing an e-book on how to get hired in today’s tough job market. You could start with this opening:

Did you know that:

Of the 3.6 million job openings in 2012, 80 percent were never advertised?

118 people (on average) apply for any given job and only 20 percent get interviews?

In 2013 in the United States, 53.6 percent of bachelor’s degree holders under the age of twenty-five were jobless or underemployed?5

Imagine if you could:

Find out about quality jobs that were never advertised?

Dramatically increase your likelihood of getting an interview this week?

Learn ten new, yet proven ways to stand out in today’s supercompetitive job market?

You don’t have to imagine it. This sixty-page e-book shares real-life success stories of individuals who found jobs in three months as a result of these techniques. In fact, …

Isn’t that more interesting than most “tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em” openings that leave you thinking, You’re insulting my intelligence. Just get to it! And in case you’re curious, the statistics in this sample e-book copy are true. An Intrigue Agency team member found them, in less than five minutes, by GTS (Googling that Subject).

Three Steps to Crafting a “Did You Know?” Intro

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

ASTRONOMER CARL SAGAN

Please get out your W5 Form so you can craft an opening that introduces something your decision-makers don’t know so you can have them at hello.

Step 1: Open with three startlingly relevant “Did You Know?” questions

Introduce three things your decision-makers don’t know, but would like to know, about the:

Scope of the problem you’ve solving

Urgency of the issue you’re addressing

Dramatic shift in a trend you’re discussing

Unmet need you’re filling

Be sure to cite reputable sources, (e.g., Wall Street Journal, Forbes) to add gravitas and so people know you’re not making up your numbers. No vague, sweeping generalizations; (i.e., “Millions of people are out of work” or “Unemployment is rampant”). Find out exactly how many people are out of work as of that month, so people trust your data and can trust you’re telling the truth.

Are you thinking, Where do I find these facts, experts, and verifiable statistics? GTS–Google that Stuff. Use your favorite search engine to ask:

What are shocking statistics about ____________________ (your subject)?

What recent research has been done about ___________________ (your topic)?

Who is an expert on ____________________ (your issue)?

What are the most popular articles about ____________________ (your problem)?

What are changing trends about ____________________ (your target market)?

What are the best websites or most popular blogs ____________________ (your cause or industry)?

In minutes, you may discover a well-known think tank just released data that proves the problem you’re addressing is growing exponentially and has more drastic consequences than anticipated.

You might find a study showing your target demographic is spending a growing percentage of their income on your type of product every year, and there are huge profits to be made.

The goal is to come up with startling “Really? That’s news to me!” facts that affect the money, time, safety, convenience, health, performance, risk, or norms of the issue you’re focusing on.

Craft those facts into three one-sentence “Did you know?” questions. Why only three? Some people think the more evidence they present, the more likely they are to get a yes. Wrong.

A May 7, 2011, Newsweek cover story entitled Brain Freeze reported that piling on information backfires because people shut down in the face of too much information.6 They’re not about to say yes to something they can’t grasp. It’s far more effective to cherry-pick the three most impressive aspects and make them as pithy as possible so people grasp them the first time they hear them.

Step 2: Use the word imagine linked with three “Who wouldn’t want that?” attributes of your proposed solution.

The word imagine pulls people out of their preoccupation and helps them actively process what you’re saying instead of passively hearing it. They’re no longer distant. They’re fully focused on you instead of distractedly thinking about the UPOs (unidentified piled objects) stacking up on their desk.

How do you come up with the three “Who wouldn’t want that?” attributes? Think back to Kathleen Callendar and PharmaJet. What did her decision-makers care about? Those reused needles, so we emphasized they were “one use.” No one likes painful inoculations, so we clarified they were “painless.” Decision-makers always care about money, so we indicated her offering was “a fraction of the current cost.” Do you see how we distilled her solution into a succinct ideal scenario that evoked a “Who wouldn’t want that?” response? That’s your goal.

Step 3. Transition with “You don’t have to imagine it; we’ve created it. In fact….”

Provide precedents and evidence so they know this isn’t speculative or pie-in-the-sky; this is a done deal, and you and your team are ready to deliver it. Share a testimonial from a named client who vouches for you. Hold up an article that reports your results. Reference a benchmark showing what you’re suggesting is not an unproven risk. It’s been done before, successfully.

One final reason the “Did you know?” intro is so effective: All the above can be condensed into a rare and welcome sixty seconds. Other communicators are still telling the audience what they’re going to tell them, and you have already earned their attention and respect and they’re eager to hear more.

I hope you’ll try this opening for your next high-stakes communication. It has made a dramatic difference for many of my clients, and I know it can help you connect with your decision-makers in record time.

Action Questions: Ask “Did You Know?” Questions

Are you doing what you’re doing today because it works or because it’s what you were doing yesterday?

TV HOST DR. PHIL MCGRAW

1. What’s the situation on your W5 Form? Instead of telling people what you’re going to tell them, how can you open by asking three “Did you know?” questions?

2. How will you help people picture your ideal scenario with the word imagine and distill three aspects of your proposed solution into a “Who wouldn’t want that?” scenario?

3. How will you bridge into “You don’t have to imagine it …” and provide empirical evidence so decision-makers know this isn’t too good to be true; it is a done deal and you’re ready to deliver it?

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Endorsements

“If you can’t get people’s attention, you’ll never get their business. Sam Horn’s new book shows how to quickly earn respect so people are motivated to listen.”
—Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity and WayBlazer and Chair of Kayak

“A must-read for those in the workplace who want to contribute at their highest level and create more strategic networks.”
—Betsy Myers, former Executive Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

“These accessible techniques transcend generations and read like a modern-day version of How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
—Miki Agrawal, one of Forbes’s “Top 20 Millennials on a Mission” and founder of THINX

“Horn offers innovative ways to initiate genuine conversations and meaningful connections that turn strangers into friends.”
—Keith Ferrazzi, author of the #1 bestseller Never Eat Alone

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