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by Guy Kawasaki
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Learn what seperates a real smile from a fake one, and a visionary from a huckster. Discover how to do more than just persuade people, but enchant them. Enchantment is a book about how to captivate and inspire people on both an individual and organizational level. Venture capitalist and marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki lays out how to impact others by understanding your audience, having a great cause, and focusing on the long run. It covers both broad stroke discussions on the elements of being interesting and enchanting, as well as practical instructions on how to give presentations, master the art of communication, and use online platforms.
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"Enchantment" Summary
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Summary by Nicolas Stewart. Audiobook narrated by Alex Smith
"Want to change the world? Change caterpillars into butterflies? This takes more than run-of-the-mill relationships. You need to convince people to dream the same dream that you do."
Enchantment is about converting hostility into civility, and civility into likeability. Enchantment occurs at all levels of business interactions, from online platforms, to sales, to corporate negotiations.
Your goals should not be about manipulating and just getting what you want. Your goal should be to change peoples’ minds, to be likable and trustworthy, creating a cause others can embrace and inspire voluntary actions. This book teaches you how to create your own “enchantment campaign” by utilizing push and pull technologies, enchanting your clients, employees, and colleagues.
Chapter 1: Likeability Begins With A Smile
We all know what a fake smile looks like, but what actually differentiates it from the real thing? The answer is in the eyes. When people smile genuinely they engage their orbicularis oculi muscles, not just their zygomatic muscle, it creates those distinctive crows feet. A real smile, a smile that reaches the eyes, puts people at ease and makes you immediately more trustworthy. This genuine smile is known in physiology as the Duchenne Smile.
Part of the reason this works is because of mirror neurons, when you see someone genuinely smile it makes you instinctively and reflexively smile back. Smiling, even when it’s forced, is shown to make you feel happier. Someone with a genuine smile makes the room feel lighter and happier. We want to like people who seem kind.
Being likeable is the first step to achieving enchantment, and before someone can like you they must accept you. If you want to be accepted you must first accept others. Which means not imposing your values on them, not judging their strengths and weaknesses based on your own personal biases.
When working with others, dress the way they do. Suits and ties? Dress up. Business casual? Dress down. Rise or fall to their level of casualness.
It’s a cliche but a good handshake is essential to being likeable. Forgot the 80’s nonsense about gripping harder than them and yanking them in as a power move. Shake their hand firmlyand hold for two or three seconds, keep a moderate distance, and maintain eye contact. Combined with a smile this is a powerful tool.
Keep your words simple, use analogies that are custom fit to your audience so they can relate to you. Swearing can not only be acceptable, it can be relatable. But read your audience, speak and swear when and how they do. This helps you avoid appearing uptight or stuck up.
One of the most likeable qualities in a person is passion. Share your passions with others and ask them about their’s. Show interest and you will receive interest.
Be giving, at the beginning of a relationship the default response to small requests should usually be yes.
These are the building blocks of what makes someone enchanting, vs what makes someone arrogant and unlikable.
Chapter 2: Trustworthiness
“Be a Mensch”
Just like acceptance, the first step to gaining trust is to give it. Generally speaking you should assume people are honest and reasonable. Being charitable and giving the benefit of the doubt demonstrates to people that you respect them. Demonstrate that you have good intentions. Kawasaki invokes the German word for human being, Mensch, as your ideal. Someone who is focused on good well, who is transparent about their intentions and honest in their actions.
With that in mind you should disclose your goals and intentions from the get-go. Even if your intentions are in your self-interest people appreciate knowing you don’t have ulterior motives. Establish what you do in one or two clear, short sentences. Long winded explanations of one’s job make people suspicious.
Demonstrate your own knowledge and competence and show that you understand trust is a two person dance.
The author uses the example of Tony Hsieh, founder of the shoe company Zappos, to explain the concept of a trust based business model. Zappos offers a money back guarantee for anyone unsatisfied with their shoes, not simply for product defects. They even pay for the shipping. Yet nobody abuses or takes advantage of this, the consumers are offered trust and in response prove themselves trustworthy.
Chapter 3: Be Prepared
Look at why something might fail before attempting it. The trick is to do it once the project is no longer ongoing but before it is released. This allows more creative and organized approaches to challenges and spots early warning signs.
When pitching a project, much like other forms of communication we’ve covered, it’s best to keep it short, keep it positive, and to show the same respect you hope to receive. Begin with a checklist of goals to demonstrate you’re well prepared and organized. Define each of those goals, and propose win-win scenarios.
The author uses the acronym DICEE to describe the qualities you should have to make your project enchanting:
Deep: A product or service is deep when it offers customers multiple levels of service
Intelligent: Intelligent products and services offer solutions the customer didn’t know existed or were possible. The author uses the example of modern cars that have automatic brakes when detecting obstructions and the ability to set speed limits the car can’t go beyond.
Complete: Exceptional customer service and similar resources for customers should be seen as part of the product. You’re offering a complete package to fulfill their needs even after the simple sale of the product.
Empowering: Modern smartphones are an example of an empowering product. They can use search engines, map directions, make phone calls, browse social media apps, etc. They give customers the ability to accomplish things they couldn’t accomplish otherwise. Make it obvious in your marketing the capabilities your product offers consumers.
Elegant: Elegant designs are those that don’t require any struggle to use. They are intuitive and minimalistic. Most people don’t use a Linux based OS on their computers because it requires too much technical knowledge. While it is best for certain uses, for the layman it is not intuitive enough. Elegant UI and product designs are simple and easy to learn.
Chapter 4: Product Launch
Tell a David vs. Goliath type story with great aspirations and courage. Make it personal.
Product launches need to be more about demonstration than information. Talk is cheap and listing all the great things about your product will just make people’s eyes glaze over. Perform a demo, make it immersive and as close to your reality of your product as possible.
Open the demo with a story, stories connect the audience to your emotionally. An underdog story in particular is one people connect with well. Your product’s story should be your story, you want your audience to sympathize with the product the way they do you.
Demos should allow your audience to try out your product for themselves. If your product is a piece of software, allow people to try it for free, and make it easy and free for them to opt out. Nobody trusts free trials that require you to put in a credit card for instance.
The trial should be easy to start and not require any input from the potential customers besides their time. A great example of this is Winrar, a program used to unzip .ZIP files. To try it for free you just download it. That’s it. No sign ups, no forms, no credit card numbers. And when the trial period is over it doesn’t prevent you from continuing to use the product, it just offers you the chance to buy more premium options.
When marketing your product don’t waste time trying to appeal to youtube and instagram stars. People see through endorsements. Focus on the little guy, speak directly to them in your marketing materials and stay loyal to your early customers.
Chapter 5: Overcoming Resistance
People are often resistant to new ideas, but that resistance can be for different reasons. Common causes of resistance include; inertia, fear of failure, lacking positive examples, fear of having reduced options, or simply because your idea is bad.
Positive examples and role models, in this context being people who’ve taken the chance and are following you, give people more confidence in following you as well. It’s scary to be an early adopter, so by providing examples of other respectable early adopters you make taking a risk seem less, well, risky.
Another effective means of pushing people out of their comfort zone is by creating a sense of scarcity. Invite-only beta programs make your product seem exclusive and desirable. You can also entice people by showing behind the scenes looks at the process of creating your product. Open houses, both physical or virtual, interactions with your designers and engineers, etc.
The goal isn’t just getting your own way, it’s creating change. And change can come in different ways than you expect. For instance Jobs and Wozniak originally thought the Mac was going to become popular as a means of creating spreadsheets, but people ended up using it for all sorts of different things. So rather than resist this, Apple shifted their own design direction to emphasize what people clearly wanted.
Chapter 6: Building Brand Loyalty
In the 21st century brand loyalty goes beyond people simply buying your products, it involves customers becoming unofficial advocates for your company, actively trying to convince others to support you. The process of building a base of customer advocates requires what the author calls internalization.
Internalization is the final step of a 3 step process; 1. Conforming 2. Identifying 3. Internalizing.
A great example of this is Tesla. Tesla customers are notoriously loyal and famous for evangelizing. Tesla has done a great job of pushing the idea that they’re not just a car manufacturer, but a socio-political movement. By playing on people’s fear about climate change they have managed to create a customer base that sees consuming Tesla products, and getting others to do so, as an act of environmental and technological activism.
Thus the goal here isn’t just to make a product people like, but to make customers feel like they’re joining a group or a movement by buying your product.
To build this sort of base you need an environment within which this movement can grow. The internet has made this possible in ways that never existed before. Create tools and resources with which you can build things such as:
  • User groups
  • Websites and Blogs
  • Consultants
  • Developers
  • Resellers
  • Conferences
Online groups help foster that sense of conforming and commitment, and create a group identity people can feel a part of. Set goals for the community, ask for help with marketingcampaigns, offer reward systems, etc. And have someone in your company be a voice your base can directly interact with.
Chapter 7: Push Technology
Push technology refers to the notifications, that are usually part of opt in systems, on websites such as Twitter. These are powerful means of communication that are proactive, meaning they are ways you reach out to potential customers rather than them looking for you.
The general guidelines of utilizing push technology are to 1.Break: Respond Fast 2.Break: Engage everyone, not just those who seem high value 3.Break: Provide value 4.Break: Provide credit (the more you shine the light on others, the more you get noticed) 5.Break: Limit self promotion to no more than 5% 6.Break: Disclose conflict of interests
When doing live demos and presentations you should: 1.Break: Cater to the audience, don’t just use the same canned lines 2.Break: Present your vision of the future 3.Break: Treat the presentation as a 3 act play 4.Break: Act 1 How things are 5.Break: Act 2 How they could be 6.Break: Act 3 how to make it happen 7.Break: Use use multimedia, pictures/videos/etc, and hands on demos
When designing email campaigns: 1.Break: Personalize your subject lines 2.Break: Don’t write much more than 6 sentences 3.Break: No attachments without permission 4.Break: Focus on a call to action
When building a Twitter profile for your project 1.Break: Provide a descriptive profile2.Break: Retweet comments from fans and customers 3.Break: Post links to your own sites 4.Break: As before, respond to everyone
Chapter 8: Pull Technology
Pull technology is the inverse of push technology. It refers to communication methods wherein the client seeks you out rather than vice versa. Blogs are a common example of pull technology, as are FAQ pages, and Facebook pages.
The first and most important element of using pull technology well is to provide new content and to do so consistently. When you visit a brand’s site or Facebook page and you see they haven’t posted in a year is your first thought that this is a thriving brand? No, you might even assume they’re not in business anymore.
Don’t be cheap when it comes to web design. The look of a website directly reflects people’s perception of your company. It's no different than your company headquarters, if it looks cheap people will assume you’re not a reputable company. Hire a professional web designer and don’t be cheap about it. As with so many other things, you get what you pay for. And in this case what you’re paying for is an investment in your company’s image.
In the same way that Twitter is a great form of push technology, Facebook is a great form of pull technology. One of the benefits of a Facebook page is that it’s very cheap. In some cases you can use one in place of a website, but if you have the means to build both then that’s even better.
Facebook is also a useful place for customers wishing to be ambassadors to congregate. Perhaps even consider close groups for “members” of your movement.
Chapter 9: Enchanting Employees
Psychology research has demonstrated that money is not actually a very effective motivating tool. People will do what they need to in order to gain monetary security, but if you want enthusiasm then the far more effective motivators to offer are autonomy, skill mastery, and fulfillment.
Let’s look back at the example of Tesla again. Tesla is known to pay below market wages, yet there is heavy competition to work there. Why is that? Because workers are willing to forgomore money in order to do work they believe matters. That’s what fulfillment means in this context, feeling like what you’re doing has a purpose. If you want to enchant your employees then your goal should be to have a company that is doing something important. More so than any other single motivator, people will scale mountains if they feel like what they’re doing at work matters.
Autonomy is probably the second most effective motivator. We see this used effectively in many tech companies that experiment with flat hierarchies. Ideally, you’re hiring people because they’re intelligent and know what they’re doing. In which case one of the most effective ways to make them efficient and productive is to take a step back and let them do their jobs. Micromanaging is both inefficient and counter-productive, and it breeds resentment.
Give your employees the task that needs done, then give them the freedom to choose how to do it. Show them respect for their intelligence and competence and you’ll be rewarded with both.
Skill mastery involves providing employees with opportunities for ongoing training. Why do dogs seem to enjoy learning tricks? Because it’s intellectually stimulating. Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures and if they’re not being challenged intellectually they get bored. Humans are no different, and our need to learn and master new skills is proportional to our greater intelligence.
Those are effective means to enchant employees with their work, but enchanting them with you as their boss requires purposeful introspection and effort on your part. When dealing with employees always judge yourself based on the results of your actions, not your intentions. But do the opposite with them, judging them by their intentions is how you give them the benefit of the doubt.
Welcome criticism and take it honestly. Don’t assume negative intentions to criticism, instead try to put yourself in their shoes. And in doing so make use of a devil’s advocate, a trusted advisor who can argue with your reasoning and help you see things from your employees’ perspective. Never ask anyone to do what you wouldn’t do yourself. And always make employees feel certain that they are valued and wanted.
Chapter 10: Resisting Enchantment
So you’ve spent this whole time learning how to enchant and persuade others, do you think you’d be able to tell when someone is trying to enchant you? To fully understand how to enchant you need to understand how you yourself become enchanted.
A common example of being enchanted that we’ve all experienced is the mistake of going grocery shopping while you’re hungry. This is a clear and very effective way to make yourself vulnerable to temptations and less guarded against the marketing tricks of grocery stores.
Casinos are an even greater example, they’ve distilled the machinations of temptation down to a science. So be aware of how people are presenting an idea or offer to you. Does it sound too good to be true? Are they making something mundane seem like it would be fun and thrilling? They’re likely attempting to enchant you.
Always know your own limitations, don’t fall for flattery. When someone comes to you with an offer or an opportunity, discuss it with a trusted confidant first, ask them to play devil’s advocate. Remind yourself that you’re not invulnerable to being conned.
Be suspicious of the wisdom of the crowd. It’s a cliche, but just because everyone is doing it, it doesn’t mean you should. Ask yourself if you’re being given all the information about this product or opportunity. Ask yourself about your own motivations, why are you interested in this? Is it because it will be beneficial to you? Is it because you feel like you should be? Would you make this purchase or accept this deal if nobody knew? Would you do it if everyone did?
And perhaps most importantly keep track of past mistakes you’ve made and ask yourself if this decision you’re considering is similar to those mistakes.
Chapter 11: Final Summary
Enchantment is ultimately about telling a story, and giving other people the chance to become a part of that story. That’s what separates it from run of the mill marketing and persuasion, to enchant is not to be a huckster or a con artist. Enchanting is about becoming the kind of person you would wish to work with or for, who you would want to follow or buy from.
The future of business isn’t just selling products and services, but incorporating your values and vision into them, and getting others to come and share them with you.

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