The 100,000 Ton Connection

19 Sep

Leading people to a decision is like mooring a ship to a pier.  Here’s how…

If you have ever been out on a boat before or seen a boat come back in by the pier you’ll notice their is a consistent process called “mooring” where they throw lines to the pier and someone help pull the boat in and eventually tie it safely to the pier without causing damage to the ship or the port.

uss-enterprise-cvn-65-mooring

How does a 100,000 ton Aircraft Carrier get moored to a pier? While I was on board the USS Carl Vinson during my time in the Navy being able to be a part of this process helped create a strong visual in my mind of making decisions and helping others to do the same.

The way a large ship like the Carl Vinson is moored to a pier is they first use guns to shoot lead sacks with a thin line from the ship over to the pier. Someone picks up these lines and there is a small physical connection between the ship and pier. The line is not nearly strong enough the pull the ship in.

The initial connection

This is like your first line of communication with someone you meet, the line is too thin to trust you yet.

The initial thin line is attached on board the ship to a stronger, thicker line this is pulled down until the line is completely fed to the pier. This stronger line allows for a more stable connection.

This stronger line is the second level of trust and credibility, too much of a heavy burden and it can be broken however its a step in the right direction.

The stronger line is connected to a rope that is about 2 inches in diameter and extremely strong, this line is fed with the stronger rope until it’s fully connected from the ship to pier.

Why not just take this strong stable 2 inch rope and toss it over to begin with? The rope is very heavy, and the area where the lines are connected is about 80 feet above the pier. If a giant sailor with an anchor tattoo and a handlebar mustache with great strength threw it off, it still would drop straight into the water from the ship. This heavy of a line is too much weight to make it that distance.

Your relation-ships start this way too

In relationships we try to shortcut the process and connect the heavy line first. Just like in dating, it’s like talking about marriage and babies on the first date…it’s too fast! too heavy of a conversation!

In business it’s like meeting someone at a networking event and doing a presentation with your flyer right at the event, after you throw your business cards at them like ninja stars. The point of this event is to establish small thin lines of communication, not to try and take the heavy burden of you trying to “make a sale” on the first contact.

If you get a referral of someone who has given credibility to you, it’s like a small line has been started for you….but it’s a mistake in my opinion to believe your first call is to take the order. You still need to strengthen that relationship and show them you are just not taking your “love boat” from pier to pier as fast as you can.

Many of my clients get referrals and introductions from me on a regular basis. Introductions to me is helping someone with a warm introduction, providing a thin line of communication to start the relationship which in most cases is the most difficult part to establish that “safe” connection.

Ensure a Safe connection

Ships pull intentionally into “safe” ports, not ports which would put their crew in danger. You can be of extreme value to another person by helping them to establish new safe lines of communication with your trusted associates. Just be sure to make it clear, they are not to take that introduction as permission to run their ship at full speed directly at them.

When marketing your business with promotions, ads or referral marketing keep this in mind that your first line of communication is thin, simple and can be broken easily if your process is too much of a “heavy” burden for them or they see more weight in loss, than they do in value or gain.

If you communicate your size of value is like an ocean, but he price is a teardrop in comparison, they will buy from you every time.

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how this analogy impacted you.

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