It’s after 5:00 and I’m sitting on the runway waiting to take off to a conference in Des Moines (they have conferences in Des Moines?). We can’t take off because the plane has too much fuel and they have to burn it off. When the captain made the announcement that burning off the extra 600 pounds of fuel would take just under half an hour, there was a range of reactions from the passengers. There was laughter, gasps, cursing, but most common was, “You’re telling me it’s better to waste the fuel than get a truck and pump it out?!”
Dealing with people is easy. There is a straightforward rule that leads to success in any situation, whether you’re dealing with a client, an audience, or a loved one. The reason we run into problems is that understanding the rule is easy, using it isn’t. Human behavior is very basic. If it wasn’t, the advertising world would be largely ineffective. As it is, advertising professionals get us to do things we wouldn’t think of doing on our own. They do this by keeping one thing in mind, it’s not what the customer knows, it’s how he feels. People don’t take action based on knowledge, they act on emotion. So the simple rule for dealing with people is: Know how you want them to feel.