I love bridges. They help span great distances and connect two otherwise isolated places. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is by far one of the most famous and recognized bridges in the world.
You know what is on one side of the bridge? The city. Very cool…but still, a city. You know what lies on the other side of the bridge? Muir Woods. One of the coolest places I have been. A redwood forest right on the other side of the bridge! It is almost like you are in one of the Star War movies. It is surreal to see trees that big, where you could literally drive through the trunk of a tree.
The bridge from no to yes is likewise magical. On one side, you have fear, rejection and defeat. On the other side, it is peaceful, satisfying, and rewarding. Relationships, whether personal or professional have this issue always at hand: “How do you bridge the gap?”
Principle 1. Crossing the bridge is a lot easier if you have a bridge that is not broken down and needing repair. Keep your communication lines open and repair them along the way. It is much easier to repair a bridge than to have to build a new one. (And a lot less costly)
Principle 2. Understand that for someone to move from a no to a yes, they need to know that you have their best interests at heart. They are more willing to go with you across the bridge if you have established trust that you are looking out for them. Remember that it is about them, not about you.
Principle 3. To get someone to move from a no to a yes, paint the picture of what is on the other side. People don’t make decisions strictly on logic. Feelings are powerful and if you paint a picture of the other side that is better than where they are now, and they trust you, guess what? You have a co-passenger and you get to go in the HOV lane together.
The bottom line is simple. Help people to know that you care about them first, then invite them on the ride. If they suspect you are a shyster or out for yourself, you might as well drop them off because at the very least, they will bolt when they get across the bridge. Think cancelled orders, charge-backs, and them telling everyone they know you can’t be trusted.
Honesty really is the best policy. If you keep your integrity intact and treat people with respect, you will have a waiting line of people who want to go along with you over the bridge.
I hope you keep your bridges in good repair. Here is to seeing you on the other side. Muir Woods is worth the trip!