'The Art of Woo' is one of the best books I have read for a long time.
'Woo', as Marcus Buckingham ('The One Thing You Need To Know', etc) describes it, is "a talent for 'Winning Others Over'".
Richard and Mario define Woo as: "It is relation-based persuasion, a strategic process for getting people's attention, pitching your ideas, and obtaining approval for your plans and projects. It is, in short, one of the most important skills in the repertoire of any entrepreneur, employee, or professional manager whose work requires them to rely on influence and persuasion rather than coercion and force."
And that is why you find that book here!
And: "Classical geniuses from Aristotle to Cicero considered idea selling (they called it 'rhetoric')to be one of the most critical subjects an educated person could learn.
Yet two thousand years later, most schools have stopped teaching it."
G. Richard Shell and Mario Moussa achieve the complex task of making the complicated persuasion process transparent without boring the reader with too much theory, data, and historical lessons (on rhetorics, etc.).
"Woo starts with a look in the mirror. If you do not know your own goals, biases, emotions, and preferences, you cannot hope to see your audience clearly."
ie. the first step of Woo: Survey your Situation!
Step 2: Confront the 5 Barriers! (Relationships, Credibility, Communication Mismatches, Belief Systems, Interests and Needs)
Step 3: Make your Pitch!
Step 4: Secure your Commitments!
The obvious steps, one might think, that's right. But that obvious that we all are trapped by it way to often.
And this is why I love this book. On many occasions you think, you've known 'that' in the first place, but on the next page you learn what you should have done instead.
It is a real eye-opener, because you get to know what has been behind your intuition (eg. that it is not only your intuition, but everyone's, it is human, it is genetic, it is generic, and complex and very easy and very difficult at the same time).
It is a real eye-opener, because you've done a lot of it, but never really planned to do it. You stumbled upon. You got caught by it. You hated it ...
... But you must love to Woo. It is pure communication. It is convincing people around you. Selling your ideas. Becoming passionate about your ideas. Becoming successful in your life.
It is that much about character, personality and authenticity, about being yourself and following your intuition, about doing your thing, about being convinced this is the right thing to do, about self awareness and self realization.
And it is about convincing others, motivating others, being a role model, inspiring, engaging - and leading!
And this book delivers the ends and means, the strategies and the backgrounds.
One last thing:
"If you want to get people on your side, go meet with them face-to-face and see firsthand how they react to your ideas." ... "Woo is about people, not saving time."