Do you ever wonder why energy-efficiency reports are so long? Moreover, do you ever wonder if anyone actually reads them?
Tony Robbins is fond of saying that the quality of your life is directly related to the quality of the questions you ask. So, here’s a more useful question for you to consider…
Do you want your readers to learn something new and interesting or do you want them to be motivated to take action?
It is my studied observation over the last two decades that most people who intend to write efficiency proposals actually wind up writing reports instead. This causes them to adopt the persona of a “building scientist” or “educator” – as if their prospect actually had the time or even the interest to suffer through 100+ pages and learn some new information. One need only witness the infinitesimally small percentage of these reports that make it to implementation to realize that this is a broken model.
This topic of focusing on motivation rather than education should inform all of our outbound communications. Whether it’s a phone call, a voicemail, an email, a report, a proposal, or a presentation, first decide on the goal. What do you want your prospect to do in the end? If you identify your one primary intention, you're ahead of the game. And if you continue coming back to that theme, as a piece of music always returns to its refrain, you will reinforce that primary intention and motivate your audience to take the action you desire.