Bright Eyes

This week a procurement client sent an SOS for material to help him write a board paper on a significant industry issue – the tension between marketing and procurement. I found what I thought was a perfect backgrounder – a deck of charts produced by my US partner for an ANA webinar.

My client’s response was a bit of a surprise. “Very interesting, but very logical”, he wrote. “The most interesting aspect in my eyes is getting over to marketing teams that we can add skills when they think they are doing everything well”. 

I guess I am predominately a left brain kind of person, so logic is where I start. Yet so often persuasion is best achieved by ensuring a balance between rational and emotive thinking and language. I had made a trite assumption that left brain thinking would work better with procurement. If a marketer had made the request, I would have probably tapped into more of a right brain approach. 

So obvious and so uninventive. 

I want to share a related thought triggered by this episode, and also by having sat this week through some final agency presentations in my day job as a client adviser on agency selection . My observation is that there is a physical characteristic common to most successful people, most good communicators, most effective problem solvers – and, I suspect, most good decision makers. 

I call it Bright Eyes. It is a gloriously unscientific description. And here I am talking about people, not rabbits!

There definitely isn’t an ‘ometer’ to measure ocular luminosity. But I am sure you all know what I mean. People with bright eyes are just so much more convincing, more appealing, more likeable, easier to follow and agree with. They tend also to manage meetings better.

It is an emotional appeal, not a logical one. Yet it helps us single out winners, good potential recruits, people we want to work with and for. In a logical left brain world, dominated by data, numbers and rational arguments, how refreshing to think that we can sometimes put the criteria and sub-criteria on one side, and instead be swayed by a look and a feel that some people have, and others don’t. 

Viva Bright Eyes. There is even an anthem about it.