Volunteering at one of the Lighten Up Boulder events. Standing on the corner of a busy intersection during rush hour. Giving away free bike and pedestrian lights to anyone passing by, no strings attached! Just free lights to promote safety.
30% of the people who stopped came right up and asked what was going on. They were curious about the lights and the table and the banner in the midst of all the traffic and bustle.
60% came over after a friendly gesture or welcoming comment from a volunteer. “Would you like some free lights?” People are happy to get free stuff, especially useful stuff. Smiles and thank-you’s.
10% did not wish to engage, either being too busy or too skeptical or not wanting to be bothered. They kept their heads down and moved quickly past, almost furtively.
In the realm of marketing or sales, we don’t worry about the 10%. It’s the other 90% who are willing to receive the message that we make sure to spend our energy on. Sometimes the other 10% will come around, sometimes they won’t, but it’s clear to remain focused on the receptive crowd.
In the realm of organizational management this isn’t as black and white, The minority 10% must be proactively managed so as to not become saboteurs. The risk, then, is becoming so focused on the 10% as to lose perspective that the 90% is where the real opportunity lies.