What Do You Really Do?
I asked a group of 100 entrepreneurs and business owners the following question: What do you do? Their answers were not what I thought they would be. The majority of them replied with:
1) “I am a…”
2) “We are a ___ business”
3) They used some technical jargon
4) They made a generic promise “We improve your business”
There were only a few who answered the question in a way that would engage me to want to learn more about what they did. Now to be clear, I am not saying that what they offered was bad. I just was not interested or in the worst-case scenario confused. It was their answers that sparked this article.
When I coached hockey, I would walk into the arena at training camps to see a variety of players standing and sitting. Many did not know each other. They would be shy and timid. They would be worried about what the player next to them might be thinking of them. They had fear printed on their foreheads.
However, the player who was sure of himself brought an edge to their persona even before stepping on the ice. It was in their introductions of themselves. Are you familiar with the saying, “You never get a second chance at a first impression”? Some of them knew not to waste one moment of our contact.
In hockey in order to be on a team you must impress and show the coach(es) you have what it takes. Delivering the goods on-ice is what differentiates players. But it is not the only thing that is important. Character in and out of the dressing room also plays a big part. How the player shows up and presents themselves creates first impressions as well.
In business the importance of first impressions is no different. It is a given that you know your product or service. But how will you even get my attention, so that I will focus long enough to even hear what you have to offer? That is the starting point and arguably the most important.
So, what do you do?
Today, people are bombarded by hundreds of messages. There has never been a tougher time to reach your ideal client. To break through all the noise takes carefully crafted messaging. After people’s all heads are down, buried into screens or their eyes are glazed over as they anticipate the next ping from their handheld device. In short, people’s attentiveness is fragile and easily broken.
Here are three key strategies you and your staff need to apply in your lead up to presenting your offer.
a) Be clear and concise on what you do.
b) Think about serving others first.
c) Follow up. Follow up. Follow up.
You cannot break through the distractions if you do not master strategy one.
Strategy One (the most important one)
Clarity on what you do must be at the forefront of all marketing and sales initiatives. Communication is built off it and your identity is formed by it.
Here are the 3 questions you need to answer to be able to create the clarity:
• Who you ideally want to serve?
• What problem(s) are they dealing with?
• What solution do you have?
When you answer each one of these questions, you have the building blocks for your clarity phrase that answers the question. What do you do? Here is an example. One of the respondents to my survey question “What you do?”
“We help small and medium businesses change the way they communicate to improve engagement, performance and profitability.”
– Who they ideally serve: We help small and medium businesses
– What problem do they have: low to no engagement, performance and profitability
– What solution do you have: change the way they communicate.
Instead of thinking just about your product or service and all the great features, think like the person you want to take care of. Identify with their problem and the symptoms they deal with on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
If you don’t have a first impression that captures attention, you will diminish the opportunity to move further along into a discussion. Your goal is to get a response like: ‘How do you do that?”
When you know who you want to help in the marketplace, by solving their problem, you can easily find them. Your identified audience does certain activities. They hang out at certain places both online and offline. Your job is to join them and be where they are.
But your next step is not to ram down their throat some sales pitch. Your focus needs to be one of service. First impressions will be set and instead of offering your business card offer to help. Be a person of value and serve first.
Your line of questions will be ones that offer interest to whom you first meet. For example, the conversation will go something like:
1. “What brought you here today?” Let them answer.
2. “In your business, what is your #1 frustration right now?” Let them answer.
3. “If I had a magic wand what 1 wish would you love for me to grant you?” Let them answer.
If you are sincere in truly wanting to know your prospect, then by asking these kinds of questions you allow for someone to know you and then like you. All of this will lead eventually to trusting you because you are not self-serving.
Oftentimes we are so put off with sales people because deep inside we believe that they are only trying to reach us to make a sale. Our self-defence mechanism is to say, “No” because, until we know someone, and then like them, will we begin to trust them.
And trust takes time.
And follow up is one the best ways to create trust. True sincere follow ups provide a sense of you caring. If you have the mindset that every first contact with a prospect is the start of a lifelong friendship, you will change your approach and give off a different vibe than “Hi. Please buy from me.”
So in answer to the question, “What do you do?” you must understand that you have very little time to catch attention, create interest and present value. Knowing what you truly do is the way to foster a first impression that creates a positive long lasting one.
Kevin Huhn is the Founder of Be Your Best Today and through its mission helps small, medium and enterprise (SME) businesses reinvent their brand and clarify their message, so they can differentiate themselves and increase their bottom line. For more information visit beyourbesttoday.ca