What is your essential message

Imagine this. Imagine this: You are out with a friend, having coffee. A friend of yours walks in and chats for a couple of minutes.

What do you do? This is the inevitable follow-up question after you’ve finished talking about the weather or last night’s scores.

You have 60 seconds. What would you say?

You’ve missed a great opportunity to get your next client. Everyone in the world has either a client or can refer you to a client.

A Symptom Of A Fundamental Problem

Does that mean you need to be constantly in the sales mode? If you follow the traditional view on sales, then no.

If you don’t know how to articulate who you are and what you do well, you may be wasting a great opportunity to gain a client.

Before you continue reading, let me tell you a little about my experience.

When it comes to describing your business or introducing yourself at a networking function, entrepreneurs, new companies, and even most salespeople find themselves in a difficult situation. You can’t sum up all you do with a single phrase. To make matters worse, when people find out what you do, they lump you with half a million others who, on the surface, appear to be doing the same thing.

If you recognize yourself in these challenges, you will see that they are a symptom of a serious and fundamental sales and marketing issue. The probability is that you’ll find the same non-sales arguments in your Website, brochure, and advertising.

Take a look at both your site and the sites of your competitors to prove this to yourself. Are there any elements on your site that speak to the audience?

Most businesses will answer “No” to this question.

Toss the Rulebook

People have a lot of trouble positioning their businesses and crafting a compelling message because they’re following someone else’s rules.

You’ve probably heard specific instructions about the “correct way” to create a positioning statement or how to “correctly” write an infomercial or elevator speech. Everyone knows you should focus on the benefits of your product and not make negative statements.

It may not be right for you, except that there are a few universal communication principles. It is not guaranteed that what worked for another person will work for you. If you follow the same rules everyone else does, you will sound like everyone else.

You’re right back at square one.

It would be more beneficial to you to find the rules that are right for you rather than trying to follow someone else’s guide.

How? Here are three ways to find your way once you’ve thrown out the rulebook.

Attend a lot of networking events.

You can throw out the rules if you think networking events are only for exchanging business cards or finding new clients.

You can get more out of a networking event than just a few business cards. It’s all the research that you have done on your essential message.

Imagine a networking event like a large focus group. You can use it to find out what people think about your business and what its true core value is.

Try to emphasize different aspects of your company as you move around the room. Ask many questions about what kind of service you would like the person to receive. Pay attention to reactions.

Listen carefully, and you may be surprised at what people find interesting about your business.

Find out what your best clients and customers think

Most clients are not shy to tell you why they enjoy doing business with them and what initially attracted them.

You can either hire someone to ask them for you, or you can get over your shyness. You can tell your client you need their assistance to understand your business better. It’s important to be clear that this meeting is not about asking for more business or referrals. However, these meetings often lead to new business.

Be prepared to ask questions. Ask them to explain what “quality” means.

What may seem obvious or commonplace to you may be of great importance to your client. You won’t know until you ask.

It’s vital to continue improving your marketing and sales messages, no matter what. It doesn’t really matter how many salespeople or brochures or ads you run or how many visitors you get to your Website unless you have the right message. You will not get the results that you need to advance your business.

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