Three Little Words

Heart in sightsNo, not those three.

The three I have in mind are

  • what,
  • how
    and
  • do.

Putting together a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) program called No Budget Branding over the last few weeks made me think about decisions I’ve made over time and how much I’m like other people.

What

Back in the days when I was up to my eyeballs in a pheromone fog “What” started rattling around my skull. I was lucky. I selected my parents well so the decision for me was delayed until after those halcyon high school days. Friends and acquaintances had to choose due to financial and social situations long before I did. They followed their fathers into the construction trades and the military and their mothers into the careers reserved for women at that time…homemakers, cooks, waitresses and nurses.

Some of us were lucky enough to put that decision off until we went to college. It was called selecting a major. I had my choice between Business, Engineering and Advertising. I took one look at the business school types wearing ties and blazers, the engineers with huge slide rules hanging off their belts and said, “Madison Avenue, here I come!”

It ain’t pretty but that’s how I decided what I was going to do with my life. I could have changed but I stuck with it. I’m still sticking with it a full career later. Yes, I was one of the Mad Men. That TV show was accurate, sort of.

How

I learned a lot in College—mostly that I had a lot to learn.  You see, making a profit on what you do is dependent on knowing how to get it done. If you are working in a trade, your knowledge is what lifts you to a position of expertise. Understanding the how will get you into management, assure you better pay, and sometimes ownership.

What is the way people are intrigued with information on the internet. How is what they are willing to buy.

You can tell people all day long what they need.

You can get them to click on the offer because they want to know how.

Think about that offer which you ”bit on.”  The video on the web site told you how the seller was now making seven figures. The clock on the webpage kept ticking showing how little time was left for you to jump in. The testimonials talked about instant results. The key elements of the formula, what makes it work, were revealed and even offered as part of a downloadable note. Some organizations even showed you how they were improving society as well.

Do

You clicked the orange button, plunked down your credit card, signed up and downloaded the “goodies” to include the promised bonuses. Wow! Talk about instant gratification!

Did you notice the admonition that was the first thing out of the chute? It was something like this:

Step away from your limiting beliefs.

You can do this. Focus on it.

Dedicate your life for the next x weeks to this formula.

Focused action will allow you to accomplish your goals

You will be SUCCESSFUL

That’s because the seller knows a secret.

Most people will not act. Many will not even open the packet of information, digital or traditional.  They are telling you the truth.  They decided or were forced to decide what to do. They learned how (sometimes the hard way). They learned that the only way to make something happen is to do and stick to it.

Will you act?


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

 

Marketing: The Edge to Late Entry

I’m running late today. Usually my Saturday morning posts are in your e-mail box by 3:00 AM

Not today.

Gone but not forgotten

Yesterday, the Toys R Us stores across the USA closed.

At its height it had 1,690 locations around the world. Ownership of the stores changed hands multiple times but it dominated toy sales pushing out smaller, local toy stores wherever it opened.

Toys R Us first lost is market dominance to Walmart in 1998. It struggled unsuccessfully to maintain, it’s position. The last time it had an annual profit was 2013.

The lesson learned

Smaller toy stores simply could not match the variety, volume and pricing of the larger Toys R Us that used the big box strategy to build an iconic brand. Big box based companies can easily supplant a single category competitor. You can have a competitive edge when you are late into the market but that edge needs to be honed continually.

Tilting toward the internet of things

Looked into Best Buy lately? Just about any electronic gadget you need can be found on their shelves including a lot of the items that qualify for the soubriquet: Internet Of Things. The sales force is being trained to understand buyers versus final users and to optimize their Geek Squad brand for completing the sale.

I heard through the grapevine that their Geek Squad has been trained in installing and servicing scads of new household gadgets. More importantly, they are being trained in how to deal with seniors.

The moral of the story

Someone in the marketing department has realized where the biggest market for these digital goodies is, how they get sold and the skills required to build a trusted brand. A friend tells me that a sensor that detects whether an aging relative is in bed, accessible across the net, is sold to a son or daughter as a way to check in on Mom or Dad. It is one of the items the Geek Squad is ready to install! Staying on top of market shifts can extend the life of your organization even if you are late to the party.

Better late than never

I spent most of the last week doing an inventory. A couple new Strategic Partnerships caused me to dust off productizing plans for the intellectual property I’ve developed over the years as a consultant and professional speaker.

My partners and I have looked at the offerings for independent professionals and small businesses and found them generally wanting. Most are rehashes with little or no relevant statistical support. Proven processes, tips and techniques are hard to come by.

The edge to late entry

Marketing Without Money TM products we deliver (learn more) will be thoroughly tested and adapted to the life style of the owners of professional practices and small business. What that means is that they will be available in Video, Audio and PDFs. It will be a subscription service with small cohorts. Regular webinars that are heavy on Q&A will highlight program keys and provide bonus materials. The programs will be continuously refined with new additions available to all subscribers.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Brand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and Business Development on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

Step Away From That Social Media Suckhole

Social Media SuckholeJim said, “One of my clients was talking about his experience on FaceBook. It seems he has looking for a high-tech app for his company, saw an ad on FaceBook, clicked on it and within 15 minutes someone from the company was calling him.”

He told me that he suggested the CEO turn it around and use it for his own company.

Then he asked the wrong question!

No, I said, you should not be advertising on FaceBook. And you should not think about LinkedIn or Google either. The reason is simple: That is not the right model to build your business.

Until the customer/ client/ patient gets access to your product you don’t have a business.

Service Businesses require someone to provide “hands or minds on” actions. There is direct contact.

Product Businesses make an item that can be used but the company may or may not have direct contact with the end user.

Combination businesses make products and provide services associated with those products usually but not always directly. Their passage or physical distribution may be direct or through several intermediaries.

Distribution businesses provide physical distribution of products to end users or resellers such as retail outlets. The most common are independent distributors and wholesalers. The amount of inventory they carry varies across a full spectrum.

Agent/Broker businesses sell products or services to end users but may not handle physical distribution. Most independent salespersons fall in this category. Frequently they handle several lines that are used in an industry but are not directly competitive.

What is the right model to build your business?

  • Consultants and Professional service providers usually do best when they use tools that generate referrals
  • Business to Business B2B organizations that offer services need a combination of promotion, referrals and a sales force that connects with customers efficiently
  • B2B organizations that offer products at low cost may orient more to advertising and telephone follow up like Jim’s client experienced. The controlling factor is the cost of the products offered. Higher priced products generally require a more knowledgeable sales person and sometimes the best solution is an engineer partnered with a salesperson.
  • Business to Consumer B2C companies have the broadest selection of distribution possibilities that run the gamut from direct sales to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. But here, too, the price of the product being offered will have significant impact on the level of salesperson required.

Do you or a competitor have a way to change an industry?

Examples abound: Amazon, Lyft, Driverless Cars, Disney’s Magic Band access to hotel and park, Airbnb and a host of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that may not have existed last week.

You need to think about how FedEx technology adaption forced UPS to leapfrog them. Can you do something like that? No matter what your product or service, you can, if you think it through, make your offer in such a way that it stands out form the crowd.

That’s when Social Media fits in.

Use the social media platform that gets you the most exposure within your target audience at the lowest cost until you move on to pay per click advertising. Hire a professional organization that makes a living doing that. You will save yourself time, pain and money in the long run. But first, make sure your landing pages and website support your Mission, Position and Value Proposition.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

3 Tricks to Take Face Time From Awkward to Zoftique

3 Face Time TricksAbout mid afternoon, my brother in law pulled out his cell phone and then his pad computer and announced, “It’s time for some face time.”

I thought, “Do I have to?”

Today there are a myriad of ways to use technology to see who we’re having a conversation with. The results run the gamut from awkward to zoftique.

You can use:
An app on your Smart Phone
An app on your Pad Computer
Your Laptop or Desktop computer via Skype or meeting software.

Is there a device that doesn’t have a camera and microphone on it anymore?

Here are some things to consider before you opt to call or receive a call using “Face Time”

No matter what device you are reading this on, I want you to turn around and look at what is behind you. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

  • Would you be comfortable with an unannounced visitor seeing that?
  • Does the view of you and your surroundings convince people of your expertise?
  • Will the prospect have a better impression of you?
  • Will they remember you or your background images?
  • Most importantly, does the background meet their expectations about you?

Face Time used to mean an in-person meeting. You knew it was going to happen. You dressed for it. You got ready for it, reviewing information and honing your observations and questions.

Today, you could be face to face in a heartbeat. Here’s how to be ready:

  1. Plan for these calls. If you know it is going to happen you can be ready. If you plan for it you can better control what is going on around you. You won’t wind up talking from the back of cab on our way to a costume party which is where we connected with my nephew.
  2. Be aware of the background. In your office take the look suggested above. In the field, try to find a quiet place with a neutral background and a low probability of people wandering through it.
  3. Look at yourself before you answer and make sure to disconnect. Too often people that work from home simply forget where they are and the fact they are in their pajamas (or less). Then, too you can stay online with some technologies and not know it. Just disconnect if someone forgets to do so. You probably don’t want to know what you might see or overhear.

As Humphrey Bogart would say, “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Lazy Man’s Day

man being lazy

This would be me today.

At least this afternoon.

Seriously. There comes a time in entrepreneur’s life when he or she is allowed to take off part of the day.

Those days are few and far between but you have to make time for them.

Birthdays are such a time. As my mother put it so eloquently in her card which I received today:

“It’s your birthday and it’s all about you today! So enjoy it…

Because tomorrow it goes back to being all about me.”

So this afternoon it is all about me.

I’m knocking off early. I’m going out to dinner in a sit down white table cloth, “is everything to your satisfaction, sir” kind of place. I am not going to count calories or avoid the beef and I might even eat some bread.

There is one thing I will not overlook: a piece of chocolate cake served ala mode.
Slice of cakeI intend to enjoy it.

All of it.

Not wading through the Friday afternoon pile of e-mails.

Not writing the proposal for the new business contact I met with this morning.

Not writing my usual new entry for Brand Brain Trust.

Just not doing anything work related.

I intend to enjoy it.

Today.


Jerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Three Scary Brand Questions

I told them I was going to make them uncomfortable.

# Scary Brand QuestionsA client asked me to speak to the students in the college level class he is teaching. He asked that I give them some basics about brand which they will be able to apply to change viewpoints about themselves and the departments they lead. These are guys and gals that want to become CIOs.

My advice came from these three questions:

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Why should I care?

I’ll bet answers don’t flow swiftly off your tongue.

That’s because we don’t think this way. Take the first question. Most of us begin with our name. Some go on to tell you their title and the organization they work in. Others tell you where they were born or grew up. Ex-military usually say so. Each of us answers differently and in doing so reveal a great deal about our personalities. Often, if people just wait you’ll reveal occurrences in your child hood that changed you for life.

You can’t hear what you are saying.

Yes, you may be able to repeat the words. But what is the meaning hidden within? Why was that event in your childhood so important for the person you are now? What do the decisions you discussed have to do with how you are seen now?  Why did you reveal these things? How are you hoping the information will be used?

The trick is to have someone tell you what you told them.

Suddenly, you will see yourself as others see you. That is what Personal Brand is all about.

You are not an “elevator speech.”

What you do is not who you are.  In North America, “What do you do?” is the most asked question. Unlike other parts of the world we tend to equate the two. www.beBee.com may help you cure yourself of this.

Conversation or Commercial?

Major corporations hire me to teach their executives how to Network. All of them assume I’m going to teach some form of Elevator pitch. I don’t. Wouldn’t you rather have a conversation than have someone blurt a commercial at you? 30-Second Marketing makes you more memorable, builds trust in you and lets you know when you should ask, “What do you do?”

I used to answer: “I build websites that make rain.”

So what?

That is the question my sales mentor asked me. You’d do your pitch and he’d say” So What? Why is that important to the customer?”

I responded, “You know how since your niece or nephew went off to college you can’t change your web site? What we do is build you a site that you can change words and pictures on as much as you like. And we’ll be sure you can’t screw up the navigation.”

Good Question.

“Why should I care?” makes it easy to picture a prospect thinking that. Usually manners keep them from actually saying it.  But they think it…just like you do when someone obviously doesn’t understand your interest (or lack of it). Next time you begin to list features and benefits, Stop. Ask, as if you were them, “Why should I care?”

When it comes to Brand you’ve got to speak in their terms, not yours.

Get Scary.

Partner up with a friend. Answer the three questions. Give each other honest feedback. Notice how your brand becomes easier to understand for you as well as your friend, not to mention prospects, clients/customers and colleagues.


Jerry Fletcher is a beBee Ambassador and founder/Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

 

 

The Pitch Ain’t the Title

“A friend told me about trying to come up with a title for a screen play over lunch,” said Gail. “She’s trying to get ready for a meeting with an agent from Hollywood. Apparently you only get a very few minutes and what you say in the first few seconds is critical.” 30-SecondMarketing

Kate snorted and said, “Sounds like every other sales call to me! That is pretty much my day, every day. The thing is you have to know what the hot buttons are for every person you’re calling on and if you don’t you have to find a way to get their attention and their input. Every story can be shortened to the point where it is one sentence long. The trick is to make that sentence intriguing enough that it pulls people into the conversation with you. Fletch’s 30-Second Marketing is the way to do it in networking situations and can be applied in most sales situations as well.”

“You’re right,” I said. this goes by a bunch of names but what it comes down to when you have to write it is:

  • Tell the story in a paragraph or two concentrating on the emotions evoked
  • Shorten it to a sentence about the overall shift in the story
  • Work on the language in the sentence to make people experience it and yet want to know more.
  • Relate it to something familiar to them
  • Given all that, give it a title that leaves them wanting more.

For instance:
Would you like to view a film that centers on the transformation of a son, Michael, from reluctant family outsider to ruthless Mafia boss while also chronicling the family under the patriarch. A lot of people did. It was called The GodFather. As memorable as it is it was not one of the highest box office movies.

The current top in domestic, international and worldwide sales is a science fiction flick. In it, a paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a spy mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the new world he comes to feel is his home. Right. It was called Avatar and to date has made $2,783,918,982 worldwide.

The number two box office leader is one for history buffs and romantics. The fact that a supposedly unsinkable ship went down in the North Atlantic was given an emotional twist by the tale of a starving artist that becomes the love of a high class lady. It was called Titanic and the star-crossed lovers were, I believe, a pure fiction. It was called Titanic.”

Rob, our Buddha of Branding quietly said, “And that, brethren is what we call trimmin’ the fat. There be movies popular down home you don’t have to hear nuthin’ but the title to know what it’s about. Wonderful stories like Driving Miss Daisy, Steel Magnolias and, of course, Gone With the Wind. Notice how the title can be the story all by itself, or give you insight into the characters or summarize a way of life that vanished? The difference of seeing what y’all are trying to sell through the prospect’s imagination makes all the difference. Thing is, they will tell you how they see it. Just listen.”

The Takeaways:

  1. All sales is about finding common ground, understanding the problem and then finding the emotion that connects the prospect to the solution.
  2. You must orient your view, your language and your emphasis to the prospect’s vision.
  3. Get help. Talk to others. Listen to what they have to say. Respond by making your pitch and your title stronger.

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy and the Customer Journey

Bubba, the brand Buddha was pontificating as I slid into my seat. “Tain’t always what you say that matters, It’s what people hear.”

“What people believe already can be a big chunk of that,” I agreed. (I’m Jerry Fletcher and I’m the Watson of this unruly crew that meets over lunch on Fridays.) Customer Journey Map

“What people believe can make a real difference whether you’re talking printing or politics,” said Kate. “I’ve been in sales since I was teenager and both learning the right language to use and teaching folks to understand how important it is has been difficult for me.

Never let anyone tell you there aren’t different dialects in America. There are racial differences, geographic differences, class differences, age differences and where folks are in the customer journey differences. You can’t just blather along. You’ll never make a sale if you aren’t listening and using their words, viewpoints and meanings. You have to talk to them where they are now, in the moment.”

“Got an example?” Chris asked.

She asked him, “Did you ever go to Las Vegas?”

“Sure,” he replied. “It’s the gaming capital of the Universe.”

“And there’s your answer, plainer’n a cake donut with pink icing and sprinkles,” said Bubba.

Chris looked at him completely non-plussed.

“Think about what you just said,” continued Rob in his typical molasses patience voice. You said gaming. That word never was used in the old days as a reference to Vegas or Atlantic City before all the Indian Casinos and the ones on steamboats docked in Mississippi.

Back in the 1970’s Wall Street shifted from calling it the gambling industry to the gaming industry. By the 1990’s only politicians called it Gambling. For a time Las Vegas was promoted as a family vacation spot. Now it’s a little naughtier, you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

Folks heard the new word and over time the industry was perceived differently.”

The donut demo
“Let me use that donut idea to demonstrate how this works for Chris,” I said. People go through a number of phases where we can change how they think about a company or product or service:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Intent
  4. Purchase
  5. Satisfaction
  6. Repeat

At every point on that spectrum you can provide content that will convince, persuade and keep them in your funnel even after they buy.”

Ramping it up
Rob jumped back in saying, “But y’all are mostly working on the front end of that process so you should know how to ramp up there first:

  • Awareness—Listen for the symptoms. Find out how it’s pushin’ on their business. Now, take it a step further and figure out the problem and help ‘em understand it in that larger context.
  • Consideration—This phase is when they’re bangin’ around looking for information Build strategic website pages or videos or blogs or other kinds of content that homes in on the clear ways you can solve specific kinds of prospect’s problems. The more directly it responds to their need the better.
  • Intent— is when they have come to the point where they intend to make a purchase. The information you provide at this point in their path to purchase should include examples of how others have profited from your product or service, that’s hard data, analytics that prove your point but most importantly. Make sure it fits with your earlier information. Include first hand suggestions, observations and comments.”

The Takeaways:

The customer journey or path to purchase doesn’t end when they plunk down the cash.

You have to prove that you know their concerns and interests.

The clincher is most often the small detail that you’ve observed from their questions, or observations they make. Always ask why they selected your product or service.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Marketing and Sales All in One

30-Second Marketing for Consultants Part 3

Henry, a guest at the lunch time gathering, asked, “If you’re a one man band like most beginning consultants what is the difference between marketing and sales. Isn’t it all one?” The problem is the crossover from marketing to sales

“In a way it is,” said Kate. ”That was hard for me to understand early on when I was setting up my sales consultancy. When you’re out there on the front lines it’s not easy to see how marketing can do anything to help you.  Let’s face it, most sales people keep telling whoever is doing their marketing to just get them some qualified leads to close. When you’re the one doing the marketing and the selling it tends to give you a different viewpoint.”

The problem is the crossover.

“The problem is the crossover,” Henry said. “I don’t know when I’m selling and when I’m marketing.”

Our writer/editor Gail said, “The difference is pretty simple. Marketing is in mass. Sales is one on one.”

“Okay, I can see that,” said Henry, “but the words required seem to be different while they are the same.”

Gail asked, “What do you mean?”

“Everybody says that you need to talk about delivering a benefit. That’s the way to get them to come to you,” Henry replied.

Media, Message and Magnetism

I’d brought Henry to this meeting with the marketing lunch bunch so I figured I’d better wade in. “Henry,” I said, “don’t confuse trying to write copy for an ad versus a brochure or a web site with developing a sales pitch.

Media—If the information you are presenting is paid for by you it is marketing and needs to be treated as such. That is true whether it is an ad, brochure, website or skywriting. Yes, benefits should be stated.

MessageIf you are not meeting someone in person, it is marketing and needs copy that positions the product or service in words and pictures. You need to convince and/or persuade by using text and graphics that are easily understood by the suspect, prospect or client.

Magnetism—comes as you learn how to speak in the language of your suspect, prospect or ideal client. Speak to them in person. Listen. Hear and use their words to describe what you do. Listen as they tell you the problem they have and describe it in their terms. Pay close attention to what they say about how a solution to their problem would look, taste and feel to them.

Here’s an example of the difference:

Positioning Line: Clock Thermostat

Ad headline: Live warm, sleep cool and wake up saving money.

30-Second Marketing:

Hook: I help you save money while you’re sleeping

Hold: You know how some people set the thermostat back when they go to bed to save money but have to get up to a cold house in the morning?

Pitch:  What we do is hook the thermostat to a clock so you set it once and it automatically cools things down at night then automatically starts heating the house in the morning so it is warm when you get up.

Close: It’s available in a battery operated version with all the instructions you need to hook it up yourself in minutes.

Henry said, “Thanks. That helps.”

The Takeaway:

The concepts that convince for any product or service must be expressed in both print and conversation. Only conversation is interactive and can be modified on the fly.

The words that persuade can (and should) be pulled from the ideal client’s lexicon.

How and when they are used are dictated by whether you are marketing or selling.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

The Right Answer to the Most Common Question

30 Second Marketing Part 1

“It never fails. You walk into a place, say hello and within minutes you get the question,” I said. “It happens to every consultant, coach and professional, daily.”

Chris, our digital marketing director and the youngest member of the lunch bunch Singular most often asked questionblinked and asked, “What Question?”

Kate rolled her eyes, took a sip of iced tea and said, “It is THE Question. It is the simple request from someone to help identify you by the career path you are on. It is stock-in-trade for sales folks like me whenever we meet someone new.”

It is the single most asked question in the USA,” I said. “And most people trip all over themselves trying to answer it.”

Chris asked again, “So what is the question?”

Gail, our resident writer, put him out of his misery saying, “The question is: What do you do?”

Bubba, the branding Buddha, drawled with his usual southern charm, “Theahs just no way you can avoid it. Seems like folks kindly want to put you in a little box in their brain with a label stuck on it that fits their piddly memory.”

“You got that right,” I responded. “People always try to categorize new information and that means if you want to be remembered you need to do whatever you can to avoid what Bubba called, that piddly brain box.

An elevator speech is not the answer. That approach has come and gone.”

“But everybody says that you have to have an elevator speech if you’re going to be any good at networking,” said Chris.

“Everybody?” Asked Rick. “I don’t think so. The uninformed…maybe. The slow to understand the difference between how to market and how to sell…probably. Those that don’t understand the primary lessons of direct marketing, where I make a living…for sure. There are way too many people out there that just don’t get it.”

“A conversation instead of a commercial is the right answer,” Kate said. Most people will take interest in you and your profession if it is presented in an interesting way. But if you fall into the trap of describing yourself in common terms you lose. For instance, which would you rather talk to, a guy who says I’m a cpa” or one that tells you, “They call me Captain Crunch.’ That’s what Fletch calls a hook.”

Chris turned to me and asked, “What’s a hook?”

I told him, “A hook is the opening gambit of 30 Second Marketing which is a formula that helps you get to that conversation you want to have to make yourself memorable and give the person you’re chatting with ways to explain your difference to your ideal prospects.

The 30-Second Marketing formula:

Hook ‘em     (Get their interest)

Hold ‘em      (Tell them the problem you solve for most clients)

Pitch ‘em     (Tell them how you solve it)

Close ‘em    (Persuade them to take the next step)

The problem most consultants have is that they know way too much about their area of expertise so they have difficulty sorting out simple terms that people understand which relate to the reason they are looking for a consultant or professional to help them.

For example:

I’m a mechanic                  versus          I make cars go

I’m an IT expert                 versus          I make computers do it your way

I’m a website developer     versus          I build web sites that make rain

The Takeaways:

Make your answer memorable by simplifying it and putting the parts of the formula in language just about everyone can understand.

Test it. Try it on people you don’t know including prospects and pay attention to what they say and do. Then revise based on remarks, reactions and responses.  

Avoid lip service—the kind of responses that friends and family give you that aren’t realistic but rather are intended to make you feel good.


 

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com