One morning at breakfast my four-year-old asked me what I do all day at work. As I started to give my thirty-second elevator pitch I use at networking events, I soon realized he didn’t care how “I build stronger brands and improve organizational dynamics” nor did he seem interested in how “I help companies succeed.”
So I told him that “I make companies better.” And he asked, “Are they sick?”
“Well kind of,” I answered, struggling to bring my complex methodology of creating extraordinary experiences and advocacy building down to a single phrase that would satisfy my son. Finally I said, “I make stores, restaurants and banks into fun places to shop and work.” Satisfied with the answer, he shifted the discussion to something more important; what we were going to do together that day.
As I later pondered this discussion, I realized that we often describe our businesses in terms of how we understand them, not in terms our audiences will relate to. My son understood ‘fun’ was better than ‘not fun’ and he has often been bored in stores, restaurants and banks. By putting things in his terms, he was able to personally relate to that description and see why making them fun would be a good thing.
I have since changed how I describe my business and so should you. When you discuss your business, do not use industry jargon, fancy marketing phrases or well-crafted elevator pitches. Talk to the prospect in terms of their business and their issues. Which means you must ask them about their business and listen to their issues before you ramble on about your business.
If you are able to talk in terms of their perspective and are able to make a real connection between their business and your product, soon you will be spending some quality time together building a solid relationship.
© 2009, Dave Lubelczyk. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, please contact IMAGEidentity.