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What people really want to know

Another message from a great coaching session today…

With one of my clients we’re working on how she introduces herself in networking situations. She came up with a competent answer to the question “what do you do?”, in the form of “We provide xxx service using xxx platform.”

Hmmm. My first reaction was “here’s another person who wants to push their stuff on me”… not a good way to create trust!  So I shared with her one of my aphorisms:

When someone asks you “what do you do?”,
they don’t want to know what you do,
but rather
what you can do for them.

When drafting your positioning statement or networking intro, you have to grab the listener’s attention.  Instead of features and services, focus on benefits and impact.

I remember an advertising exec once saying that people are motivated by five basic things:

Basic Needs: meet my needs for eat, sleep and sex (satisfy appetite)

Convenience:  make life easier for me (simpler, cheaper, faster)

Ego: make me better than the next person (more money, status, attention) and make me more attractive (to others, to the opposite sex)

Fun: make life more fun (exciting, sexier)

Peace of Mind: make me smarter, stronger, live longer, healthier, more secure, more inspired.

Take any mass-market magazine, or watch an hour of TV and take note of the message of the ads. Rarely do they talk about features. Play a little game to identify which motivators are triggered by each of the ads, and you will quickly understand the power of good marketing.

Then look at your product or service the same way.  Your networking statement, especially in the one-sentence short form, should trigger one of these motivations.  The objective of your statement is to grab their attention.  Once you have it, you can then go deeper into how you do it better than anyone else!

Links to articles on my website

Don’t sell, TELL! How to write a powerful one-page sales letter

Make your networking message sing!

And a great site about Memory Hooks, a great way to help people remember who you are and what you can do for them.

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