Friday, February 9, 2007

How to become more memorable

A colleague of mine, Martin Davies, wrote this useful article in a recent edition of the NRG ezine, Synergy:

Do you find it difficult to get business referrals? Are you finding networking just not paying dividends?.

It's frustrating when this happens, but the problem may lie with you. It may be, for example, that your introduction isn't memorable and just doesn't register with people.

The most effective networkers are highly memorable. They make it easy to remember and repeat what they do and what makes them different.

Here are four things to consider when preparing your introduction. Aim to make this no more than 30 seconds. And try to make your message as graphic as if you were burning it permanently into people's brains with a branding iron.

Describe what you do in benefit terms that mean something

For example, if you are an IFA you might say: 'I help people build long-term wealth.' Or if you offer computer support you might say: 'We stop staff surfing the net on company time.' If you write databases you might say: 'We help people double the value of their data.'

What is your target market?

Find yourself a niche market. Avoid being too general - it's harder for people to remember. Our IFA might say: 'One of our target markets is independent professionals in their late 40s/early 50s.'

The computer support expert might say: 'Our target market is businesses employing 10-50 people around Cheltenham.' The result is that your audience will instinctively start to filter through their contacts to see if they know anyone who fits the bill.

What is their business pain?

The trick here is to pose a question or statement that your audience might hear from one of their contacts (or even have themselves). For example: 'I'm looking for people who are worried about their pension and don't know what to do.'

This sentence must have a 'pain' verb in it - in this case 'worried'.

Or: 'I'm looking for business owners who want to raise productivity. For example, if a dozen employees surf the 'net for an hour a day on company time, that's a whole year of lost production. Ouch!'

Experiment with this. For example, in the above scenario, ten employees amounts to 291 lost days, but that's not really a memorable figure. On the other hand 'a dozen' and 'a year' will stick.

How do you fix this pain?

You then say 'what we do is ......' Keep it to one sentence and focus on outcomes. For example: 'What we do is talk to them and build a plan that makes their money work for them properly.'

The trick here is to keep your introduction really simple and short but starting to build in what makes you different.

A successful introduction is short, memorable and begs the question: 'How do you do that then?'

Just one final point - practice!

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