In our fast-paced online world where people are constantly being bombarded with messages it is challenging for organisations to raise awareness of the good work that they do, let alone convert those who hear into customers. Whether reading an advertisement, social media post, blog or talking face to face, most people will only give you a few moments to pique their interest. Now more than ever Will Rogers’ quote “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” rings true.
Preparation is the key to maximising every opportunity to get your message heard:
- Clarify the benefits your customers receive from your work.
- Prepare a ten word (or less) answer to the question ‘what do you do’ that focuses on the customer benefit and leaves the hearer wanting to know more. For example ‘I help people look their best’ is far more likely to generate further interest than ‘I’m a hairdresser’.
- Make every word count. Use sparingly filler words such as ‘so’, or ‘um’; clichés such as ‘absolutely’ and ‘the best’; and words that communicate uncertainty such as ‘probably’.
- Select quality images that convey your message. Close up action shots with minimal background are often the most effective.
- Be interested in and listen to the other person. Customers deserve respect and want assurance that you understand their needs.
Finally, most people do business with organisations they believe they can trust. By adopting a natural style when telling your story you will help to build that trust.
This article was first published in the Mercury Bay Informer of 5 September 2018. See www.theinformer.co.nz