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7 key questions – to make an impact 25 November, 2016

Posted by varoom in Selling.
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Whenever you want to communicate to someone, in business, time is short because in modern life most people’s attention spans are short. In my last Blog I talked about time to Ah Ha! Well that is only part, an important part, of the whole process. I believe there are 7 questions you should ask yourself when creating a communication to ensure you get beyond the Ah Ha stage.

  1. WHO – Do you want to speak to (Do know your audience)?
  2. WHAT – Will grab their attention (WOW factor)?
  3. WHAT – Do you want to say (Your most important Key Messages*)?
  4. TIME to Ah Ha! – Are you making it as simple as it can be?
  5. HOW – Often do you need to repeat the message to be effective?
  6. WHAT – Do you want them to do afterwards (Call to Action)?
  7. HOW – Will you deliver your message(s) (Which is the best channel)?

*Key messaging is one of my passions. A key message is what you want to be retained in the mind of the recipient after you have left or your communication is over. A key message is carefully worded, told within a story flow that is in the right sequence, easily communicated, easily understood and memorable.

The rewards of having a story flow are;

  • You bring the listener along with your story, if its easy to follow
  • The listener reacts positively to you, as it comes across as very well communicated.
  • They retain positive memory of you, we all like to remember people who are easy to understand
  • Improved chance of your recipient accepting your recommendations

Once you have a succinct script then concentrate on delivery. The best design communication is wasted unless it is delivered properly. A bit like a great joke told badly. It’s not funny.

So spend enough time to understand your audience and what will make them pay attention, craft your story then spend time perfecting the delivery.

This will increase your success rates with potential customers.

Grev

Shortest time to Ah Ha! 4 February, 2016

Posted by varoom in Selling.
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We as humans in today’s world tend to make our minds up about something very quickly, if we are not interested we switch off. If someone puts the responsibility on us to figure out what they mean most of us won’t do the work.

If someone gets what you do quickly, they are more likely to be interested, pay attention to what else you have to say and may even be persuaded by what you are offering. If you make it complicated, try to convey too much detail or assume prior knowledge the chances are you will fail.

Whenever we approach someone for the first time and we have a story to tell we need to gain their interest as soon as possible. The “Ah Ha” moment occurs when someone gets what you do and what you are offering. The soonest this happens the less likely they are to wander off.

So, when telling a story or making a pitch, design your script to just focus on the key points that are needed to understand what your proposition is. Craft the words so that they are easy to deliver, easy to understand and will be remembered after you have gone. Then you need to work on your delivery so that you can deliver your script in a way which maximises the chance of being understood.

So design your initial pitch so that it takes no time at all to understand what you do and what you are proposing. Having a scripted pitch will ensure you convey the same message each time, not forget any key points and make the most out of every opportunity. Then just keep testing and improving.

Following the Ah Ha! You can then expand further as you will have the interest and attention of your recipient.

Grev

What happens when your product comes down from your ivory tower? 17 April, 2015

Posted by varoom in Management, Strategy.
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I see quite a few entrepreneurs who feel firstly they know best what a customer needs and secondly there is no need to talk to customers before they develop their product. They disappear up into their ivory tower and develop the product in isolation.

Now; who’s to say they are wrong? Maybe they do know best what the market needs. Far be it that my crystal ball is any better than the next persons. However, what if they are wrong and the product being developed is not quite what the customer needs? They could risk all that investment in time and product development and just have to start again.

What’s the harm in talking to a few customers? I believe you always learn something from interaction with real customers, this could be to your advantage, you may discover a killer feature that changes completely your business prospects. You will, perhaps more importantly, learn what you don’t need to do and save yourself some time and money.

Investors will nearly always want to see customer engagement before they invest. So if you need to raise funding that interaction with customers and the development of a product which has early demand from that market will enhance your prospects. Also you will demonstrate that you have invested R&D resources wisely on features that have real customer demand.

The lean startup business model together with agile development techniques can reinforce the need to become closer with your early customers and use them to test out your product features as you proceed with development.

So don’t be afraid of engaging with customers, the right ones will understand the concept of a product in development, they will give you valuable feedback, they will ensure you build the right product and help you avoid wasting time and money on features you don’t need.

Grev