How many times have you been asked this question?
Whether in first meetings, on the golf course, down the pub or at networking events, having a succinct & well thought out answer will avoid that embarrassing pause that makes you look silly or stop you from launching into your life story in the hope that something useful will fall out 20 minutes later. Meanwhile your questioner suddenly has a pressing meeting & ‘is it ok if we aim to finish in about 10 minutes?’.
Here are3 tips to help you prove your worth to the buyer & quickly get to the point where you can start to ask some questions, identify some needs & discuss how you can help solve them;
- Write down a sentence that describes your company’s positioning & what you deliver. Share this with other people in your organisation & ensure you are all broadly saying the same thing. You don’t have to repeat parrot fashion the company line, your own words are much better but you do have to be consistent.
Once written down you & your colleagues will find yourselves adapting the sentence depending on the circumstances but the core message will remain the same.
Here’s ours for FJR Communications
‘We are an experienced marketing consultancy demonstrating improved results for clients through independent marketing director support, key action identification & account managed strategy implementation via a long list of trusted specialist partners. ‘
2. The natural follow on from explaining your positioning is to list the problems you have solved for other clients. I’ve found a good way is to hand over a nicely branded list & let the buyer read through & hopefully identify a few that they are experiencing.
Here’s an extract from the full marketing service sheetwe developed as Founding Partner of springboard, a 20 strong consortium designed to broaden our business development offering & list of specialists;
- Where can we get some quick customer leads & what return should we expect?
- Do we really understand all of our potential customers, their media habits & competitive buying decisions?
- Are we confident our proposition & brand image are the very best, clear & aligned to our customers needs?
- Do we really need social media?
- Is our website on page 1 of Google, is it attracting, capturing & managing enough of the right customers?
- Do our emails & PR get read & remarked upon?
- Is everyone in our business marketing us effectively particularly our sales team?
Of course if you are about to hit a screaming 3 wood to the green, agree to take their card & email over the list!
‘Any on there that are relevant at the moment?’ should get you nicely into a discussion on where you can help add some value.
3. Even if your list doesn’t evoke a positive response (it should if you’ve done your homework before the meeting – see this previous post) you still have the opportunity to show how you deliver on your initial statement.
For example at FJR Communication ‘our results based service covers marketing strategy assessment & development, channel neutral digital & traditional marketing plans, interim marketing director support & supplier sourcing, negotiation & implementation management’
So next time someone casually asks ‘what you do’ you are prepared, can put them at ease, demonstrate you know what you are talking about & quickly move on to how you can help with their issues.
No more Ronnie Corbett monologues!