Your 15 Second Make Or Break

“Don’t Be Just Another Fish!”

How To Explain What You Do In Such A Way That Your Prospects Are Compelled…
Nearly Forced To Want To Do Business With You.

Now stop and think for a minute. The last time you introduced yourself did you state your name and mention your occupation / company?

If you did, you may have passed up a great chance to get in a mini commercial about yourself and your business and the benefits you may be able to provide the person you’re talking with.

So what’s wrong with the name, occupation/company format anyway? Plenty, let me explain…

You see, people don’t care at all about who you are or what you do. It may sound cold and callous, but it’s absolutely true. They don’t care what your occupation is, who your company is, how big they are, what they sell, how many locations or employees they have, or what your prices are.

But what they do care about is how you can help them. What kind of value you can bring to the relationship. Now granted, some people are “people” people. They just like other people and may be interested in developing relationships. That’s okay. But we’re not talking about that here. We’re talking about business situations. And in those situations, people are interested in how they can benefit from a relationship with you.

It’s almost as though each person you meet has an invisible shield surrounding them that flashes the message: “WIIFM”…“What’s In It For Me?”

That’s an important concept to understand. And it’s critical that you pound it into your brain until you become crystal clear about it. Not until you fully understand that people don’t want what you have, that they only want the benefits that what you have offers, will you have half a chance to do any meaningful business with them.

So, how do you know what your prospects… the people you want to do business with, need? Better yet, how do you know what your prospects want?

It’s not enough to guess or to try and figure it out on your own. The old saying, “If you want to sell John Smith what John Smith buys, you first have to see through John Smith’s eyes,” really applies here.

You’ve got to get into your customer’s heads. You’ve got to walk in their moccasins. You’ve got to understand where they’re coming from, what their goals, dreams and desires are, and perhaps more importantly, you’ve got to understand where they are hurting or lacking.

You see, people really only buy for two reasons: to solve a problem, or to gain pleasure. That’s it. Every time someone buys something, it’s because they have a problem they’re trying to work out or find a solution to, or they want to experience pleasure of some sort.

Second, people will buy faster, and will spend more money, to satisfy wants rather than needs. Understand these two points, and you’re nearly half way there.

The next step is to determine how you can fit in to their picture. Think about it… how do you fit in? How can what you do, what you sell, or the service you provide for others help them either solve a problem or gain the pleasure they’re seeking? Do you even know, really know what their wants are?

The best way to find out what a person (or a market, for that matter) wants, is to ask them. This can be done in person, by telephone or by sending your prospects a questionnaire and asking them to complete and return it to you. Get specific. Get involved. Probe deeply. Put yourself in their places. Develop a deep empathy for their situations. Only by seeing things from their eyes can you gain the understanding you need to serve them in the most effective way.

Once you’ve identified what your prospect’s (or market’s) wants are, prioritise the items in order of importance to your prospect. Then, identify those you can help them solve or satisfy.

Next, see if you can make the problem bigger. Magnify it. Add to it. Embellish it. Stretch it. Make it more dramatic, more painful, bigger than it really is. But don’t overdo it. Don’t make it sound so far out that it’s unbelievable or seems excessively exaggerated to your prospect.

Now you’re ready to develop your solution. How can what you do help them? Can you take away a certain pain? Can you provide financial relief? How about mental or emotional relief? What about physical comfort? Can you help them obtain a certain pleasure or avoid unpleasantness or loss? Specifically and precisely, how can you or what you sell, offer or help your prospect solve his or her problems or satisfy their wants?

Once you’ve gotten this far, you can begin to formulate your articulation statement. In other words, what are you going to say to your prospect that lets them know you can help them? And how are you going to say it in such a way that when they hear you say it, they have no choice but to say, “Really? How do you do that? I want to know more!”

Here’s a template to help you get a more clear picture of the process and to help you develop your own strategy:

1.    Determine your prospect’s problem, hurt, need or want from the prospect’s point of view.
2.    Enlarge, add to or magnify the problem.
3.    Get your prospect’s agreement that this is, indeed, a problem for them.
4.    Let your prospect know you understand their situation.
5.    Articulate how you can help your prospect solve, satisfy or eliminate that problem by talking in terms of benefits to them.
6.    Offer proof that you’ve helped others in similar situations.

Here’s how it might sound for an insurance agent speaking to a prospect who is tired of paying high car insurance premiums (aren’t we all?):

Prospect: “Hi, my name is John Smith.”

Agent: “Nice to meet you, John. My name is
Cindy Richards.”

Prospect: “What do you do, Cindy?”

Agent: “John, you know when you pay your car insurance premiums, how they seem to increase every time, even if you’ve never had an accident or made a claim?”

(Your prospect will either nod, make a statement or at least smile acknowledging that they understand, can relate and agree.)

Agent: (After a slight pause.) “It’s frustrating isn’t it? I mean, why should good drivers have to pay for the poor driving habits of those who are less responsible? It’s really not fair. And to top it off, it’s insulting.

Again, your prospect will either verbally or non-verbally acknowledge that he or she is in agreement.

Agent: “Well, being in the business, as well as being a consumer has helped me understand exactly what you go through when you get your insurance bills. And I don’t like it anymore than you do.

“So what I’ve done, is develop a system and a process to help my clients avoid paying those high and unnecessary costs. I call it my “Personal Risk Analysis”…“PRA” for short.

“It all starts with my first meeting with a client when we determine exactly what their risks are, how much they can self-insure and how much will need to be covered by insurance. Then I put together a couple of plans they can choose from that solves their problems, and does it cost-effectively…without breaking the bank. It works great, and my clients’ love it. And that’s why more than 96 percent renew their policies with me every year!”

Now, granted, that’s longer than 15 seconds. But what matters is not how long it takes; it’s not even what you say that’s important. What is important is that you capture your prospect’s attention quickly – in the first 15 seconds. And you can do this by identifying and relating to their problems. Whatever you say after that should serve to demonstrate how you can help solve their problems for them.

After hearing this kind of introduction, who wouldn’t want to know more? Remember, the whole idea is to evoke a “Really? How do you do that? I want to know more!” response from them.

This same format and process can be used with any type of business. And it can be used effectively in group situations or in one-on-one situations. You may want to tighten it up, make it shorter, eliminate a sentence or paragraph, or add another benefit or two.

But whatever you do, take the time to formulate your own personalised 15-second introduction. It will be well worth the time you spend, and will reward you with a steady stream of new prospects just begging to do business with you


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