You’ve heard it a thousand times. “We’ve been in business for XX years, and have XX employees across XX offices.” “We’re a multi-disciplined firm with broad expertise across XX market sectors.” “We’re proud of our history of providing quality projects—on time and within budget.”
You’re not surprised when clients say they can’t tell firms apart. Everyone looks and sounds the same.
You’re an expert connector and developer, and it’s frustrating to have a winning game plan that stalls when your technical colleagues start talking about things that are not relevant and, frankly, boring.
Here’s a simple formula to drive conversations so your prospects and clients listen:
We have + which means + so that = Something interesting that the client remembers!
- We have starts it all. This is when you mention facts about your company or experience. It might be the number of years serving clients, or the number of employees across your offices. It could be the value of equipment that your firm owns, or it might be the number of specific projects you’ve completed in a specific type of project.
- Which means is a little trickier. Ask yourself why the fact should matter to your prospect or client. What is the significance of that tidbit? If you can’t think of a reason why your first fact matters, then perhaps it isn’t as relevant as you had thought. Ask yourself, “what difference does this statement make to my audience?”
- So that is the icing on the cake. This is the “so what” part of your story. This is what matters to the client. Will your fact address a problem they’re facing? Does it impact the project’s cost, schedule, or quality? How will the fact impact stakeholders and influencers? When you can clearly state the “so that” or “so what,” then you’re speaking to your audience’s need.
You know that prospects and clients are looking for solutions, and when you drone on and on about meaningless company facts and histories, you’re not helping them address their issues. Always think about what they’re thinking about. It’s usually about them, not you.
Successful business developers know how to capture and keep an audience’s attention. We have + which means + so that is a winning formula.
Share your ideas about this winning formula in the comments section below.
Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM, is President, Everest Marketing Services, [email protected], (m) 602.686.4616. Many business development professionals know that standing out from the competition is critical for business success. Barbara understands, and uses more than 25 years of experience and a toolbox full of communication strategies to help professionals win work so their firms flourish.