If only I could shout this from a mountaintop and get everyone to buy in! Selling has to be about other people. All that me/my/I stuff is not only meaningless but also quite distracting. When someone writes or speaks about what they do and it's a laundry list of achievements, I think they forgot they're no longer writing a resume and now they're trying to actually interact with people. The other perk of paying attention to others is that they appreciate it. I was taught early on as a kid (rough childhood, I know) that nobody cares about me, they are more concerned about how I make them feel about themselves. But people do appreciate attention (hey it's what we're talking about because we want it, right?) and if you can be the one to give it to them, they'll like you more and in turn be more likely to give you attention.
Getting the Attention You Deserve
Are you getting the attention you deserve? Recognition starts with your story. So, how can you improve on the Story of YOU?
An excerpt from FOCUS Magazine, by Chris Westfall – with modifications by the author.
Would you like to be acknowledged for your contribution? What would it mean to your business, your career and your relationships? Here’s how to make your message matter. Read the full article here
It’s a curious paradox: if you want to be recognized, you have to start by recognizing those around you.
Recognition is key in interpersonal communication – recognize your listener and you instantly create a positive connection.
Think back to when you were a child, and you asked your parents a question beginning with “Why…?”
What was the classic response? “Because…”
Consider your because, if you want to connect with your listener. What’s the “because” behind your solution? What happens to people, profits and processes, because of what you propose?
I agree with Simon Sinek (the author of Start with Why): you have to Start with Why! But if you want to create a real relationship, and a profitable one at that, you have to make “because” an important part of your pitch.
Make the Second Person First – remember in English class, when you learned about writing in the “first person”? “Call me Ishmael” was the classic example, from the first line of Moby Dick. First person is “I, Me, My”, and that’s where most old school stories begin. Are you focused on yourself – or the software, or the pricing, or the clinical results – before you consider the most important person in the room? The most important person is your listener. Focusing on the needs of your listener means making the second person first: technically, that’s YOU.
Getting the attention you deserve is all about YOU.
No, not you, exactly – but the “you” in front of you. Your listener.
In your company’s presentation, there are key elements and selling points that have to be discussed. But if you don’t phrase your results and advantages in terms of the person right in front of you, you’re making a huge mistake. Consider: what can your company do with, through and for this individual? What’s the impact on your listener – focus on that outcome, not on the history of your company.
Don’t share a single fact, statistic or benefit until you connect it to what it can do for the person right in front of you. Connect with your listener, and you take the first step to getting the attention you deserve.
Make up your mind to help your team to step out of the commonplace and into the rare. People are busy; is feature-dumping really your goal? Facts and figures are important, but at the end of the day, people buy from people. People that can be trusted, people that focus on what matters: finding real solutions.
If you’re interested in getting the attention you deserve, put your attention on your listener.
Make the person in front of you the most important person, and watch what happens to your message, your impact, and your career.
How have you been able to make your message matter? Are you getting the attention you deserve? Why or why not?
Great post, Chris! I completely agree. I frequently attend local networking meetings, and find that the majority of people describe what it is that they do, not the benefit to the listener. (Although one of my favorite local businesses takes a completely different approach. The owner just tells people that he takes the SH out of IT. Everyone gets it, and clicks with him immediately.) What I typically do is spend time on the way to the meeting thinking about a new development or concept I heard recently that anyone interested in using social marketing to promote their business should know. Sometimes, that's an upcoming platform change (so they can prepare); other times, it's a new tool or strategy. Sometimes, it's simply reinforcing an idea I'd forgotten or let slide. What it comes right down to is, it's not about me or what I do. It's about them, and what may be useful to them. By willingly sharing what I know, it ultimately establishes my expertise even though I haven't promoted myself once. But I've introduced myself in a way that's harmonized with how I do business. I'm in it for my clients' success, and my elevator pitch reflects that.
@Tara R Alemany Well said - there are a number of examples in "Running the Gauntlet" (Chapter 16) that show the good, the bad and the ugly of not focusing on your listener. I like the way you differentiate between connection and promotion - thanks for your reply!