Effective Impact, the fourth letter in my mnemonic, ACCELerate™, is about how you engage with others off-line and of course on-line too.
Have you ever been to a business networking event, or similar meeting, when you struggle to understand what others do to help their customers after they introduce themselves or even pitch? I know I have and I used to be one of them contributing to the noise too!
Anyone who has done some work in clarifying how their business and their various propositions look to others would have at least heard that including features and benefits is key.
I’d go a step further:
When I now introduce myself to others, I usually say: “I help busy professionals get return on investment with their marketing.”
Yes, straight forward English. No ‘trendy’ words like ‘intervention’ or ‘emotional intelligence’ which are rife these days and which some people seemingly try to use to sound clever. These will go stale and out of date before long anyway.
(Remember those ‘blue sky thinking’ phrases? It sounds rather incredible so many used such terms doesn’t it? …and what about “For sure…” which was frequently used as a response? – Well here in the UK anyway – Laughable, right?)
Keeping your introduction easy to understand means you are more likely to invoke questions in return and, therefore, interest by others in your business. It sure beats “I’m in marketing” or similar. That’s as risky as trying to put a full stop to any conversation.
What about when you are asked to do a pitch at a networking event? If you are given a minute, what I suggest is you aim for 30 seconds. Yes, 30 seconds. That’s all. There are many reasons why I suggest this however a main one is that incredible term “Less is more.” I’ll leave it to you to at least ponder over that and hope you’ll try it.
Why not embark on a survey and ask your customers and prospects what they think about the copy and content of your website, social media, printing materials and how you and your staff engage? Yes. You and your staff.
You’ll be amazed what you discover. You may even win some business in the process, however don’t do it for that reason – It’s a genuine survey after all. Of course avoid asking your family and friends. They will usually tell you things you want to hear…unless you have a spouse like mine! ;)
In our busy world, timing is very important.
It’s 5.45pm on a Thursday evening. All of a sudden a message appears on LinkedIn. It’s a written recommendation from one of your customers. In fact, it’s not just an ordinary recommendation, it’s one of the best ones you’ve received.
When will you accept that recommendation?
I have delivered many workshops sharing this example and from the vast majority of responses I have been given many would say “Straightaway!”
Well, consider this: You have just one chance to display that recommendation via LinkedIn’s home screen. Timing is everything here as you’ll want to share it with your network. It’s not showing off. Even if you think it is, so what? You earned it!
So my suggestion is this: Instead of approving the recommendation on LinkedIn straightway – when most people in your network are logging off – write a private message to your customer to thank them for their lovely gesture and wait for the next working day before you approve it. Optimum times are usually around 8.45am, (when people are logging in), or lunchtime.
If you’re out the next day, (Friday), you can of course approve it via your smartphone or simply wait for the next working day that you’re in. Of course, if most of your contacts are in a different time zone, approve it at the optimum time so you are potentialising maximum views by your LinkedIn network.
The recommendation, once approved, will be displayed within your LinkedIn profile permanently, which people will have to search for, however the tactic I have shared has everything to do with being patient in our fast paced and ever busy world.
Do please think about the above example. What else can delayed so you gain Effective impact?
Here’s another example:
Watch videos of Barack Obama’s talks on YouTube. Notice how often he pauses.
Compare that to how most people speak in public. Why do you think he does that? Because he’s slow and can’t think quickly on his feet? Of course not. The man has a brilliant brain. He pauses for impact. It’s effective because he allows you to digest what he’s saying.
It’s very powerful.
I was recently told that by someone who works in the people industry that there was no time for ‘chit chat’. His team are too busy trying to deliver profitably than to speak to their customers and network. He continued by sharing “It’s sad, but that’s how most people work these days.”
So if some leaders, even those in the people industry, really feel this way then see Effective impact as your opportunity to get to know even their customers or even network. They will value the fact that you have bothered to spend time with them, not being ignored. Amazing things could happen!
BIZCATALYST 360° is an American business network with global reach. As a contributor, I deliberately submitted this article after July 4th. You’ll know the reason why by now.
My prior articles for BIZCATALYST 360°, covering my preceding ACCELerators™, may be found here.