Make sure your business shines in 2017 by avoiding brilliant basics and communicating messages that are compelling to inspire action from your target clients.
According to business author, consultant and TED speaker Simon Sinek, people buy with their emotional gut rather than with the rational side of their brain. This means that if you want to inspire action from your potential clients you need to get talking to their gut. We can all probably think of an example of when we've done something just because it "felt right" and that comes down to the biology of our brain. Someone was speaking directly to the limbic part of our brain, the part that controls feeling, trust, loyalty, behaviour and DECISION making. The neocortex controls rational thought and language, but does not control decision making, yet many businesses focus on explaining rationally what they do. Do check out his TED talk if you want to get into the detail as it makes interesting listening, but what does this actually tell us when it comes to communicating our brand:
1. DIG DEEP: To win business we still need to be clear about "what" we do, being concise and simple about what we offer, otherwise our potential customers don't know what to buy from us, or how to buy it. But then we also need to communicate "why" this is important to THEM. For every aspect of your business you want to communicate, ask yourself the question "So What?" and then keep asking that to get to the bottom of how you can benefit them. If you can't find a "So what", you're seeing the business through your eyes and not theirs - so don't communicate it.
2. GET EMOTIONAL: To appeal to your potential client's "gut" you need to capture their imagination by getting emotional. It means talking about what's in it for them from a compelling emotional viewpoint. Sinek references Apple's "Think Different", and Sky's "Believe in better" is another great example of using emotion to promote a pretty technical service - it's essentially a TV operating system. Of course they can talk about the number of channels, quality of films, amount of sports coverage, but others can always copy. By allowing people to "believe in better' they are conveying a feeling of optimism - and optimism is always appealing. And you don't need multi-million budgets to communicate to people's emotions - this thinking can also be applied at a smaller local level. If an osteopath communicates their service as benefiting in reduced back pain, then yes, we get it, but maybe it still goes to the bottom of our to-do list in our busy lives. But invite a father to "be part of family life" and he may well be compelled to sort out his pain to get back to playing in the park with his children.
3. AVOID BRILLIANT BASICS: By this I mean avoid leading with all those phrases that are basically the things that give you permission to operate in your sector: Great customer service, extra mileage, help for your business... etc. We hear them all the time. Yes, you need to say this stuff just to reassure those potential clients that you will indeed be covering off those "basics", but try to LEAD with messages that are more differentiating and unique to you. The reasons why they need you specifically and not the competition. I once heard a landscape designer pitch his business. He could have talked about the quality of design, the workmanship, the cleanliness of his workers... instead he spoke about how he listens to his clients so that he can create a better lifestyle for them, through their garden design.. lovely!
These simple ideas can help you to find compelling messages for "what" you do to make your business outshine your competitors.