I’m creating a course entitled “Authentic and Honest Persuasion” (A Public Speaking and Presentation Workshop). I was sitting at my desk the other day, with two computer screens glowing, three different public speaking textbooks and two books on accelerated and adult learning spread out on my desk and two chairs. As I was twirling around from chair to chair, book to book, and three different “topical” notepads, the light went on. (The one in my head.)
“Wait a minute” I thought – “better write this down”. So I did. You know how you suddenly have this great idea, and you record it, and then you go back to it the next, and it’s not as great as you thought it was? Yeah, well I don’t think this is one of those. I’m looking at it now, and it still seems pretty good. The thing that stands out (to me anyway), is that it seems so simple. I’m sure if I searched hard enough, I would find that someone else has thought of it before me. But I don’t want to do that. So I won’t. For the time being, its’ my idea. Which is dangerous, because if you think its’ stupid, I look silly, and then I have no one to blame but myself.
However, I’m 63 years old (my birthday was yesterday). In those 63 years, I’ve looked silly (and stupid) more times than I can count. I’m a tad over-weight (that’s right, I said “a tad”), my hair has really thinned out (again, I’m being generous), my height has dropped under 5 foot 5 inches (crap, I hate that), and as much as it pains me to say it, I’m just not as “hip” as I used to be. Yes, I used the word “hip”, which in and of itself expresses my lack of “hipness”. (I am still groovy, so I’ve got that going for me.)
I’m sorry, did I get off topic? As I was trying to illustrate, I don’t mind looking silly. It’s almost my “thing” now. So, this is my idea. “The Successful Entrepreneurial Communication Sequence”. It consists of three simple steps (keys, if you will). I refer to the three keys by the acronym “REP”.
The first challenge an entrepreneur faces is getting recognized as actually existing. You have to get yourself or your business acknowledged. This is accomplished through the tried and true “elevator pitch”. However, the pitch must be focused, on-target and relative to the listener. (I have a five step process I use to help my clients come up with a great self-introduction and tagline.)
The next step is “education”. If the introduction is effective, that means they now not only know you exist, but you have told them something that piques their interest. Now is the time to educate them about what, specifically, you do, who you are, and how it is relevant to them. (You get the relevance by first asking them about what they do. Remember, it’s always about them.)
Once they appreciate what is is you do and it’s relevance to them, you persuade. Keep in mind, this isn’t all going to happen in a single meeting. It’s a process. However, if you get their attention, and keep it, make it all about them and want problem you can solve for them, each step will fall into place.
Persuasion may be in the form of comparisons (your product or service against the competition), your uniqueness, how they will benefit, and what problem(s) you’ll solve. How their life will be easier. You can also talk price, but if you’ve already convinced them of the value of you, your product, or service, this shouldn’t be a stumbling block. Finally, you can talk features, but remember, the chances are pretty good that your competition’s product or service is a lot like yours’. It is the rare product or service that doesn’t have competition. If you have already persuaded them that they need what you have, that their life will be easier, and you can solve a problem, they don’t really care how (i.e., the features) you do it.
Recognition, Education, Persuasion (REP). Yes, there is a lot of work, preparation, and practice that need to be devoted to each step. But, these three keys are the ones you need to have to unlock the door to your success.
Tell me what you think? Do I look silly, or am I on to something here?