It happens every time we meet someone new. From business events to blind dates, inevitably we’re asked: What do you do?
How we answer sets the stage for what comes next. Are we inviting the person to learn more or losing their interest with industry jargon or pre-conceived notions? How we answer is a direct reflection of a company’s ability to distill their marketing message into bite-sized chunks that resonate with people. Whether they are customers, prospects or your next door neighbour.
So how do you go about delivering the “right” answer that results in a buying audience?
It starts with a conversation
Every customer interaction, across every business department, is an opportunity to learn and grow your business. Even when it’s a complaint.
If you want to deliver a message that drives results, start by building a buyer profile that goes beyond the company information, purchase history and contact information stored in your database. How have their needs changed? What’s keeping them up at night? What’s in it for THEM to keep doing business with YOU?
When you identify with your target audience and what matters to them most, they will be more inclined to pay attention to what you have to offer, especially if you use their language.
Get to the point… quickly
Consider this: the average human attention span has declined to 8 seconds. That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish (at 9 seconds)!
Before I sat down to write this, I did a quick Google search for printers in the US. No matter the size or location of the business, they pretty much all said the same thing: world class printing, superior results through expert craftsmanship, state-of-the-art network of printing facilities, superior quality printing all backed by our 100% quality guarantee. Blah blah blah
We don’t read…we skim. We look for words that stand out and have meaning to us. We look for testimonials, impact statement and reviews that build trust and showcase the ability to drive results that matter to us.
If website visitors can’t tell what you do and why it matters to them in less than 6 seconds they WILL leave.
Change the channel
Many of today’s business buyers didn’t know life before the Internet and grew up with information at their fingertips. Over a third of millennial buyers expect a business website to be their most helpful resource. They search and research, then connect, collaborate and challenge. Most don’t even consider dealing with a salesperson until the later phases of their buying journey. (source)
While you don’t need to be on each and every channel, you DO need to be where your buying audience hangs out, consumes and shares content.
Pay attention to the conversations taking place and the groups having them. Ask questions and contribute. Put what you learn to good use… in your messaging, your content and your conversations.
Now is the time to focus on the behaviors of your current (and future) buying audience and provide resources they are looking for to make independent decisions. Decisions that can make or break your business.
And it all starts by answering the question: “What do you do?”