I may be dating myself but years ago a show on TV called Name that Tune asked contestants to “name that tune” in as few notes as possible. What you ask is the relevance of this memory? It brings to mind that moment your eyes begin to glaze over at a networking event when someone tells you EVERYTHING you ever DIDN’T want to know about their job, position, title, company and number of years on the job. I know you know what I’m talking about and I know exactly how you can avoid it. Just follow “The Rule of Ten.”
In Name that Tune, the music was so good and the “hook” so memorable that people instantly recognized the song. That’s what you want for your business. An introduction that is catchy and memorable – your own personal “hook.” The Rule of Ten is my personal guideline to developing a solid, short and simple introductory sentence that succinctly describes you and your product or service. It’s derived from the “Tenplate for Success” which includes ten critical communication tips for those in business. Taking ten means taking the time to distill your business mission statement or your vision into just ten words (or less!) using catchy lingo that will draw in the audience, inviting them to have a conversation with you. Isn’t that the whole idea behind networking? You don’t want the “glaze over,” you want to encourage and enable a conversation. For that to happen, all you need is something catchy to get the conversation started.
So – what is the Rule of Ten? It’s simple: Take your main product or service, your goal or vision for your business and distill it down to the BEST TEN WORDS that describe your service and sound enticing to potential customers. Think it can’t be done? It can. Your first attempt might rival War and Peace but I assure you, with a little effort, some fine-tuning and perhaps a hint or two courtesy of Google Thesaurus, you CAN create a ten words or less elevator pitch that gets your potential customer talking to you not running from you.
Compare “I am a freelance writer and editor providing website content, editorial, blogging and advertising services for the small business entrepreneur” vs. “I help small business succeed using words that work!” or this one: “At a loss for words? I’ll help you find them!” In the first intro perhaps all you’ve heard is the word “Writer” and immediately images of a lonely, rumpled and wild haired women in front of an ancient typewriter comes to mind. In the second or third example however, you’ve created the possibility of a conversation between you and your prospective client. “Really,” they might say. “How do you use just words to help business?” There’s your opening, your invitation to have a conversation with a prospective client, without any pre-conceived notions that might possibly be associated with the word “Writer.”
Tammy Elliott of The Leadership Forum in Caledon calls this finding your passion and letting it shine through in your “5 second intro.” Using this technique helps you position your passion as a value statement and your client is much more likely to connect with you if you are like-minded and have similar values. Using words like “help” implies genuine caring, enthusiasm for what you do and again, it encourages a conversation over an eye-glaze. Try it. Throw a bunch of words on a page and then start working with them. Break out the Thesaurus or Google words. Choose the best ten, formulate your catchy sentence and then give it a try at your next networking meeting. Have fun with it and hopefully soon your customers will be singing your favorite tune!
As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed? Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.
Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.
Writing Right For You
Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!