Does Your 30-Second Commercial Rock?


Article by Joan FriedlanderJust 30 seconds is all we ask. Just 30 seconds is all we have. Just 30 seconds is all it takes. How many times do you need to revise that 30-second introduction before it’s specific enough, interesting enough, and poignant enough to engage another person in conversation?

When you don’t have your introduction down just right, and in such a way that it feels natural, it can sink you. I thought I finally had mine down. Just this week I started with a new coach, and he asked me what makes my services unique and why would someone pay for my services instead of someone else’s. In my initial response to him, I didn’t even start out with my 30-second introduction. I fumbled and stumbled with words that had no meaning. Finally, he put me out of that misery and asked for my 30-second version. Oh, that!

So, I happily relayed the one tacked up on my wall. He said, “Well, I can tell you fully understand what your clients need, but people don’t buy what they need, they buy what they want. You’ve got to say something that has them pull out their wallets and do everything they can to get their money together to pay you!” Then he told me I said one thing that would interest people: “more money.”

I was reminded of a similar idea in a book called How to Become a Rainmaker by Jeffrey J. Fox. Fox says rainmakers (people who are extremely successful at closing good business deals) “dollarize” the value of their work. They show prospects how spending X dollars with them, or their company, will yield Y results, where Y [is perceived as] greater than X.

He further states that you need to find a way to tell people how much money you’ll save them or how much time or money you’ll make them. In other words, you have to show them a positive return on their investment. This is especially true in business-to-business services and products.

How do you do this in a service-based business? What do your customers want? More time, more money, more freedom, a magic pill? What did the people who already pulled out their wallets and hired you want?

Following is my partial list of what I think people want. What would you add or subtract to this list, and how do you and your company provide it?

People want a sense of security, now and in the future.
They almost always seem to want more money.
They want freedom, the definition of which is personal.
They want their life to count.
They want improved health and relationships.
They want excitement and results.

What else? What do you think?

I know my passion lies with quality-of-life issues. Money is certainly a part of the equation, but it’s not the whole story. Yet, when I head out there into the networking world, I need to speak to what people want first: more clients and more money. My services do have a positive impact in these two areas, but not by way of the front door. My clients get there through another door, one that starts with healthy working habits up front.

I suspect that there are just a few things people really pull out their wallets for, especially when buying services:

More money
Reduced costs = increased profitability = more money in their pockets
Increased results (more money)
Freedom to choose how they spend their time
Better relationships with the people they care about
Time to spend with the people they love
Variety and meaning and purpose
Firm foundation or sense of security

My core program, The Master Calendar Solution™, gives people a way to set boundaries, focus consistently on their highest priorities, have more time for personal interests, slow down, have more clarity and certainty, etc. People want this and they need this, but it’s often not enough to motivate them to stop long enough in their busy schedules to invest in it.

But, when I say you can reduce the number of hours you work by 20%, increase your income by that much or more within 3-6 months, and have more of the kinds of clients that you really enjoy working with, I get their attention. I tried this out for the first time last night, and lo and behold, it made a difference. I found a way to “dollarize” the return someone could expect by investing time and money working with me.

If you don’t know how to quantify the value of the work you do with your customers and clients, try asking them. You may have to help them get specific too, as they may start out by talking about your value to them as an advisor, confidante, etc.

For example, if they have greater peace of mind, in what part of their life do they have it, and how does that impact them specifically? Greater sense of mastery, more time with family, increased retirement funds, new abilities they didn’t have before? Dig a little deeper to find out what that peace of mind gets them.

If they have more customers than they had before, by how much?

If they’ve got a better relationship with their family members, what improved? What difference did that make?

No matter what your profession, you can find ways to “dollarize” the results of the work you do. When you have only 30 seconds, make sure what you say includes a tangible, measurable, clearly stated rock-your-socks-off result.

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