Is your business a familiar service we all need and use, like these?
| accountant | plumber | dentist | realtor | home security rep | lawyer
| insurance agent | retirement planner | doctor | general contractor
Usually being in a familiar business is a good thing, because people aren’t struggling to understand what you do.
When does familiar = forgettable?
Often being familiar with your industry leads customers to assume you’re the same as your competitors, so you get lost in a sea of providers.
If we’re familiar with something, we assume we know what it’s about – so we don’t give it our full attention…
Need an example? When you fly on a plane, do you give the flight attendants your full attention during the safety announcement? I don’t, and I bet I’m not the only one who thinks they know it enough to ignore it.
Southwest Airlines has turned that boring safety announcement into one of the things that make their business memorable. They deliver the same, federally required words in a fresh, unexpected way, and people pay attention because their assumptions are interrupted.
Passengers will share their experience on social media, consider flying Southwest again and recommend them to friends and family – all because Southwest did the expected, in an unexpected way.
What about your business?
Could you be losing potential customers by doing the EXPECTED?
After all, you and your competitors do the same thing, the same way, right?
NO! But that’s what potential customers assume.
If you’re in a highly competitive industry, this is an even bigger problem.
My client, Bill has been a representative in the home security business for over ten years. The competition among reps in his company is fierce. Lately, he’s been networking more but hasn’t seen an increase in sales yet. When I asked him to tell me how he introduces himself, I knew why. Here’s what he said:
Hi, I’m Bill with Acme Security – your safety and protection is our business.
The potential customer is probably thinking: Security systems, burglars…Hamburglar*…I’m hungry…what’s for dinner tonight?…
When customers have heard it all, you have to interrupt their assumptions to grab their attention. One of the fastest ways to do that is to talk about your business in terms that are unusual. Surprise your audience and knock them right off their assumptions by making it H.U.M.!
Humor and a Unique approach make it Memorable!
Here’s Bill’s revamped introduction:
Hi, I’m Bill with Acme Security – your personal security trainer, and I’m here to PUMP YOU UP!
The potential customer is thinking: Security sys… wait. What? Personal trainer?! Pump…WHAT?
Now that’s an introduction that HUMs!
- Do you think that potential customer will pay attention to what Bill says next? Yes!
- Remember Bill? Absolutely!
- Call Bill for a security system or refer him to friends and family? You bet!
No one wants a wimpy security system, right? We want a system that’s buff, powerful, intimidating!
When you use a unique approach:
- You interrupt assumptions
- Your business is suddenly fresh and interesting
- The time it takes your potential customer to feel they know, like and trust you is shorter
If you’re looking for a great book by an expert on interrupting assumptions, check out, Got Your Attention? By Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert and TEDx speaker. Her insights, tips, and advice, will make you think very differently about the way you talk about your business!
How do you interrupt your potential customers’ assumptions in your marketing, elevator pitch or presentation?
Share it in the comments!