If you want your business to go places, you need to make yourself memorable
The most powerful marketing tools for any business are business referrals. People are inclined to trust business referrals if they come personally from somebody they know. According to research by Nielsen, 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when they learn about it from friends or family.
Getting out the message about how great your business is does not depend so much on the size of your social network, but on how much youd make yourself memorable as a brand. You should be able to make yourself memorable by leaving consequential strangers with a clear understanding of what you do, in just one brief conversation. To expand your reach, you want to give them enough information to further recommend you to their network, but not so much information that they lose focus on what to remember. Their recommendations can be quite valuable; they build trust with both the potential client and the referral partner. If the outcome is positive, it creates a ripple effect and word spreads.
So, what does it take to make yourself memorable, and be trusted and recommendable? Establish enough credibility and context so that people know clearly what it is that you do. There are three steps to becoming recommendable so your network can be part of your business development department.
Your Executive Brand: Make yourself Memorable
We will reinforce this over and over: no matter how many people you meet or connect with, they first need to remember you in order to refer you. Ask yourself, “what do I want to be remembered for?” As we have previously discussed, contrary to most instincts, the more you niche your expertise, the more you will get referred. Why? Simply put, a specialized skill set is easier to remember and makes it easier for others to recognize opportunities for you.
If either of us were to meet you and say, “I help CEOs bridge the gap between where they are at and where their company wants to be,” how would you help refer us? It doesn’t matter how many pictures of a bridge are on the business card; that doesn’t help us as referral partners.
Another common statement we hear is, “I help drive revenues through innovation.” Again, increasing revenues through innovation has become such a buzz phrase and broad topic, it does not help anyone understand what your expertise is and what you can do for them.
Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time at an event, and they ask you “what do you do?” The answer to this question should be one short phrase that effectively communicates your work. It can take this form:
“I help (your target market), facing (the situation they are typically in) to get results such as (an example of what you have done for a client).”
Fill in the blanks, and you’ll have a one-sentence answer that helps make the listener understand and remember what you do. To boost in its delivery, you can rehearse it beforehand. Rehearsing a simple sentence might seem silly, but it can be one of the most powerful tools you have. Based on your audience’s reactions and follow up questions, you will adjust it over time.
Make yourself memorable.
If a stranger you meet today cannot remember what you said enough to pass it on to someone they know or meet tomorrow, you aren’t going to get any referrals. As contrary as it seems, the more you narrow your messaging, the more referrals you will get. Denise did a great job of this, especially in the beginning, when she was networking and trying to find a way to be make yourself memorable.
One excutive we knew, Joanna, built a successful career as an independent executive leveraging her passion for productivity. When she looked back at her career and made her list, everything she had ever accomplished for a company tied back to productivity. To make herself memorable, she took on the title “Queen of Productivity” and used two or three numerical examples to illustrate how she had saved or made companies money. Every conversation she had centered around productivity and her questions supported it. Even online, she tied everything together in a memorable way with productivity scenarios and stories. Every time someone sees her name, it is accompanied by an article, tweet, or meme about how a company or individual can become more productive; the theme is continually reinforced. The moment someone in her network hears a CEO talking about productivity or related topics, like accountability, they immediately think of Joanna. They may not think of her if the company is having an issue with inventory, which she certainly can help with, but she’d much prefer referral partners to remember her ten times for productivity than once for three other things.
Learn how we can help your career grow.
Cerius Executives 100 Spectrum Center Drive, Suite 900 Irvine, CA 92618 Phone: (866) 772-3906